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The following is a post by MPFJ staff writer, SK. SK writes about the reasons we get into debt, changing the patterns that get us into debt, and examines small business ownership and real estate investing at her blog, American Debt Project.
Being American wasn’t always synonymous with being wasteful. The facts are fairly well cited by now:
- Americans consume nearly a quarter of the world’s energy even though we make up only 5% of the population.
- We’re known for throwing away more garbage per capita than any other country in the world.
We’ve become the ultimate conspicuous consumers with little to show for it. But, what I love about America is that we are one bootstrapping place, and we’re not afraid to make changes when we need to. I want to talk about how being just a little more frugal (or thrifty) will change your life and hopefully make the unflattering stereotype of the wasteful, reckless American a little less prevalent.
1. Being Frugal Means Being More Resourceful and Creative
When you first become frugal, you’ll start looking at every thing twice. Can I use these extra ripe bananas in a smoothie or some banana bread? If this cell phone bill is too high, can I find another option like getting a phone through work or finding a cheap prepaid option? What other entertainment can I take advantage of besides cable television? Do I really need day moisturizer and night moisturizer, or do they pretty much do the same thing? You’ll be able to cut out what you don’t need, make better use of what you have, and be excited about all the cool things you can do without a lot of money.
2. Being Frugal Gives You Discipline
Being frugal means making a choice. You may not be able to go to every single new release movie or eat at every fine restaurant within a 20-mile radius, and you have to cut out some or all of these activities to get to your goals. We don’t like to discipline ourselves: getting up early in the morning, working out everyday, staying on top of your tasks daily. None of those sound extra exciting, but we need to discipline to keep ourselves on track and make our lives and bodies what we want them to be. Seeing the changes that come about in your finances will make you excited to what else you can change, and suddenly, getting up a little earlier to work out doesn’t seem nearly as daunting.
3. Your Frugal Mindset has Less Stress and Gets More Done
Even though you might think you get more done working at the last minute before a deadline or when you are filled with stress, less stress makes you more productive. If you get serious about being frugal, saving money on your current expenses and approaching your new expenses with better insight and planning, then you won’t feel stressed with each new financial situation or expense. You’ll know you can handle your upcoming expenses and your relaxed mind can now focus on more important things: like a project or a business idea. It’s easier to focus and concentrate when you are not reacting to stress or feeling stressed constantly.
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4518528819/sizes/o/in/photostream/