Not all people who follow a frugal path are doing it for the same reasons. Some simply have to do it and find themselves making choices based solely on the sticker price. Others want to do it because they want to preserve value for other things or they have other values that align well with frugal choices.
Because in my naivete, I thought, Hey, saving $50 on this party would help out her family and make us all better friends.
The math works out, but what I said couldn’t have been more wrong.
Right now, millennials are in our prime years for earning, saving and investing. For most of us, the next ten years or so of financial management are going to set the tone for the rest of our lives, and that’s a pretty big deal.
It takes an incredible amount of care to make decisions that affect you — decisions only you can make. Whether big or small, when you’re reaching for big financial goals, every decision matters.
It takes conscious effort to look seriously at things beyond the immediate future. You have to train yourself to start considering the long-term consequences of your daily choices and use them as a pro-and-con with those immediate choices.
It’s about money but it’s also about time. How quickly can you see a return from either cutting back or increasing your income?
Not too many people are talking about this or thinking about this—we just kind of bank on the fact that we’ll be healthy after we stop working at our job. And what happens if you’re not?
Those were the kind of decisions that I then started to make as I realized that this debt is gonna be gone: what now, where do I go with my life after debt, what does that look like for me? And for me, it was really figuring out what success looks like for me, what things that I value, and why am I doing all of this? Now that the debt is paid off, what now?
But, while frugal living is often a difficult way to achieve goals, there are plenty of painless money-saving tips for everyday life to get started. Once you’ve started with these smaller actions, you might start to feel a shift in the way that you think.
A lay off, contract gap or sabbatical all have you paying expenses with no income coming in. I’ve been faced with all of these situations and the main difference, assuming you have emergency funds set aside, is more psychological and what you do next.
Practicing self-reflection and self-awareness are key ways we grow as people, how we acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, how we change our habits, and it’s essential for anyone who is trying to live intentionally.
You might see someone saving twice as much as you and feel like that will never happen for you. But remember that that person had to start somewhere, too.
If you’ve ever spent time in the personal finance world, there’s a good chance you’ve started to think we are straightening out our money situation and saying goodbye to consumerism. These stats might make you realize we still have a ways to go.
Just like money is a tool to demonstrate your values, the currency of spending your time is a tool to demonstrate your values.
You will have to be more creative, earn more, or simply wait a few extra years to hit your magic numbers. Each person or family is on their own path!