Frugality 101: Mindset

I haven’t written too many “how-to” types of posts on frugality. This is mainly because frugality comes natural to me and I do not put much conscious though into being frugal. People do seem to be interested in how I can live on so little so I’m starting a series on frugality to give everyone an idea of how I do it. You might find some of my ideas a little extreme if so you can adapt these ideas to fit your own needs and still be pretty frugal.

I think the most important thing to change when becoming more frugal is your mindset. You need to get out of the mindset that money is the only way to solve problems and that money is the key to happiness. With a little creative thinking you will find that it is often possible to solve problems without spending money or at least without spending too much money. You will also find that there are plenty of things that make you happy that cost no or very little money. I’ll have specific examples of the most common categories as this series goes on but I think it is best to establish the mindset first.

You also need to be conscious of your spending. Many people buy a meal out, the latest bestseller, or some electronic gadget and don’t give the purchase a second thought. I consciously aware of every purchase I make. I don’t agonize over whether I should a McDonald’s extra value meal or not but I am aware that I am unnecessarily spending money and make a mental note of it. Making occasional small, unnecessary purchases of this sort won’t keep you from being frugal but allowing them to become a habit will.

There are several tools you can use to help develop a frugal mindset. Tomorrow I will post about the best tool for helping you develop a frugal mindset and seeing where you have the most room to become more frugal.