Choosing Less in a World of More
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they decide they want to live more frugally is to put every penny they possibly can into paying off debt. That's according to Joanne Heim, author of Living Simply: Choosing Less in a World of More. She reminds us that while paying down credit cards and other high-interest debt should be one of your priorities, there are other factors to consider.
First, expect the unexpected. "What happens is, the kitchen sink backs up and floods your basement and you have to pay for a plumber, and you don't have the cash so you charge it," says Heim. She recommends coming up with a reasonable amount while saving some extra for emergencies. Otherwise, you live with a nagging sense of worry that something is about to go wrong.
Also, you need to leave some room for fun. "If you use every last penny to pay off your debt, you'll feel completely stifled," notes Heim. "and chances are, you’ll go on a spending spree."
Read more expert tips and advice on living frugally.