Or How I Learned to Love Not Spending
The case for being frugal these days usually starts with cutting lattes or frivolous spending from your daily lives, and while this is absolutely a good approach, we prefer a more holistic look at our spending.
When we look at our monthly expenses, it becomes a game of where we can cut further to get where our ultimate goal is, 50% of our income being saved.
The problem with the “Cut the Latte” advice is that it doesn’t take you far enough. While a latte a day may be $5 wasted, if you look at it monthly, it is only $150 to the entire bottom line. So what does it mean to be truly frugal?
You’re staring at your screen wondering how the hell $150 isn’t a lot, or enough.
It is no tiny amount for sure, but it’s only a small part of what will get us to freedom, Dear Reader.
We must drive ourselves to question our spending in ways we never have before.
Do you need a brand new smartphone, car, washing machine, refrigerator, or TV? These are the large ticket items that feel good for a week and then fade from our conscious mind. We should find ways to lessen these expenses, not look for reasons to purchase them more often.
Frugal for Fun
So if we eliminate the lattes and minimize large ticket purchases, what more do we need to do?
First, we look at where our dollars are going, this includes analyzing a monthly bank statement(or a few), to see where those dollars are going.
You’ll be surprised to see money going to odd places, like gas stations(snacks), lunches, dinners, drinks with friends, movies(popcorn!), books, and I bet if we looked at your last grocery bill(and mine), we’ll see a lot more than groceries.
I love scented candles too, but they aren’t a necessity, nor are they cheap!
That is where this post comes in, and why this frugality thing is so curious. We all need money to live and work so damn hard for it, only to literally throw it away.
We’ve talked a little about how it should be painful to spend, but it’s important to track this spending and see where it truly goes.
Being frugal can be fun, and make a game of not only cutting spending, but not spending at all. See how many days in a row you can go without one single dollar leaving your account or wallet!
I know you just chuckled, but it is fun!
Where to Start
We would recommend you start with those lattes.
Cut them out.
Fortunately for us and for you, that is only the beginning of this tale.
Remember to track your spending, go all Sherlock Holmes on it and see where those dollars go.
Another great way to visualize spending(and to make it hurt) is to remind yourself how many hours of work(labor) that it took to buy these things. That $1000 new TV? How many hours of your life did it take to buy that? Then how many hours of your life will you waste in front of it?
These are all fundamental questions that will need to be answered before you can become a frugal person.
We challenge you to take those next steps and question yourself.
It’s a path of discovery and once that light bulb goes on, it’s really hard to turn off. Of course it isn’t easy to stay the path and we all need inspiration, so stay with us on our Journey to Freedom From 40! <—- While corny, it’s true.
We want you to succeed and be a better person for it.
Is there anything that you know you could cut out, right now, and make a huge difference in your monthly budget? As always you are the reason we do this and you inspire us to share more about the sacrifices we make.