Today’s mantra: When you reach a place of tenable, enjoyable, lifelong frugality, you won’t worry about an end date for your frugality. You’ll have arrived.
Today’s action: Reflect on what this month was like for you. What was difficult? What surprised you? Could you live like this for the long-term?
I like how Liz says that frugality isn’t deferred spending. I tried to keep that in mind as I went through this month. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t putting off buying things just to make this month’s numbers “look good”.
My husband has been needing a new cell phone, so we bought him a new phone this month. He isn’t as tech-obsessed as I am, so he picked out the “best deal” android he could find, and it was even on sale! I wasn’t going to put off buying him a phone he needed, just to “be frugal” for the month. That would be deferred spending.
On the other hand, I mentioned before about how our cat brought in a mouse that turned our couch into its house (that’s a fun rhyme, not as fun in real life). We promptly chucked the couch, but we didn’t run right out and buy another one. We still have a second couch and 2 chairs. We don’t have as much seating as we did, but it’ll suffice for now. I have my eye on a sectional in town, that’s a good price for its size, but I’m going to save up for it. There’s no rush.
I think my big takeaway from this year’s Uber Frugal Challenge is that the secret to being frugal, is thinking long-term. There’s that saying that goes, “don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.” That’s the key to being frugal.
First, you have to decide what that long-term goal is and then keep your eye on the prize. Come up with whatever tricks you need to in order to help you stay focused on it. I think that’s what most of this month’s challenges were meant to do. Help you find your “why”, then realign your wants & needs, and then keep reminding yourself of that “why”. It’s easier to say “no” in the short term if you know it’s helping you say “yes” to something bigger and better in the future.
I think this is the part I struggle with the most. Learning to say “no” in the moment. I know my “why”, it’s the big focus of my life right now, but it’s still hard to say “no” to those little things. My husband likes to be fun and spontaneous, and I don’t want to be a stick in the mud. We’re still learning to find the right balance.
What was your biggest take away from the Uber Frugal Month Challenge? What do you feel like went well? And what could use some work?
I’m so glad you joined me in this challenge! It’s a fun way to start the year and reassess your spending habits. You’ll still be hearing from me, though I’ll stop clogging your inbox every day, it’ll calm down to about once a week from here on out.