- I get free stuff. I use coupons and deals to “treat” myself to indulgences. As I was unpacking the free bottles of Nivea Body Wash this weekend, I commented to my husband that I never would have bought them in the past when we spent four times what we spend now. I adore Nivea and always considered it too expensive to buy- I used to buy the store brand. Now that I know how to coupon and play the drugstore game, I always have fun, new products to try.
- I stay focused on our goals. As I discussed here, I have our current financial goals taped to the wall of our closet (aka my office). My husband used to balance all of our accounts once a month and we’d have a budget meeting and he would update me on what we have in savings etc.. I then update the goal we are currently working on (right now it is getting 6 months of expenses into savings), which is posted on the wall as well. We have started doing this twice a month now as our progress has been impressive and it helps with my impatient nature to see more frequent success.
- I change my mindset. My daughter and I take frequent walks in our neighborhood. This is the hardest part for me as most of our neighbors have beautifully landscaped homes with lawn services, brand new paint, fences etc.. etc… I always feel like our house is the worst in the community- especially since professional services are not in our budget and we both hate yard work. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, I focus on how lucky we are to live in this area! What an enviable position to be in- a perfectly located area with no traffic, no crime, every amenity of a metropolitan area and not a shabby house for miles. Despite being in California, there are no foreclosures in our community. We can virtually leave our doors unlocked and not worry about a thing.
- I remember what is important. Our income is significantly less than it was a few years ago but we are so much happier! I used to work in a job I hated for employers I hated. Now I enjoy blogging and I am so happy to be able to stay home with our daughter. My husband used to commute 2 hours a day. Now he commutes six minutes and comes home for lunch. He has an incredibly flexible schedule and we always get comments because he is active in all of our daughter’s extracurricular activities.
- We are honest with ourselves and others. We don’t drive fancy cars because we paid cash for what we drive. I don’t have $150 highlights and a $200 hoodie to wear to Safeway because we have chosen to become debt free rather than living paycheck to paycheck. I always assume people have all those things because they make significantly more money than we do. A friend recently confessed to me they have almost $100,000 in consumer debt- between school loans, cars and credit cards! The worst part was the blase attitude they had about the debt! I assume that is an extreme example but there is no way to know what other people’s situation really is.
The funny thing is- the more I blog about great deals, the less motivated I am to get them! Don’t get me wrong, I still love a great deal and I love the challenge of stretching our dollars from week to week. I think I just want less stuff. I am content with the stuff we have and honestly don’t have any desire to spend my time in malls or sitting at the hair salon.
Here are a few other great articles from other bloggers on this topic:
How to Want Less by It’s Frugal Being Green
Don’t Envy Debt by the Stretchy Dollar