Frugal fatigue hits me at least once a month. I get tired of making food from scratch and think about how much easier it would be to just go to the store and purchase it. If I have to go to the mall, it really hits me as I love fashion (until I get sticker shock from the prices that is!)
What do you do when you don’t feel like being frugal anymore? -Michelle
1) Focus on the Best Return On Your Investment Of Time
Don’t try to implement every money-saving idea you run across. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure and burn out.
It’s really and truly okay if you don’t make everything from scratch, or don’t plant a huge garden and preserve 200 pounds of vegetables or don’t save 85% off all your grocery bills. You can’t do it all.
Concentrate your efforts on where you’ll get the biggest savings and skip the smaller money-saving ideas if they don’t work for your family or aren’t something you enjoy.
2) Allow Some Breathing Room in Your Budget
This goes hand-in-hand with point number one. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not pinching every single penny you possibly can. The purpose of frugality is not to be a miser; it’s to be a wise steward.
If you can, include at least $10 to $20 in your budget each week for something fun: a treat at the coffee shop or ice cream shop, dinner out, pizza and a movie or whatever else you or your family especially enjoys. If it’s budgeted, you can guiltlessly enjoy it and look forward to it.
Want to make this budgeted money go farther? Sign up for the Groupon emails in your area and purchase a few deeply discounted vouchers to local restaurants or attractions.
3) Reward Yourself For Achieving Goals
I’m all about setting financial goals and working hard towards accomplishing them, but don’t forget to celebrate milestones along the way. Plan a party or go on a special family date every time you pay off a credit card. Put $5 in a special “Family Vacation” fund jar every time you save another $50 dollars in your savings account. Or, maybe make a commitment as a family that if you all stick to the budget for an entire month, everyone gets $10 in “blow money” to spend on whatever they want (be sure to budget this in, of course!).
Knowing there’s a reward at the finish line can give you much greater motivation to keep pressing forward.
Related: After I had written this post last week, my friend, Heather, sent me a link to her post on How To Combat Frugal Fatigue. She had quite a few other additional ideas.
How do you combat frugal fatigue? Tell us your strategies in the comments.