3 Frugal Living Tips That Have Nothing To Do With Money
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When stepping on to the pathway of frugality, there are a lot of tips tossed around that deal specifically with saving money and being more thrifty. But I think there are a few big things we often forget about regarding the topic of frugal living. So here are three tips that can help you live a more successful, productive life of frugality…and they have nothing to do with money.
(Don’t want to read all the words? This blog post is also a podcast—just press the triangle play button on the little black bar at the top of this post!)
Frugal Living Tip #1: Stop turning frugal living into a contest with others.
The only person you should be competing with in the mighty Battle Of Who Saves More is the person you used to be.
Are you spending less than you did last month? Score.
Here’s the thing: you can’t compare how much money you’re spending with another family. There will always be circumstances or issues that make your situations different. So stop worrying that your neighbor only spent $150 on groceries last month when you just spent that last week.
Worry about you.
Frugal Living Tip #2: Understand that your attitude about frugal living matters.
Instead of being nit-picky, be supportive of others who aren’t as far on the journey of frugality as you.
There are ways to make suggestions about saving money that are helpful, and there are other ways to make those same suggestions and sound like a jerk. It is important that we know the difference.
Years ago, I sat in a group of women and the conversation got around to saving money. Everyone was talking about all the things they’d been doing to be more thrifty; some of the women quite haughty in their exposition—turning it into a contest, one gal trying to outdo the next. After a bit, a mom in the group mentioned that she’d taken her daughter out for her birthday for ice cream.
You guys, you would have thought the mom said she’d went on a shoe shopping spree or gambled her entire paycheck away at the casino.
A good chunk of the women sitting around “politely” blasted the mom for the birthday outing saying she could have done something cheaper and did they really even need to go out? As the “polite” comments kept coming, you could see the mom shrink in her chair and totally clam up.
Finally one gal—who up until that point had remained quiet—said, “You know, ladies? We all take our own path to frugality. Every step matters. We all get there in our own time.”We all take our own path to frugality. Every step matters. We get there in our own time. Click To Tweet
When you’re seeking a more simple, frugal life, it is a journey. It takes time. You don’t wake up one morning and have all the answers. You can always learn more. And Lord knows, things always come up that put a detour right in the middle of your path.
How much more difficult is it to do something like trimming all the fat from your budget when everyone you talk to says you’re doing it wrong?
Like I mentioned earlier, when trying to live a more frugal life, you shouldn’t be comparing what you’re doing with someone else—but it sure helps to have an open-minded support system while you’re doing it.
Frugal Living Tip #3: Learn to take advice.
Consider this: Someone posts an article online titled How I Fed My Family on $45 a Week. How long does it take before someone reads it and immediately starts punching holes in the author’s advice?
Usually, not very long at all.
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Instead of reading the article and looking for pieces of advice they can put to use in their own life, some readers go into a that would never work for me because mode:
- I have more kids.
- The cost of living is higher where I am.
- I can’t eat the foods she’s suggesting.
- I don’t have the time to do what she’s suggesting.
- It’s Tuesday, and the sky is cloudy.
Listen. And believe me when I tell you that I mean this with all the love a farm girl can stick into one sentence: not every article about frugal living or saving money or tips to cut back is for your life or about your life.Listen: not every article about frugal living or saving money is for your life or about your life. Click To Tweet
Frugality is personal. When saving money or trying to cut back, we all need to make our own decisions about where to start—and that decision is usually based on lots of other things that people outside our four walls don’t see. So take the methods that are suggested, apply what works, scrap the rest, and move on with your journey of frugal living.
These frugal living tips have nothing to do with money. Really, nothing! But they are still important in living a successful frugal life.
Looking for more frugal living tips that don’t have anything to do with money? Check out my new book It’s Not About Money…except when it is.
While working towards thriftiness, have you learned any important tips that have nothing to do with money? Share them with us in the comments.
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5 thoughts on “3 Frugal Living Tips That Have Nothing To Do With Money”
Great article! It’s refreshing to read a frugal living post that reinforces that it’s not a competition but trying to improve yourself. As you mentioned saving money is all about the attitude. Trying to save where you can while still being able to enjoy life!
Truly fantastic article! These things (especially #1) needed to be said. It can be easy to lose sight of the bigger goals sometimes. Shared this one all over the place! <3 You rock Amy!
Being frugal benefits the family in many satisfying ways! Taking ones child out for a special treat? Emotionally indulgent or emotionally frugal? A blessed memory mother and child will never forget!!
Such a great post. There is no one perfect way to be frugal, we all need to be accepting of others ways of frugality and be okay with that. Sure I can get “jealous” of people can feed their families for very little, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to hate them or tell them they are doing wrong. I applaud their effort to save money and be able to still eat healthy or not so healthy. That’s kind of crazy about the ice cream story. I see nothing wrong with getting something special like that every now and them, regardless of how frugal someone is. It’s a birthday and the kid deserves a special treat. We are still trying to get the hang of living a more frugal life, it certainly has a learning curve to it but I’m happy with our progress so far.
“Worry about you” best advice ever! Not all advice is one size fits all and we all live on different land and different phases of life !