When it comes to saving money, there are many ways to economize. Taking your lunch to work is a great way to avoid overspending. Then, there’s finding better alternatives. A generic store brand is worth a try and maybe just as good as a name-brand item. Ultimately, there’s doing without. However, the habit of doing without may offer diminishing or detrimental returns.
Frugal; nothing good can come of acting out a word that sounds way goofy. I’m reminded of 18th-century farm living where vocabulary was as limited as the society’s vocational opportunities. No one’s saying that you can’t adjust some habits downward, but developing an austerity habit may not help your future as much as you think it will. Frugalizing to the nth degree can be harmful to your well-being.
It’s best to not be in a situation where you have to take a drastic giant step back. By avoiding lifestyle inflation, you won’t have to lifestyle-deflate. I’m all for being thrifty, but when your health, appearance, or regard for others starts to decline, it’s time to reevaluate.
I have a few deal-breakers when it comes to being frugal. Rule #1 – I will not postpone medical care, and neither should you. Medical insurance, doctors, and prescriptions can be expensive, but you can find alternatives for medical needs the same as any other cost. You can try taking care of yourself to avoid problems altogether. You’d be shocked at how a good diet eliminates many issues. You can look for an alternative treatment that has fewer side effects and longer-term results.
Deal-breaker #2 is – I will not wear socks or underwear with holes. Same for stained or damaged pieces. When wearing things with holes is OK, cost-cutting has hit fanatical. Come on, people, keep some standards. You can be cost-conscious without looking like a pauper.
Lastly, I tried postponing purchases of certain items only to suffer the consequences of doing without until the next payday, credit card cycle, or trip to a particular store. I ran out of so many items that it upset my household routine.
Developing Harmful Money Scripts
The real danger is in developing a lack-based mentality. By constantly short-changing yourself or others, you run the risk of engraving a scarcity attitude on your psyche. When vowing a life of poverty, like a monk, and it becomes routine, the brain waves become permanent. You don’t want to trigger a self-fulfilling prophecy. The goal is to reach an abundance frame of mind, not affect a deprivation lifestyle.
If you’ve read any of my previous material, you know that money scripts intrigue me. I fear that when habituating a low-spending pattern that evokes too much negativity, you could accidentally establish a new money script. In The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge, Scrooge embraces his life of sparsity. He allows himself little pleasure, little heat and lacks insight into his miserly attitude at life. It’s a self-punishment of lingering feelings of worthlessness, and, worse, he imposes it on his workers.
The target should be a healthy level of financial management. This entails managing earning, spending, and accumulating wealth to support a comfortable life and retirement.
Do The Right Thing, Use Moderation Elsewhere
Yes, by sacrificing now, money not spent today pays for tomorrow’s comfort. That doesn’t mean that cutting the budget to the bone will make us that more wealthy in the future. Yes, every little bit helps, but not at the cost of threatening relationships, health, or mental stability.
If you’re covering the basics and maxing out your crypto or retirement accounts, don’t crimp every other area of your life as well. Your enthusiasm for money management will soon turn you into a major grump. Being broke all the time by choice is not fun.
I’d rather stay with my HIIT classes even though I could be saving that money each month. Because I value how I feel and the exercise class keeps me honest about my fitness level, it’s added to my physical health. How I take care of myself today determines how I will feel tomorrow, so I am invested in managing my health today.
Having a Suitable BackUp
The balance is in having a suitable back up for every area of cutbacks. For example, bringing your favourite lunch and looking forward to eating it is a healthy way to avoid spending big bucks buying lunch every day. But if you skimp on your favourite food altogether and bring something bland, you will find a reason to be at the deli getting a $10 sub, chips, and a soda. The boring lunch will become so unpalatable that you’ll be back at the deli every day. Mission Failed. You’re better off spending slightly less while simultaneously preserving your happiness.
Life requires creativity. Finding artful ways to garner abundance while reaching financial goals produces a heightened sense of accomplishment. Financial hacks should be associated with positivity, not negativity.
Thank you for reading and hope you have a good rest of the day!