If you are reading this, then chance are you are either trying to become more frugal or you are a frugal person already. Whether being frugal out of necessity (1 job household, trying to get out of debt, big goals on the horizon, etc.) or you just want to ensure a really good life in your later years, you probably already know that it is not easy. Like Dave Ramsey says “you’ve gotta live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later”. And he is right! Going against the grain is what it will take to ensure you have a good retirement, but it is not for the faint at heart. And those people who are frugal and you think they have it all, well, life is not all sunshine and rainbows for them either.
Definitely not sunshine OR rainbows most of the time. Who am I kidding, though? I slip up about every 3 months. Yeah, not the best track record. Just to clarify, my “slip ups” are generally $50 or less. I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to money matters.
Frugality is hard, let me tell you about some downsides that I experience on a fairly regular basis.
Your spouse is a bit of a free spirit.
Having a spouse that is a spender and you are a saver. This can be exceptionally difficult especially at the end of the month. At the end of the month, we do a monthly money review after all our totals are tallied up. We look at our goals for the month and see if we have met them. Our talk goes about like this: me “we went $20 over on going out to eat, next month we just need to not eat out so much” Mr. Hubster “we had to go out to eat that last time, we were not close to home and we were hangry (angry/hungry). We did a pretty good job I think”. I am pretty hard on us about our money spending because we have pretty big goals which we want to achieve. Mr. Hubster offers more grace on this matter. Of course, it can get pretty annoying too…from both sides.
The parties and celebrations.
Your coworkers are going out to eat to celebrate someone’s birthday or just because and you have to say “no”…again. This actually just gets annoying. The fact is that I want to say yes sometimes. Due to a tight budget and the fact that I would probably have to pay a sitter to come over I have to say no. It sucks. I want to have a social life, but a lot of people do not understand that a $20 outing is just too much. I need free, people, like a pb&j playdate kind of free.
New furniture sounds appealing not to mention more functional.
It would be really nice to have more space in my bed or a couch that actually fits in my living room. Neither of those things will happen anytime soon. Big expenses can be saved up for using the envelope system, but when things are so tight that you can’t even afford an extra $40 to the furniture envelope that makes it tough. So we will just carry on with our furniture until we get to the point where we can actually start saving for it.
The foodie within is crying out for more.
Ribs sound really good for dinner, too bad they are so expensive. Sure, I could plan maybe 6 really, super cheap meals and then get my ribs, but I tend to not LOVE really cheap meals. Mr. Hubster is a meat eater and I like a more balanced meal with veggies. That makes it hard to plan super cheap meals.
I guess I should replace my 3 year old running shoes.
Undergarments tend to wear out over time as do shoes, but who can afford that? We waited about 5 months to buy these necessaries because we knew that we were going to be getting a third paycheck one month. Unfortunately, we had to buy socks, unmentionables, AND running shoes for both Mr. Hubster and myself. It was not a cheap month for us. We had a whole extra check though so it worked out! We also typically do envelopes for clothing which helps with these big expenses.
Starting an at home or side business.
Okay, so this is one that I am recently feeling the sting on. I recently upped my hobby into a bit of a business (or trying to make it a business). The only problem is that I don’t have the money to put into it. I am using my fun money each month, but that is not enough. So, I have spent extra money some months on supplies or inventory for this business and that makes me feel rotten! I do not like spending over. I keep telling myself I will pay it back though….once I start making money. My free spirit hubs tells me it is an investment
But I still love it!
Don’t let me fool you, being frugal is tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get great satisfaction out of knowing where my money is going, how much we can save, actually saving on a single income, and knowing that we have a nice cushion just incase we need it. Financial security means having peace within me. That is my Why of frugality. I also want to have an early retirement and stop working for the man one day. Find your “Why” and run with it! Being frugal is tough, but not impossible.
Also, being frugal looks very different for someone making $30,000 a year compared to someone bringing in $120,000 a year. You can be frugal and still have a lot of money. Matter of fact, being frugal is how you will have a lot of money. Frugal does NOT mean poor. It simply means that you are very mindful of where your money goes.
How about you? What is the one thing that you miss now that you are frugal?