First 30 Days Blog

19 mar

Frugal Is to Smart as Cheap Is to Dumb: Intelligent Financial Decisions for Families

JennaSmithI think we can all agree that the price of living in the United States seems to be a bit of a puzzle to which many pieces have gone missing.

We’ve seen a rising cost in just about everything and we get a twinge of envy whenever we hear about what it used to cost in the past.

A lot of individuals would like to bring politics into the situation (and rightly so) but I believe a lot has to do with our lifestyle and the changes we’ve adopted over years of consumption.

Frugal vs Cheap

I believe Ramit Sethi (of IWTYTBR fame) said it quite well when it comes to cheap vs frugal:

· Cheap people care about the cost of something.

· Frugal people care about the value of something.

For me it really seems that people get lazy when it comes to their consumer habits. They seek convenience. They want it product or service to be cheap and readily available because it satisfies their emotional urge to possess (or experience) the item.

Then there are those that are willing to bide their time and conduct research before making a purchase.

These are the people that can handle the ups and downs of our economy. They’re the ones’ whom develop lifestyles which sustains stable, reliable growth in finances.

The Science of Smart Financial Living

It’s not just the concept of frugal living that guides people toward smart buying decisions. It’s really about a shift in ones’ mindset. It’s why I had mentioned the whole value vs cost. You can spend big bucks on a product or service and not feel ashamed if it truly provides you with real value.

There are options, all around us, for making smarter financial decisions and fulfilling our basic needs:

Nourishment. Follow the routine of your grandma and start clipping coupons (or use the Web and seek out online coupon sites and directories). Don’t shop when hungry. Avoid the middle area on the shelves. Try to cook fresh. Remember that it’s not just about tasting good … it’s about eating healthy so you are healthy (meaning infrequent visits to the doctors). Learning to cook, even on a basic level, will help your family save thousands from not having to rely on pre-packaged items or going out to eat.

Health. Ditch the gym and seek exercise routines which do not require equipment. Use this opportunity when improving your health to seek new friends such as during team activities or while out for a walk. A healthy body and mind will also inadvertently help you save when shopping around for insurance and health care providers. Again, use the Web to your advantage by reading reviews, cross-comparison shopping, and tapping into the knowledge of experts.

Entertainment. Make every part of your day worth remembering. Find great deals on travel by using comparison booking engines and opening up to staying at hostels and eating street food versus the normal touristy routine. Get into crafting like as scrapbooking or photography. Use event websites to find free events in your area or deals that keep the price low (but fun high) by bundling the events.

Family & Life. Spend more time with the family, friends, and loved ones. Capture those slice moments in time (and save while you’re at it) by using up photo coupons for professional photography services. You’ll have something, framed, that will let you remember the good times and have plenty to work with to kick up conversations when others come over.

Education. Get real about what you (or your children) really want to do with their time. Consider seeking apprenticeship or interning in place of taking a class to see if it’s something you (or they) would truthfully enjoy before paying for tuition. Try out new areas using online courses and educational resources that could give you an edge in your current field (or direction). Weigh the risk/reward of starting a business versus obtaining a degree.

Think of it all like going back to school.

You are retraining your mind. You are flushing away the conditioning you’ve picked up after years and years of bombardment from advertising. You’re gaining patience and with it comes the ability to remove the emotional equation and manage purchasing decisions with logical thinking.

Change your lifestyle. Embrace frugality. Take the time to research. These are the elements that help you never pay full price but always receive full value.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on March 19th, 2014 in Family, Finances | 0 comments

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