Budgeting and frugal living is one of the hottest trending topics these days – and with some of the highest living costs in history underpinning the Western world right now, this isn’t surprising. With all the information available online however, comes the misinformation too. Then there are the thoughts and opinions of everyone around you; everyone, it seems, from your six-figure-salaried boss, to your unemployed friends, has an opinion about how to live frugally. Below are a few debunked myths on the subject, and you can always find out more by researching the information from qualified financial consultants like Positive Solutions Finance.
Overreaching – living frugally shouldn’t make things worse
Living frugally is smart and sensible; living so frugally you are miserable and depressed is a bridge too far. When you define your budgeting parameters, be sure and take contingencies into account; unexpected medical and car expenses occur all the time and you’ll need to be prepared, or all your careful planning will go out the window. Likewise, you can plan for modest rewards when you reach some of your financial milestones. Set a budget around these rewards (and stick to it). When you celebrate your wins, you are actually ensuring you maintain your financial momentum.
Your Social Life Is Over
This is one you might hear often from your friends and colleagues – but it isn’t true. There is no reason at all why you can’t have an active, fun, busy social life, while living within your means. Borrowing DVDs from the library and cooking international cuisine at home will cost far less than the movies, or even a downloaded film, and home delivery. You can also ensure your food is healthier this way. Invite your friends round; have them bring entrees and dessert, and you will all save money while having a great night.
It’s Too Hard
Without a plan, living frugally does look impossible. Once you sit down and face your expenses column, things start to seem easier. When you actually know where all your money is going every week or month, you’ll find your budget almost writes itself. The hard part isn’t making the plan anyway – it’s the self discipline required to stick to it. If your budget is realistic and doesn’t demand that you deny yourself every pleasure, it isn’t hard at all to live frugally.
There’s No Fat In My Budget
When you don’t know where your money goes, you may think everything you pay for is an essential. Once you have a detailed overview of your household expenses, you will find places to make savings. Whether it be giving up a takeaway coffee a day (which can save up to $1000 a year), or making gifts for friends and family instead of buying them, there is always a way to pull back on those outgoings.
It’s No One’s Business
Lastly, the myth that you should keep your money plans a secret – this is probably the least helpful misconception of all. Whenever you’re attempting to make significant changes in your life, you’ll need support. Your friends and family cannot help you if they do not know what you are trying to achieve. If you’re struggling financially but you don’t want them to know, you can just explain that you’re putting some new money habits into place and your life will be running a little differently from now on. You don’t need to get into detail, but talking about what you’re doing will help your self-discipline, and your momentum.
Living frugally doesn’t mean the end of any and all fun. In fact, it actually means new and exhilarating challenges as you take more control of your life more than ever before, and set yourself up well for a financially sound future. Have you heard any misinformation about living frugally? Let others’ know in the comments box below.
Image via TaxCredits.net, enhanced by me!