Begin a new life, get out of debt. You can do it! If you start living a frugal lifestyle you will set yourself free. Living a frugal lifestyle has become old-fashioned in the eyes of most people in this borrow and spend world. Those people are unhappy at the end of each month when the bills come due.
Trying to live a frugal lifestyles today finds you swimming against a tsunami of advertising and easy credit offers. You are being enticed to buy everything you see. The way advertising, big banks and credit card companies have been operating, frugal lifestyles seem wrong today. The US consumer has been expected to live beyond their means to create a false growing economy.
People are not encouraged to save because they get less than a half a percent interest on their savings accounts. Borrow and spend prosperity theories have been pushed by politicians and economists for years to show a growing economy. The party is now over. Millions of people now have a debt hangover that will not go away, the nation’s debt is becoming unsustainable, and consumer debt is following the same path.
Starting to live a frugal lifestyle today is going to be a very big change, if you are now a slave to the credit industry. You know what you’re total income is, without including a lottery win or a rich uncle leaving you a bundle. You have to sit down with a pencil and paper and plan a budget, have your significant other join you. Plan to live as frugally as possible until you get your credit debt paid off.
Lowering a person’s past standard of living is going to be a shock and awe experience at first. You have to look in the mirror and examine how much you have really been living above your means, each person has to do an honest self examination, if they are really being serious about living a frugal lifestyle. When you make the decision to change to frugal living it will be a step by step process. You learn to start purchasing things you need, not just the things you want. Here are some ideas, more will come to you as you work on your new lifestyle.
1.If you are buying a home, understand all the fine print in the contract do not let the real estate agents sell you a house that you cannot afford the payments on. If you’re renting, don’t move into a place if the rent payment is too high for your income. Try to find a place to live that is close your place of employment and schools. How much are your taxes and utilities? How much living space do you really need?
2.When you go to trade vehicles do not let the car salesman put you in a new vehicle with payments that you cannot afford. The big sports utility vehicle or Hummer makes you look impressive on the road but you are putting the gas in the tank and making the payments. A good used vehicle still under warranty can save you thousands of dollars.
3.Pay off your new credit card balances every month, gasoline credit cards are handy to use but stop and figure out what that gas is really costing you. The added interest on any unpaid balance makes you gasoline very expensive. Gas is expensive enough without the extra interest added on. Use cash to pay for your gas for a while. If you’ve been paying interest on your gas card, your savings will surprise you.
4.Try to carry health insurance to protect you from losing everything in the event of a sickness or accident. You may have to elect to have a high deductible but you will still have protection against losing your property.
5.Eating out gets very expensive, if you been eating out on the credit card often, check your credit card statements and see just how much your food costs have been. When you see how much you are spending eating out you will soon learn you have a large sum of money to start planning a very good grocery budget with. Make grocery lists at home before you shop. When you get to the market stick to the items on the list. Extra impulse items will add to your bill total very quickly. Yes, you have to cook the food but you can start to make very nutritious meals at home. Eating meals together at the table helps bind families together too. Don’t buy a lot of instant frozen microwave meals if you want to be frugal. Stop using credit cards at fast food joints, no hamburger is worth paying 18% interest on, not even super sized!
6.Entertainment, ask yourself if some wining and dining can be cut back on. Moviegoers might read more instead of going to the theater. Movie rental customers might consider TV programs once in a while if they have a big movie rental bill each month. If you live in a metropolitan area a very inexpensive TV antenna will receive plenty of TV programs, why pay a cable company bill?
If you are lucky enough to have a family trip planned make the destination closer to home to save money.
7. Lotteries and gaming, don’t consider either one unless you have your credit debt paid off and you have discretionary money in your pocket. Using credit cards or an ATM machine to get gaming money is financial suicide for your budget. Gaming and frugal lifestyles just don’t go together.
Living a frugal lifestyle seems impossible, in our modern, buy now society, but it can be done. Strive for a new life with as little debt as possible. It will bring you and your family a life with peace of mind and pride in your new way of life. You cannot put a price on that!