Finding Your Frugal Comfort Zone

by RC on September 5, 2008

Some frugal activities or tasks are fun, even enjoyable- like going fishing to catch your dinner, taking a walk in the park, or building a garden to grow your own vegetables. Others can mean hard work, such as mowing your own lawn in the middle of the hot summer, or may even be something you MIGHT consider unpleasant, such as unclogging a toilet or changing your own oil for your car.

If you find one of your new frugal habits tedious or unpleasant, it is unlikely that you will stick with it. The key to making frugal habits “stick” or successful implementation of new frugal habits is finding your “comfort zone” with your frugality. This doesn’t mean that some things won’t be unpleasant, but finding things that are at least bearable to you can greatly improve the chances you will keep doing them.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

-Don’t be afraid to try something new. You will never know if something is “not that bad” unless you try it. Afraid to give up your premium cable movie channels? Give it a try- you may find out you don’t even miss 7 HBO or 6 Showtime movie channels.

Even if it doesn’t work for you, keep looking for a cheaper alternative

- I happen to enjoy working on my car (mostly minor things) so changing my car’s oil is something I don’t mind doing. However, I can understand how someone might not relish the idea of laying under their car on their back with the possibility of warm motor oil spilling all over you. (which can happen on occasion!) As an alternative, you can probably find an auto repair shop that has a good deal with a coupon or weekly special that may be cheaper than the place you normally take it.

Figure out what is within your comfort zone

-When trying out new frugal habits, try to determine how they make you feel. Is it enjoyable, tolerable, or unbearable? If it is something you are comfortable with, keep doing it.

Stick with what works

-Once you find something that you enjoy, or is at least tolerable, stick with it. Every time you do something that saves you money by spending less or doing something yourself that you would normally pay for, you are adding to your goal of financial freedom!

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