Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Ten Tips to Unleash Your Inner Frugalista

Living within your means is a journey fraught with obstacles.  Danger lurks at every turn:  sales at the mall, coupons for discounts on everything from hair cuts to restaurants, zero percent and "same as cash" financing, credit card applications with no fees and cash back, even "five dollars down to buy a car"! They all seem like offers that you just can't refuse. 

However, there are ways to negate much of your inner-stress and still that little voice that tells you "Just go for it!"  You can avoid the pitfall of spending more than you intend to spend.  Let me help you embrace frugalishness.  See? I even made up that word.

1. : the state of being frugal and proud of it

Here's another handy definition:



1.  : a person who exhibits frugalishness, generally with a sense of joy and freedom

As an adult with a finely-tuned fascination for finances, and in the spirit of a true frugalista, allow me to share with you:  

                              TEN TIPS TO UNLEASH YOUR INNER FRUGALISTA:
                                              (Some of them may surprise you!)  

1) Learn to embrace delayed gratification. Before you buy, there are four questions you should always ask yourself, “Do I need this?”, “Do I need this now?”, “Can I afford this?”, and “How will this purchase affect my savings goals?”  (If you'd like more of an explanation, hang in there!  I plan to expand and expound on these 4 questions in next week's blog post.)

 2) Remember, nickels and dimes add up to dollars. The small amounts of money you mindlessly spend do add up. In reverse, the small amounts you save do add up too!  It's not the amount of money you make that defines your financial future.  If you make it a habit to always spend less than you make, you will gain wealth.

3) Get a team! If you are married, your spouse is your team member! If you aren’t married, find a mentor who will encourage you in your goals. 

4) Live on a written budget – every single month. Use pen and paper or the computer. Track every expense regularly. If you think you know how much you spend each month, but are not tracking it in a meaningful fashion, I guarantee you that more money is slipping through your fingers than you realize.  If you are avoiding a written budget because you know in your heart that you are in debt and don't want to face facts, then you are living a self-fulfilling prophesy of continued financial woes.  It's like standing in a hole.  You don't know how deep it is and  yet you continue to make that pit deeper every single month that you refuse to acknowledge the depth of the hole.  Stop!  Measure it!  Devise a plan to dig yourself out of it!   Then track your progress! 

5) Have a list of short, medium, and long term goals. I wrote an entire post on this topic, here.  Track your progress. Even after 29 years of budgeting, my husband and I have a quarterly “team meeting” to see how we are progressing on our goals. 

6) Remember to kill the fatted calf! When you reach a milestone, celebrate! Kick up your heels. Dance. Laugh. High -five your partner.  Get a latte (If those lattes are on sale - 2 for the price of 1 it's an added bonus and worth yet another high - five with your partner)! 

7) Don’t compare yourself to others. While others may look like they are rolling in the dough, they may be rolling debt. Hold your head high. You are living within your means! You have a plan! You are working toward goals!

8)  Don't let the little foxes spoil your harvest.   (Song of Solomon 2:15)  When you are living under the median, your budget will quickly go out of control if you allow yourself to settle into the mindset that you can overspend "just a little bit' and then "make it up later."  Don't do it!!  Just like the Biblical parable, the little foxes will eat up your harvest and derail your plans in a heartbeat! 

9) Do not let anyone define you by the amount of money you make or spend.  Your intelligence, value, self-worth, and honesty are NOT defined by your paycheck!  Don't let anyone tell you that you are less worthy of respect because you don't make as much money as they do.  Your character and honor are completely separate from your bank account.  Never forget that!

10) Life is a JOURNEY, not a race.  This is the most important tip. I tell my boys this all the time. Stop and smell the flowers, enjoy each moment, revel in the little blessings which you receive every day.  I saw a bumper sticker the other day on the back of a very expensive car, "He who dies with the most toys, wins."  How sad!  Life is about more than possessions.  It's about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  

Remember, do all to the glory of God,



  1. "Frugalista" - I love it! Great advice for everyone, no matter what their circumstances.