We all know that money can’t buy happiness. And yet, many people overspend on a lifestyle they believe will make them happy—only to rack up thousands of dollars in debt. This, in turn, leads to stress, worry and unhappiness. It may seem difficult to believe, but living frugally can make you happier than living lavishly.
If you’d like to live more frugally, establish a goal to keep focused. Maybe you’d like to travel the world or buy your dream home. Write down your objective and place reminders of your goal where you’ll see them often.
There are so many benefits to living frugally:
- Appreciating what you have. Instead of throwing away old items, you’ll learn to repurpose them.
- Choosing experiences over objects. Instead of going to the mall for a new outfit, you’ll play board games with friends. These experiences provide memories and happiness that can last a lifetime.
- Your debt will diminish. The burden of debt often ties people to jobs and locations they dislike. Once your debt disappears, you’ll have the freedom to choose a profession and location that makes you happy.
- You’ll have more leisure time. When your debt is gone, you can work less and have more time to pursue hobbies.
- You’ll be on the path to early retirement. Instead of working through your golden years, you can garden, travel and enjoy your grandchildren.
- You’ll find joy in helping others. By reducing expenses and saving money, you can help support causes that are important to you.
Here’s how to get started:
Make a list of what you’d like to accomplish, how much money you’ll need to achieve it, and make a plan. Determine which expenses you can live without. Instead of buying gourmet drive-thru coffee, brew your own at home. Brown-bag your lunch instead of eating out. Make a weekly meal plan and cook your meals at home. Steps like these can save you hundreds of dollars a month. You can also use our free online personal financial management tool, My Financial Partner. Track your spending, set financial goals and establish realistic budgets.
If you’re paying down multiple credit cards, consider consolidating them into one loan or into a single, lower-interest credit card to save on interest charges. Check out Partner Colorado’s low-interest credit card options and apply online. Once you’ve consolidated your credit card debt, keep your oldest card, but use it infrequently and close all others.
Stretch your money
When purchasing groceries, clip coupons and look for sales. Shopping for clothing? Check local thrift stores, yard sales and clearance racks for the best possible deals.
Look for ways to lower your monthly bills. Consider giving up your expensive cable service. Trim your electricity bill by hanging your clothes outside to dry and by unplugging electronic devices when they’re not in use.
Give frugal living a try! You have nothing to lose but debt —and only happiness to gain!