Not too long ago, I talked about my household struggles concerning my family that failed to understand the true state of our financial affairs, and the frustration that it has caused me as the resident bookkeeper.
Well, true to the form of life in all of its irony, the tides have since turned following an independent review conducted by my husband of our finances . Since then, voluntary spending has been kept to a minimum, including a reduction in eating out (my only true vice!), and less money being spent on entertainment.
I am glad and relieved for the change, particularly in light of my previous distress at the situation; but especially after a long holiday weekend at home, you become reminded of how difficult it is to abstain from spending for any extended length of time. But with the holidays upon us, and the reality of having to spend money on gifts and travel looming, we have been forced to pull back our spending. My thinking is that a lot of it is also to make up for previous loose spending that drained our resources, but whatever the case, the result is the same.
Sometimes spending less is tough. There is the practical reason that things are just too darn expensive these days. But that aside, at every turn, there are temptations to spend money. In our modern culture, we are trained to think that we are only having fun when we are spending money, and this mindset is very difficult to break, particularly during the holidays with all of its commercialism and materialism. Given how much that spending less goes against the grain these days, how do you fight the fatigue that frugality inevitably brings?
This article from BankRate has some useful ways to keep your saving motivation up that apply right now during the holidays and beyond:
The referenced article covers an array of helpful tips and tricks, but the overall theme, in my opinion, is about establishing balance to accomplish your goal, which, in this case, is spending less. Spending less does not mean not spending ever again, but rather it means making a dent in your spending that is significant enough to allow some breathing room in your budget. If you are looking to balance your household budget, don’t forget the balance part– it can make all the difference in allowing your efforts to have a long-term impact on your overall financial situation.
How do you make frugality rewarding or attainable? I would love if you would share some of your own personal saving strategies, whether during the holiday season or all year long.
“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” ~Elise Boulding