Frequently I get questions from people, asking how to save money. Often they want a rundown of all the different ways they can do things that impact their budget in a positive way.
The money-saving possibilities are endless, but you really have to pace yourself when changing your lifestyle. Unless you are suddenly unemployed and need to cut the budget 40% today, it’s best to step into the frugal lifestyle gradually. If you don’t, chances are the changes won’t last.
You pay a premium to save time. It takes less than 5 minutes to put a frozen lasagna in the oven for dinner, compared to the 30 minutes it takes to make a lasagna from scratch. But the frozen lasagna is more expensive.
Line drying laundry is much less expensive than running clothes through the dryer, but it takes twice as long. Food and personal items cost less, if you use coupons, but they take time to clip.
Most moves toward living more frugally are going to take time. And spending more time on frugal pursuits is often a difficult adjustment. It’s best to take it in baby steps.
Frugal living takes skill. It requires organization. And like any skill, frugal living gets easier with time.
When you first learn to sew, it takes forever to remember how to thread the sewing machine. Pinning a pattern is a chore, and sewing a seam often takes more than one try.
So it goes with frugal living. Baking your own bread can seem to take forever, until you’ve done it enough times that it’s second nature. When you’re new at clipping and organizing coupons, it’s overwhelming. But when you have a practiced system in place, it gets a lot easier and goes a lot faster.
If you try to change too many aspects of your life at once, you’ll overwhelm yourself with all the skills you need to learn. Don’t go too quickly!
You don’t have to be a frugal ninja overnight. If you’re interested in making a transition to living a more frugal lifestyle, take it slowly. Pick one thing that you are going to change this week.
Maybe you want to cut your grocery budget. A good start would be to plan your meals. Make a commitment to draw up a meal plan this week. Don’t worry about sales. Don’t worry about coupons. Just make the menu and follow it.
When you find that it’s second nature to make a menu every week, pull out the weekly sales flyers and base your menus on sales at the grocery store. When you master that, add couponing to your frugal efforts.
Step by step you’ll be making sustainable changes to your budget. And one day you’ll look back and realize you’ve become a frugal expert!
Photo by mattsches.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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