No matter how committed to frugality you are, there will be moments when you feel your determination begin to waver.
I feel that way so often, but then I have to remember the bigger picture. The temptation to keep up with the Joneses will come. I know the feeling.
It might be because you have had a tough day, or perhaps you’ve had a great day and you want to celebrate… but suddenly, your usual penny-pinching ways just aren’t cutting it. You’ve got cash in your purse and you want to spend it, and you don’t want to research the best prices, or use cashback sites, or look for discounts— you just want to indulge in a little retail therapy.
Moments such as these are inevitable; life is too unpredictable to be able to completely control the urge to splurge regularly. However, frugality is a commitment, and fighting back against the sudden desire to spend is a skill that you’re going to have to learn in order to live the frugal life properly.
So, when you need to talk yourself down from the desire to spend, here’s a few things you may want to repeat to yourself…
“Save now; benefit later.”
When you want to spend in the moment, you’re thinking about immediate gratification— you’re completely separate from any concerns about the future. It therefore makes sense to try and ground yourself in the long-term benefits of being frugal; think about how you’ll be able to go on holidays in future, expand on your bucket list, and how you can save for a luxury retirement with the likes of Porthaven care homes, or even how quickly you’ll be able to pay off your mortgage.
Reminding yourself that frugality is a commitment with a long-term goal in mind might just be enough to help quell your desire to spend. Always remember, the rainy day is coming.
“Something this good should bring only benefits to my life.”
If you’ve had some good news or have done well at something in your life, then the temptation to spend money to celebrate can be overwhelming. However, before you crack open your purse, consider for a moment the simple fact of having something to celebrate should be a reward in and of itself.
Something in your life has gone well, but if you decide to spend without caution to celebrate it, then that good thing will suddenly have had a negative consequence. Why not preserve the ticks in the plus column by celebrating for free and spending a night enjoying a little self-care, rather than just spending for the sake of spending?
“Spending won’t cure what’s bothering me.”
On the flip side, if you want to spend to cheer yourself up, it’s worth remembering that very, very rarely is this technique ever going to actually work. Instead, you’ll usually end up feeling worse in the long run, especially if you spend more money than you actually have to spare. Again, self-care is usually the answer to a low mood, though exercise and spending time with cherished friends can also help.
Failing that, get pen to paper and make a list of all of your long-term goals, dreams and plans that you are saving up for. Put it somewhere prominent as a constant reminder never to give up on those dreams for a temporary fix.
If you’re going to commit to the frugal lifestyle, then commit— even when life throws you a circumstance that makes you want to spend more than normal. Hopefully, remembering the above should help keep your credit card in your purse, and your purse in your bag, even when the most intense desire to spend hits. Good luck!
How do you cope when the urge to spoil your frugal character rears its head? If you have any other tips for us, share them in the comments below.