When I first started Family Friendly Frugality
The main complaint I hear about saving money nowadays is that it is too darn overwhelming to know where to begin. If you have $20,000 in credit card debt, is clipping a few coupons realistically going to make much of an impact to your bottom line? If you are drowning in student loans and house payments, is living within your means even possible?
The answer to all of the above is yes. While the small things you do might not add up to financial freedom, they do make a big difference. Some of them will chip away at your debt or create more wiggle room in a tight budget. Some of them will simply give you more confidence and a self esteem boost, proving to yourself that you can save money!
So I am starting a Make a Change Monday series where I will simply give you one task to work on for the week. You might already be doing it…so you get to skip that week! If not though, try it out and see if it makes a difference! I’ll keep them small manageable changes that don’t require a lot of effort or learning the drugstore game .
This week’s Make A Change Task:
Acknowledge your weaknesses and turn them into strengths
This is actually pretty good advice for any area of your life, but specifically for budgeting and managing your money!
Let’s say you have a big weakness for shoes. You know that purchasing a pair of shoes each week is a big part of your budgeting problem, so you cut them out…cold turkey.
Except, now you are obsessed with shoes. You are so upset over those shoes that you can’t buy, that you make concessions elsewhere. Maybe you spend a bit more on entertainment instead because well, you aren’t buying shoes this week!
Maybe you really enjoy eating out, but you look at your spending habits and you know you are eating out too often.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="180" caption="No more queso!"][/caption]
So you cut it out and start spending more at the grocery store to compensate for not going to your favorite restaurants. Eventually, not eating out isn’t really saving you much money because you’ve just started spending more at the grocery store!
Your shoe buying and dining out were things that you greatly enjoyed, and cutting them out cold turkey isn’t actually going to solve any problems long term. In fact, if they are things that you truly love to do, getting rid of them entirely might make things worse!
Acknowledge you have a problem spending too much money on shoes or dining out (or whatever else you might overspend on) and decide how much it means to you to do those things. If it really means something to you, see if you can’t cut back in other areas! No need to deprive yourself of what you love and enjoy if there are other areas where it won’t hurt as much to cut back!
Empower yourself by acknowledging where you need to dial back, but also find strength in allowing yourself the things that make you happy by making concessions and compromises elsewhere. Take those weaknesses in your budget and use them as a good indicator of what kind of things matter to you. Be willing to compromise and you’ll see that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing! There’s a lot of strength in learning restraint and prioritization.
Previous Make a Change Monday Tasks.