The fundamentals of frugality
You must learn to seperate wants from needs.
This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.
cigarettes, alcohol, bottled water, manicures, car washes (full
detailing), weekday lunches, vending machine snacks, interest charges
on credit cards, and unused memberships. Do you know what these items
have in common? They are the top 10 money sinkholes, according to Bankrate.com.
You could try to commit that list to memory and see if you can cut out any of those items to find a little extra cash. For instance, cut out a pack-a-day smoking habit and gain, on average, $1,660 a year.
what you should be doing is looking at that list and seeing what else
those items have in common: They are all wants, not needs, and they can
all be reduced without significantly impacting your standard of living.
The fundamental idea behind frugality is to reduce how much you
spend while still maintaining a sensible standard of living. (Some
folks do take this to the extreme.)
There are two parts to achieving this. The first part is trying to find
cheaper ways of getting the things that you want, such as making your
own cleaning solutions (which, coincidentally, may be much better for
the environment than the industrial chemical stuff). The second part is
cutting out the things that are not absolutely necessary in your life.
bottled water, manicures, car washes, weekday lunches, vending machine
snacks, interest charge on credit cards and unused memberships fall
into Category One -- things for which you can find cheaper
alternatives. Cigarettes and alcohol fall into Category Two --
unnecessary things you can cut out. You could argue about which
category each item should fall into, but you can't honestly say that
the items fall outside of them.
Now that you know the top 10 sinkholes, the trick is to find other things, not on the list, that you can trim from your life.
hardest part about doing that -- trimming the fat, so to speak -- is to
muster up the motivation required to keep cutting that coffee from
Starbucks or that beer with lunch every day. A great way to do this is
to put the money you save toward something and constantly remind
yourself of that.
What do you get for cutting out that pack of
cigarettes? You don't get an extra $5 in your pocket for something
else. You get an extra $1,660 for your weeklong cruise for two to the
Caribbean. Would you rather smoke a pack of cigarettes or go on a
Other articles of interest at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity:
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'