5 Easy Tips for Living a Frugal Life and Enjoying It
Is it possible to live a frugal life and enjoy it? Absolutely! It really is a state of mind.
And if you're even considering living a more frugal lifestyle, then there's probably a good reason for it so it’s something that you may need to fully embrace.
But if you still think that letting go of some non-necessities that probably don't serve you anymore means your life will be drab and dull, then I have some ideas that can help.
Don’t worry, you won’t be too frugal to enjoy life. These ideas will help you to look forward to living a frugal lifestyle with excitement and intentionality.
1. Know your why
You may already have a number of reasons for being on a frugal journey. It could be that you have a very low income and you don't have much of a choice other than to learn how to stretch your money, or maybe you have a modest income and you're learning how to grow it.
Or maybe you are trying to save up for a large purchase like a house or you are getting ready for retirement. Whatever the reason is for this season, it's important for you to be clear on how frugal living will serve your life’s purpose. Your why will help motivate you and show you the value in a frugal lifestyle.
If you can stay focused on how frugal living is going to help you meet your goals or stay on top of your most important needs, then you'll be a lot more excited about it.
Years ago, when I started my frugal journey, it was because I was about to turn 30 and I had just moved back into my parents' house with a lot of debt. I was ready to make a change.
My goal was to get a home of my own, but I knew that I had to get rid of the debt first, which meant that I had to give up some things in order to get to my desired end. But that desire to have a home of my own was my initial reason that thankfully set me on a path of frugality.
2. Find a community of frugal people
Find a community of frugal people. It's difficult to stay diligent when the people closest to you don't have the same mindset that you do.
Maybe they won't understand when you decide to stay home or not go out on the town spending money. But having people around you who understand what you're trying to do will be encouraging rather than a hindrance.
This might be easier said than done because you want to have an in -person community, not just online. Your local library or non-profit organizations in your area can be a great resource.
A lot of times they offer free personal finance workshops and seminars, which can be a great place to connect with people who are on a similar journey.
Try frequenting thrift stores in your area where you'll likely run into some of the same people over and over. Or strike up conversations with thrift store workers who may know some frugal groups and resources to tap into.
Pay attention at work. Co-workers who bring their lunch from home every day are probably money-conscious, too.
Start by asking where they got their insulated lunch bag or thermos and just go from there. Of course, online places like this channel, others on YouTube, and frugal living groups on Facebook can offer lots of encouragement, inspiration, knowledge, valuable insights, and tips.
3. Take up crafting or a hobby
Start a crafting hobby to learn how to do things yourself that you usually have to pay for. Making things facilitates frugality, but it's also a way to boost your mood and your mental health. When you're engaged in a craft or the act of creating something, you're very focused and in those moments you forget the stressors of the day.
For example when I'm crocheting, I almost forget to eat. Plus, crafting stimulates the production of dopamine, which is that feel-good neurotransmitter that's responsible for pleasure and enjoyment.
If you're not the craftiest person, or you don't know what kind of crafts you might be good at, focus on improving your cooking or baking skills. Get creative in the kitchen by replicating your favorite restaurant meals, and maybe you won't feel the need to eat out as much.
4. Find the fun apps for budgeting
There are some aspects of frugal living that I don't always enjoy, like budgeting (and meal planning.) Make it fun so you don’t dread it. Experiment with different budget apps to keep the process fresh until you find one you like. There are apps like Mint or even one like Fortune City, which turns your bookkeeping process into a game.
When I sit down to do this, I get up early in the morning, make a big hot cup of French vanilla coffee, toast up a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese, put on a favorite playlist to get me in a happy mood, and I just get it done.
In addition, do not be afraid to spend money. When you create your budget for the month and you've designated money for bills and other responsibilities, and you've put your 10 percent in a savings account, spend whatever is left over on things that you know you or your family really need or really love.
Ask yourself if you need it, love it, like it, or even want it? Things you love would be items or experiences that you're willing to save up for to create a lasting memory or something that will actually improve the quality of your life.
5. Take your time when making changes
To stay frugal and happy, remember that there's no need to feel like you have to change everything all at once in every area of your life. Start with one or two changes. There’s no need to sell your house and live in a trailer! Start by scaling back on your clothing spending or put away some money in a savings account.
Unrealistic expectations that you can’t meet will discourage and demotivate you/ You’ll end up feeling like being frugal is just too hard and depressing. Challenge yourself to do better than you've been doing, but also set realistic expectations.
Living a frugal life and enjoying it
Remember that living a frugal lifestyle is a work in progress. All you can do is make the decision to keep doing better. If you keep your eyes on your why, then you're going to find that frugal living is both enjoyable and rewarding.
Let me know in the comments what kinds of everyday things you are doing so you can enjoy life while being extremely frugal.