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A Frugal State of Mind

One of the most frequently asked question on our Frugal Mom Message Board is, “How do I start living a frugal life?” There are lots of practical things you can do to cut back on expenses and lower your spending. But in order to become successful at frugal living, you must first change your thinking. So how do you get a frugal state of mind?
1. Determine why you want to live a frugal life

When you take time to think through why you are taking the step towards frugal living, your reason becomes your determination. Write a sentence or two on why you want to live a frugal life, and put it somewhere accessible. Reread it when times get hard, or when you are tempted to splurge, or when you see yourself creeping back to your old spending habits. It will give you the willpower and resolve to stick to your plan.

2. Learn to identify the difference between needs and wants

When making my transition to frugal living, this was one of the most difficult areas for me. But once I paid attention to what I was spending money on, our financial situation improved dramatically. This simple concept, when taken seriously, can transform your spending habits. You must look at the things you spend money on each month and determine which are needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) and which are wants (soda, a cute pair of shoes to add to your collection of shoes, an RV, cable TV). This will become important when you put together your budget.

3. Set goals for yourself & family

When you set attainable goals, you will be able to see your progress, and your progress will encourage you to stick with it. Set short term goals (monthly, quarterly), and set long term goals (1 year, 5 years, 10 years), and don’t forget to track your progress.

4. Put together a budget

A budget is a necessary tool for getting a hold on your finances. It is invaluable because it forces you to look at your spending, and the numbers never lie. Here is a Monthly Family Budget Form you can download. masterfamilybudget It is an Excel spreadsheet. If you do not have Excel, you can use Google Documents to use it.

5. Involve your family

It is recommended that husbands and wives plan the family budget together. By becoming a team you will both be aware of what your goals are, and you can support each other. For the best results, everyone in the family must make a commitment to frugal living, and sticking to the budget.

Category: Frugal Articles, Frugal Living

Comments (10)

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  1. 1
    sara mincy says:

    I love this post, Candace! Goals and a budget are so important for our family. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. 2
    Danielle says:

    Every time i come here I am not dissapointed, nice post

  3. 3
    sue rosen says:

    we have dinner every other day. its easier than eating hambugers every day. we can have fish or steak, then. we just have cereal for lunch.

  4. 4

    This is right in line with the manifesto of Planet Cheapskate. We started out as two “starving artists” in the early 80s, and we learned to pinch pennies because we had to. Now we do it because by not spending, we get to live the lives we want to (we’re still artists, now also musicians, we have a house in the country). Everyone can do this, you just have to want to.

  5. 5

    I really like your post. Does it copyright protected?

  6. 6

    Copywriting is also a skill that takes years of practice to become very effective in advertising what you are selling and `””

  7. 7

    You you should make changes to the blog title A Frugal State of Mind : Frugal Mom to more better for your blog post you create. I enjoyed the post yet.

  8. 8
    test test says:

    Hello fellow web master! I really like your website! I liked the creativity of your sidebar.

  9. 9
    fabel says:

    Im based in London have worked as a secretary for more than 10 years and have an HND in Business Studies but am tired of admin work and office politics and would like to do something more creative- change careers.. . I write in my spare time and have attended an advanced writing course for the past 3 years. I like reading and would like to see if I could train to teach creative writing in further education or and English /English literature. I would also be grateful if I could get any info on what qualifications you need to be able to teach English as a first language and Basic literacy skills.. . Thanks. Any advice would be great regarding training in London..