Monday, 12 January 2015

All it takes is practice

Hiya peeps. I was reading somewhere that it is hard being frugal, I read a lot and can't remember where I saw it and who said it. It made me think, what is hardship? Is it having no money to spare, or not sure what to buy with the little you have, or is it a hardship because other people seem to be spending and you can't?

I have been frugal for a long time, even before I had even heard of the word frugal. It was not in my vocabulary, but being careful with my spending was, so I have never viewed it as a hardship. For me, having less money makes life easier, because you have fewer choices on what to spend it on.

People who are trying to cut down on their spending are going to find the transition to frugaldom quite daunting, because they are not used to it. Walking past a shop when they normally pop in for a paper or a chocolate bar takes an enormous amount of will power, such is the  embedded habit of buying anything you want.

It's all about changing a habit, and spending is like any other habit, a hard one to break, but not impossible. You have to start somewhere. Frugal living is a learned behaviour, just as over spending, over eating, and over indulging in most things is. Making any changes is hard, you have got to want to do it. You cannot wake up one day and say that's it, I am frugal from this moment on. You could if you are very strong willed, which would be the exception rather than the rule, but like a lot of diets that start on January the 1st, most will fall by the wayside before the 31st. Yes, being frugal is hard, if you haven't been that way inclined before.

But as time goes on, and you make a little progress each day, week, or month, like anything, the more you practice, the easier it gets and the better at it you become. The journey is long it won't happen overnight. Eventually it will be second nature, you will automatically check your bank account before you make a big purchase, rather than say, sod it I'll put it on the card.

Not many of my friends understand me, but they are my friends because they accept me as I am. My lifestyle is different to theirs. They can go to the shops and buy whatever they like. They can surround themselves with nice things, have nice cars, go on holiday. Fine, they have no need to be frugal. But ask them to step into my shoes, or ask me to step into their shoes, and we both would be floundering. They would find it very difficult to cut back on their spending, just as I would struggle to splash the cash.

Frugality is not hard at all for me, because I am used to it, and you can get used to anything if you practice it often enough. People used to ask me, is it hard driving a lorry, quick answer, no it's easy. I would find it hard to learn German, or learn to play the piano, but if I really wanted to do it and practiced it enough, I could probably do it.

If you either want to or need to live a frugal lifestyle, start practicing today. I love it.
Toodle pip

18 comments:

  1. Hi Ilona, as always a great post....being frugal and living a frugal lifestyle..... like you, I love it. (Maybe there is a "frugal gene" - that I luckily inherited from both my parents)
    I hate waste and rampant consumerism....so I do what I do.....
    We all make choices throughout our life.... I am more than happy and content with mine...flash this and that are not for me.
    Thanks again... I believe you are an inspiration. Cheers Jo, in Oz.

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  2. I have been frugal so long I actually have difficulty spending money - except on travel. That really is my only vice. Cheers!

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    1. Travel is a good vice to have, it feeds the mind.

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  3. "eventually it will be second nature" is very true.It's a lifestyle, I think.Very thoughtful and encouraging post, Ilona.We live in a society that is very superficial and materialistic and encourages people to live beyond their means and consider it "normal" to be in debt and accept it readily with little hesitation.Very twisted, in my opinion.Have a good one,Destemona

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  4. I love your way of thinking Ilona, although sometimes I think you're a bit too frugal. But you're happy and that's what matters. I've always been on the frugal side myself, having had an ex that was completely the opposite which made me overcompensate for our complete lack of money. But it was a terrific learning process for me (I wish I could have read your blog in those days!) and has really helped me to budget and plan carefully. Happy to say my new hubby will have the odd blow out on camera equipement for his hobby but other than that he's as frugal as I am and I no longer have to worry about the money side of things. Yes, practise makes perfect...must practise being frugal with my diet now, I need to lose a few pounds (weight that is, not money!)

