It’s never too late to learn good frugal habits and turn yourself from a money waster into a frugal saver! Our complete frugal makeover will show you how to reset your financial situation as well as changing your attitudes about money.
Is your bank account overdrawn and your debt piling up? Do you feel helpless but know that you need to turn around your finances? Maybe you’re at the end of the line and about to start losing your assets because of poor money management. Do your kids think money grows on trees and demand the latest gadgets?
If you’ve been a poor steward of your finances so far, take heart in knowing that it’s never to late to learn the basics. The rules of frugal money saving are simple.
Reset the Way You Think About Saving Money
If the problem with saving money is in your mind, you’ll need to reset your thinking about spending. Saving money isn’t for cheap or poor people. Saving money is for everyone! Some things to remember:
- Saving money is cool.
- Having a great life for less shows that you’re smart and care about your financial future.
- Finding the best deals and bargains can be like a game for your family.
- Saving money lets you help others when they need it the most.
- Spend TIME on people to show them love – don’t spend MONEY on people to show you love them.
- Teaching your kids to save up money for something teaches them to value money and hard work, and to respect their parents who provide for them.
Say goodbye to buying things that cost a lot that show your status to other people. (Think expensive cars, high end brand names of clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.) If you are reading this article, it shows that you care enough about your finances to get them into healthy shape instead of putting on a show with money you don’t really have.
Say goodbye to conveniences that cost a lot. Instead, I’ll show you below how to substitute time savers that save you money as well.
Transform Yourself from a Money Waster into a Frugal Money Saver
First of all, subscribe to Home Ever After for free to get money saving frugal tips sent to you daily. Next, subscribe to And Freebies For All for free to get freebies and coupons sent to you. Then, print out this article and circle the items below that you can commit to making changes within your life.
The Old You – Spender
The New You – Saver
|1. Going to the movie theater every weekend (at $9 per ticket)||1. Getting movies from the library (free) or from Redbox (free) with our Redbox codes|
|2. Ordering pizza for a quick dinner (at $10-$20 each)||2. Buying frozen pizzas for a quick dinner (at $1-$10 each)|
|3. Buying books brand new (at list price)||3. Buying used books or borrowing from the library (free)|
|4. Buying only brand name cleaners||4. Buying store brand cleaners or making your own from household ingredients|
|5. Buying the latest video games for your kids ($40+)||5. Buying board games to play as a family ($10-$20)|
|6. Using dinner out as a reward||6. Going to a special activity day at the library as a reward (free)|
|7. Cooking with expensive ground beef or ground turkey||7. Cutting ground meat with frugal fillers (price cut in half)|
|8. Letting your kids drink soda||8. Giving your kids juice or water (6 cents an ounce or free)|
|9. Spending $ on cold medicines and doctor bills||9. Taking multi-vitamins every day and eating healthy foods|
|10. Smoking cigarettes ($5 per pack)||10. Quitting smoking (free)|
|11. Buying lattes from Starbucks ($4-$9 per coffee)||11. Drinking coffee from home (50 cents per day) or buying an espresso maker to make your own|
|12. Buying brand name kids’ clothes ($10-$50 each)||12. Buying kids’ clothes on clearance or from the thrift store ($2-$15 each)|
|13. Buying new clothes because everything is dirty ($$)||13. Washing laundry and organizing clothes so they’re easy to find (free)|
|14. Constantly buying your kids new toys ($$)||14. Packing away half the toys into the garage, and switching them periodically so the toys seem “new” & exciting (free)|
|15. Paying full price for groceries||15. Buying sale items at the grocery store and using coupons|
|16. Driving everywhere (high fuel $)||16. Walking, biking, or taking the bus (free or $2)|
|17. Going out to dinner frequently||17. Buying some special treat foods (seafood, steaks, etc.) at the grocery store and making your own special dinner at home|
|18. Being wasteful with electricity and leaving lights on when not in use||18. Keeping lights turned off when not in use (visit EnergyHog.org with your kids now)|
|19. Buying name brand baby formula||19. Using store brand baby formula (less $) or breast milk (free)|
|20. Using disposable diapers ($40-$80/month per child)||20. Using reusable cloth diapers (initial cost, then free)|
Won’t My Family Be Mad?
If you’ve been a big spender for a long time, you may be worried that your children, husband, or wife might not like the new frugal plans you’re putting into action. Saving money does take the participation of the whole family, after all. They might feel like they’re going to be giving up a lot of the things they like unless you show them that being frugal doesn’t mean missing out. You can still do fun activities and have nice things without spending top dollar.
It is time to be real with your kids and let them know that spending changes ARE going to happen in your family. How much info you choose to share with them about the financial situation is up to you. Older kids can handle more details, and will also be more committed to being part of the solution.
As the parent, you set the tone for how they’ll feel about being frugal. If you’re excited, they will be too. If you are acting sad, depressed, or complaining about saving money, they will too.
Here is a great way to get kids involved with frugal money saving: Make a money savings chart and hang it on the refrigerator. Whenever you save on something, fill in the amount you saved (e.g. Getting a $20 DVD for $2 at a garage sale – fill in $18 of savings). At the end of the chart should be an item the family is saving for (e.g. paying off the car, going on a camping trip, saving to buy a new game, etc.) Attaching a tangible item to your savings efforts can give kids and incentive to get involved and help the family save money.
Making the Switch From Spender to Saver
Did you see a trend when reading that list of 20 frugal money saving methods? We’re not talking about little tricks here and there. I’m asking you to identify the ways you spend money, and always think about if there is a cheaper way FIRST. If there is a free or less expensive way to meet the same need, do it!
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21) Our consumer culture teaches us that we need to earn more to buy more to be a better, more complete person. This simply isn’t true. When we die, we certainly won’t take those brand name clothes with us!
Saving money on unimportant things means you’ll have more money to use for helping others. Whether you help by giving to your church, donating to charities, donating extra food you got on coupon deals to a local food bank, or helping people in need with your time or knowledge, this change of mentality will lead you to do great things.
Always put the focus on people and time first, then things and money second.
This transformation is one that will affect not only your bank account, but also the quality of your relationships, your family time, your priorities, and your outlook on life. Congratulations on starting your frugal money savings makeover!
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