FIGHTING FRUGAL FATIGUE

03May10

Frugal fatigue keeps cropping up. It appears in newspapers, web sites, TV shows and more. The economy seems to be coming out of the recession and Americans are grousing about still having to tighten their budgetary belts. Pluuuzzze. Enough of the cry baby stuff. If someone is having a tough time being frugal, they are doing it wrong. Being frugal is not about deprivation. It is about being smart. Of course, frugal fatigue will set in if all one is doing is depriving oneself.

Being frugal is a lifestyle. It can also be fun, rewarding and ultimately a huge money saver. The money saved can be used for something else, even extravagant. A family can be frugal and save. The teenagers may complain, the kids may feel left out. To them frugal fatigue is just a plain old drag. But will they complain, when the family has saved enough money to send them on a post college graduation present of a world tour? Will they complain if the family sets them up in business after they have been saving for years? Frugal fatigue sets in when the reason, the goal, is lost. Saving money for saving money’s sake is tiring. A shared goal, one that is truly beneficial, eliminates the frugal fatigue.

There are a few simple rules for living the frugal life style. Adhering to them will lessen the fatigue factor.

The first is what was just explained. Know what the goal is. Know why saving and not spending is important. At the same time, don’t set unrealistic expectations. For example, don’t assert a goal of saving $10,000 a year. Instead, eliminate unnecessary debt, like credit cards. Getting rid of a credit card or home equity debt drops not only the debt, but the monthly appearance of interest charges. Imagine a life where there is no interest charge? Think how much money will be saved. The $10,000 a year will come when the smaller items are taken care of.

While you’re doing all that saving, reward yourself and the family. A goal is reached, splurge. Splurging can be fun and it reminds everyone why the challenge was started in the first place. Yet, don’t be so extravagant with the reward that it undermines the frugality. For example, the family has managed to save $1000 in a short period. Take a small amount of that cash and treat everyone to a family event – camping, eating out, night at the movies – whatever works. It brings the family closer and keeps the frugality from becoming tiresome.

So by simply keeping frugality in perspective, the concept of ‘frugal fatigue’ will diminish. It is simply a life style. One where money is respected. Debt is shunned. This is a tradition as old as the country. Our Pilgrim forebears or our pioneering ancestors, all practiced it. We just forgot about it as the Mad Men hyped us into believing that ‘shopping til you drop’ was a good thing. It isn’t.

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From opinions to savvy tips, the Frugal Yankee knows how to enjoy life and spend less. Find out more by going to FrugalYankee.com. While you’re there, sign up for the Frugal Yankee Newsletter –  tips, factoids, jokes and more.
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4 Responses to “FIGHTING FRUGAL FATIGUE”

  1. Couldn’t agree more 🙂 To me personally, a frugal lifestyle comes easy when I focus on what counts. The commercialism running rampant in today’s society is just sickening. My goal in life is to live a simple life and teach my children that happiness doesn’t come with a dollar sign attatched. With those beliefs you would be very surprised to see what happens postitively with your bank account 😉

  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am hopeful more and more people will find the traditional frugal lifestyle. I believe it is what made us a great nation. Consumerism is an empty way to live.

  3. I agree with you. I try to be frugal, and I have never had more stuff! My pantry and closets and fridge/freezer are overflowing with stuff all the time, and we are able to put away $400 or more a month, and we don’t have any debt. We are saving for a house. I sell things I get for free with my coupons and have made $600 this year so far. When I need a birthday, wedding, housewarming gift, I go to my stash and people OOH and AHH over my gifts thinking I spent a fortune when it probably cost me more for the $3 gift bag than the $40 or more worth of stuff inside it that I often just paid tax for! Gives me a good feeling. Just wish more people would shop like I do. Which is why my friend and I started a blog on being frugal that also has local free entertainment tips, frugal recipes, coupon matchups for local (and a few national) stores. We are just getting started with our blog, but having so much fun with it!


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