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  5. Just had to comment. I am nearly 50 and have no choice other than to be frugal. I have no debts and do not mind counting every penny, but the reality is being frugal is my only option. Love your blog. Ginny
    PS some friends understand some sadly do not.

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    1. The reality is that you have common sense and are using it.

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  6. Yes, it's a totally different mind-set.

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  7. i like this anonymous lark its a lot quicker than logging into my account etc, often id like to comment but don't :) have read your blog for a while now, love your frugal ways of doing things, occasionally you make me smile though and raise my eyebrows like the cheese grater, its a wonder you didn't cut your hands to ribbons. we both went to shops the other day, my partner said this and that and put things in trolley, I just wandered round couldn't find the cushions we were looking for so I just wasn't interested in shopping or buying stuff. none of it id put in when we got to the checkout. I used to listen to people at work oh we are so skint we cant afford a holiday this year (yes but you did go on that weekend to new York at easter - but that was with my parents, I meant I cant afford to go with my other half) yes but you do have £60 phone contracts the four of you including kids, yes but we need them. you get my drift I got very frustrated listening to them

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  8. I do agree it takes time but it can become second nature as also ststed. I choose to be frugal and while I don't deny myself treats,I now no longer spend randomly as I used to. Sometimes I struggle to spend money and my husband finds it difficult to understand that I no longer want to buy clothes for the sake of it or perfumes I don't need. Barbara x

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  9. I hate to waste my money, I try very hard to never pay the asking price for anything. Being that way means that I can have everything that I need and some of what I want. My last big purchase was a sewing machine, I shopped around and waited until I got the model that I wanted and a cabinet to store it in free. While in the process of paying I asked if there was any thing else going free and got 2 big cones of thread and a bundle of the offcuts of fabric used to demonstrate the machines.

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  10. Interesting. I am a little different to you but also similar. Because of my upbringing, frugality comes easy to me, I don't really need that much to make me happy and I never feel jealous of what someone else has. However when I have plenty of money I don't hoard it, I believe in spend a bit save a bit. I am not a big saver as I think there is a balance to enjoying life. So if I am having a flush few months I can easily spend it on something luxurious. At the same time, when funds are low or I have other priorities I can live on next to nothing - its no hardship. I have known people become very depressed because they have had to down scale their stuff/subscriptions/food consumption/holidays/second car/new clothes. I can take it or leave it. But I never feel bad about having a splurge every now and then if I can afford it. Debbie.

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  11. My wonderful, frugal Yorkshire grandparents have had the more lasting role model for me than my very consumer-minded father - I am so grateful that they taught me that consuming doesn't equal happiness, contentment and laughter.

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  12. Fantastic Ilona. I totally agree with this post. Weare both retired and have made huge cutbacks in what we used to spend but we both do lots of voluntary work and are happy with our lot. No fancy holidays etc but peace of mind, each other and as healthy a lifestyle as we can. Catriona

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  13. Hello! been reading for a while now, you are an inspirational lady! My late mum was very frugal, she would write down everything she spent, she didn't deny herself anything but was just very careful about knowing what she had and making choices how she spent it. I am hoping that I can pick up some tips from you - soon my family and I are going to have much less income than we do now but we will be richer in other ways, like getting to spend more time together. Your post today makes so much sense, being frugal needs to be worked at! Catherine x p.s I will also be anonymous until I have more time to set up an account;)

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  14. I recently became consciously frugal in an attempt to save for a deposit on my first house, and even though I'm hardly spending any money, I don't think I've ever been happier. It's perfectly possible to have lots of fun while being frugal anyway, and the best things in life are definitely free

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  15. Hi my husbands account. In Scotland we called it being canny. We have been canny spenders all our life and now we are retired we can do what we want. At the moment we are renting a small apartment in Tenerife for three months as the sun is shining we can go walking etc. we only eat out when we cannot cook because it hurts to pay so much for food that I can cook at home

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