The importance of money is undeniable. However, it can also be a little tricky. On one hand, you got to place proper value on it so that you know how important it is and how much it can do for you and your loved ones. On the other hand, putting too much value on it can also have some pretty dire consequences as you lose focus and perspective on what’s really important in life.
Money needs to be handled and managed properly, to make it work for you. It shouldn’t be the other way around. One of the best ways to do this is to embrace the frugal life. It is the kind of lifestyle that promotes proper financial management, smart spending, and blends it with creativity that can take advantage of every opportunity given.
Once you decide to live the frugal life, you are bound to enjoy an experience unlike any other. First of all, there is a kind of freedom that you never thought is possible, especially in the circumstances that you’ve just put yourself into. There is the freedom from being overly attached to material possessions and every situation and circumstance you’ll find yourself in because of it.
Living the frugal life, though, is only the beginning. It is a process that needs some getting used to, and that does not come instantaneously. So inevitably, some mistakes are going to be committed by those who have only started to live frugally. For those who are just starting out, it is a must that they learn what those are so that they’d know how to handle it.
following are some of the usual mistakes when people try to live the frugal life:
People Usually Equate Living Frugally With Self Deprivation
To live the frugal life and to deprive oneself is not the same and should never be mistaken this way. Even though associating one with the other might seem like something that’s just natural, the notion still needs to be corrected. And it can even be a case of oversimplification, where one believes that by simply depriving himself of the things that make him happy he would already live a frugal life. That’s just not it, however.
To live a frugal life is not about depriving yourself of the things that you enjoy or really want such as buying the clothes that you want or eating in your favorite places. Frugal living calls for you to learn some new skills and gain new knowledge. For example, you could learn how to cook if you don’t know how so that you could do it at home for yourself and your family. You could find other, more affordable options to the other things that you usually enjoy, and find that those alternatives are just as enjoyable without needing to spend so much more.
Spending Too Much Money on Things That You Won’t Need
It is also a mistake to spend too much money on things that you aren’t going to use, anyway. Some people make the mistake of thinking that since they are going to have a major change in lifestyle, to that of a frugal one, then they need to stock up on things or items that they thought would be useful in their new life.
The item might be an appliance for the kitchen or it could be some books and magazines related to the frugal lifestyle that they are going to have or whatever, but it’s not really necessary. And the difference lies in making that distinction between what is essential and what would be useless in the long run.
Perhaps the key to really avoid making this particular mistake is to learn for sure which things that you consider to be necessary and which of those are considered to be unnecessary. It is just a matter of making the decision, on your part, and then making sure that you really stick to it.
Thinking That Every Bargain Item is Actually Useful
Many are attracted by the word bargain, especially when they are out and shopping for their homes or for themselves. It just seems so hard for them to pass up anything that is known like that, or a store that offers plenty of bargain items. And while it is true that the people who are living frugally would check out the stuff that’s offered in garage sales and other similar stores, it doesn’t mean that they would just make purchases out of impulse.
It would not suit the purpose of living a frugal life if a person simply buys things just because they are considered bargain or cheap. If it is not necessary and important, then it should not be bought at all. If your boots are still good enough to be used for work, then there is no need to get yourself a new pair.
Some make this mistake quite easily, since they get all excited when they see items that are being sold for cheap and think that it would be wise to buy. And yet it is only going to be a waste of your time and especially your money. Just don’t let your emotions simply buy just because you saw that items are priced at a bargain.
Not Spending Your Money on the Right Things
This is the reverse of the second mistake featured here that cautioned people against spending so much on unnecessary things. This particular mistake is all about not spending money on things that are actually necessary. You can’t be too frugal that you are no longer purchasing even the most necessary items that you should actually have.
To live the frugal life does not mean stopping yourself from buying things, but it is where you use your money smartly and in a more deliberate manner. If you do so, then you can assure yourself that you are only buying things that are useful and even essential.
Having sound financial management and smart spending means getting the very best value for your cash. An important follow-up to that is that you should realize that cheap buys are not always the best. So you really need to think things through before you actually make any kind of purchase.
If there is a specific item that you need and nothing cheap or going for a bargain is available, then you should just get what’s considered by many to be the best. If you happen to buy a product that might seem a little expensive but whose quality is very top notch, then that means that you have spent your money wisely and that in no way contradicts the frugal life that you’re living.
You also shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that you already know enough about living frugally. There are aspects to it that you need to understand better and have deeper knowledge of before you could start reaping any benefits from it. Once you are already familiar with some of the advantages given to you by frugal living, then you could start reaping the many benefits that it provides. And it all comes from knowing which mistakes to avoid.