Fellow frugalistas, it’s time to quit doing these four things! Whether you’re new to the world of frugality or a seasoned pro, there are some common habits which you should quit.
It’s not that these money-saving habits are bad or morally questionable. Most are not. It’s the fact that frugality spans a wide variety of groups, incomes, and geographical locations. Therefore, not every strategy will work for all people, all the time.
Therefore, when it comes to the world of saving money, there are four habits, which may be best left at the curb.
See and hear us discuss these frugal habits in detail on our YouTube video.
1. Quit Chasing every New Idea
There are trends in frugality – just like every other area of life, but, “shiny object syndrome” can be detrimental to you reaching your goals. You think you have saving money all figured out and then, “Bam!” that new book comes out, your favorite speaker (us included) suggests something that you aren’t doing, and then you feel obligated to drop your current game plan and completely pivot.
Nope! If EVERY new idea seems appealing, you will wind up chasing your tail, rather than making progress on managing your money.
Here’s a surefire way to beat the temptation of chasing new ideas.
Create a list of written goals. Then, be specific about when, where, and how you are planning to reach those goals. You’ll be far more likely keep your eyes on the prize and not get sidetracked.
2. Quit Overcomplicating Budgeting
We tend to make things just too darn complicated – budgeting included.
At its heart, a budget is a plan which allows you to know where your money is going. It avoids that horrible feeling of getting to the end of the week and realizing that you are out of cash and must wait until the next paycheck to buy anything – in the worst case scenario, you can’t buy groceries or even fill your gas tank until payday.
Nearly 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In fact, 4 in 10 Americans making $100,000 or more a year say they are having trouble making your monthly obligations.
Here’s how to beat the temptation to complicate your budget.
Begin by determining your bare basics budget. This includes just three areas: food, housing, and transportation. Once you know that the basics are covered, then (and only then) move on to add other areas and categories to your budget. Having the three core areas on paper (and knowing that your basic needs are covered) will help you feel calmer and more peaceful. You’ll feel more ready to tackle your goals.
3. Quit Comparing Yourself to Others
We put expectations on ourselves that we would NEVER put on others. It often seems that the road to frugality is paved with, well, “perfect intentions”.
We feel like there is a “right” and a “wrong” way to do frugality. If we indulge in something that others may not feel is frugal, we beat ourselves up for “straying from the path”.
- We tell our friends that we line-dry our clothing. If we throw a load of laundry in the dryer, we feel guilty.
- We have had a really hard day, so we stop by the drive through. We feel guilty for spending the money.
- We buy a store-bought pizza and feel guilty that we didn’t make it from scratch.
Here’s the truth.
If have an “all day baking marathon” once a week doesn’t fit into your schedule any longer, then a loaf of bread and be okay with that. Your family won’t refuse to eat the sandwich which is made on store bought bread.
You have to know what YOUR goals are and align your actions to fit in line with those goals. Life is about balance. Maybew you should put that store-bought bread and the occasional meal out in perspective.
In other words, you need to consider your time, your season in life, and your own goals before taking on yet another daily, weekly, or monthly task – just because someone else is doing it.
4. Quit Believing the Experts Always “Know Best”
We taught our boys to do what we called, “eat the meat and spit out the bones”. The meant that they evaluated every article, movie, book, or social media post through the lens of not only what they could learn from this source, but also and what they disagreed with.
Not everything you read or hear applies equally to all. Learn to listen to others, use what applies to you, and (graciously) leave the rest at the curb.
“Experts” don’t know everything, me included. My family has tried a lot of ways to save money over the past 30 years. Some of which we still do – and some of which we don’t. We expect your life is very much the same.
Additionally, if the people you are listening to are constantly making you feel “less than”, maybe it’s time to put a “pause” on their input. It may be time to take a break.
What habits do you think frugal people need to quit?