Ever feel overwhelmed at the thought of living frugally. Sometimes we are living on tight budgets, paycheck to paycheck and things can seem daunting. Sometimes we say we are too busy, we don’t have enough cash flow to make any changes. Ever talked yourself out of making a change? If you ever wished you were more frugal, today is the day to start. There are two things you can do to start this journey today.
Learn to Prioritize
It’s great that you want to save money. Really, it is but it does take effort. If you want to start living frugally you must be committed to a lifestyle shift. Please realize I do not spend oodles of time each day thinking of ways to save money every day. After a while, it does become automatic but first, you have to learn to say no, you have to learn how to prioritize. Yes, you will need to cut some things. When I cut the cable, it seemed like I would have nothing to watch but I have found ways to watch great shows while maintaining my budget. You will learn you need to cut the fluff to make room for things that are actually important like planning for the long term, thinking of family vacations, that major purchase you have dreamed of making, retirement and the like.
Set Realistic Goals
Have you made the commitment to live a more frugal life? That is great! Let’s build on that commitment, by setting realistic goals. Let’s get cozy. Sit down with your spouse or family and have a real talk about what is important to you as a family. What are the things you love? What is important to you? Knowing what is really important to you as a family moving forward will help you set realistic goals. You will know your why. Pick two or three.
Start with two or three long-term goals, if you choose more you may get overwhelmed. For instance, if you set the goal of being debt free, taking a trip, planning for retirement, planning for an emergency fund all at once you may feel overwhelmed. It is okay to take baby steps but you have to get started and the best way to do that is by making two or three realistic goals. Once you have those goals in place, you can chunk it down it to smaller goals.
Here is an example:
You want a new car and you plan on saving so you can pay cash for that car. Your car budget is $10,000 and you would like to purchase that car in the next two years.
You have to save $5,000 a year or 416.00 per month or 96.00 every week.
When you lay out your goals, know where the money is coming from, if you have cut from one area you can move that money to your savings. Are you going to also sell things to help get you there? Are you going to look for extra work? Part of realistic goal setting is knowing how it can be achieved. Make a plan, the work the plan.
Yes, making goals takes time but it is time well spent. Once you have started working on your goals, you will want to track your progress as this will keep you motivated.
By learning to prioritize and making goals you are starting to take baby steps to a frugal rewarding life. If you were just starting on a frugal lifestyle what tips or tricks have worked for you?