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How to Happily Live a More Frugal Life

Thrift Store
Thrift Store
Photo by Gary Gershoff

Happily live a more frugal life? You may be wondering who can actually do such a thing happily but, rest assured, it can be done. There are people the Frugal is Fabulous! lifestyle and loving every second of it, and so can you.

How? It is all in the attitude. Life is what you make it, after all. By adjusting your attitude to fit the lifestyle, you too can be happy living frugally. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Make a game out of it. Ask yourself, "How much money can I save this month?" Challenge yourself to put every penny into a jar. At the end of the month, count your savings. Think about how you can use that money in a frugal manner, such as beginning to stock a pantry with food items that are on sale. To make the money go further, see if you can also find coupons for those items.
  2. Go a step further and challenge someone else. Or more than one person. Family members, friends, the neighbor you barely know from down the street. Anyone can join in. Who can save the most in the coming month?
  3. Or do have a grocery shopping challenge. Who can buy the most groceries each week for a month, with a spending limit of so much per week per family member? Keep receipts, and use any means possible to stock the pantry, including food given to you by others, rebates, and coupons. The family with the most food stocked per family member at the end of the month wins one or two items of choice from each of the other participants stocks for that time period.
  4. Your outlook on frugality is important. If you feel it is drudgery, you will not enjoy being frugal. Look on the bright side! You are going to save money. You are going to have stuff. You are going to learn important skills. And shop. You are going to shop. There are many reasons to be excited about frugality.
  5. Here is another challenge idea, for you and your best friend(s), or you and your daughter(s): Agree on a specific time period to live frugally while saving the money you don't use. At the end of that time period, go on a clothing shopping spree! The rules for the shopping spree are that you can only shop thrift shops, yard sales, dollar stores, and clearance sales, for the ultimate in savings. The point is to see how much fun shopping frugally can be. Consider it an experiment. Using these outlets, you will find new clothing, vintage clothing, and everything in between. And you will see how enjoyable it is to search for clothing at these locations.
  6. Spread the happiness by having clothing, toy and book swaps with your friends, family and neighbors. Get everyone together. Have them all bring a blanket and picnic lunch, and enjoy yourselves. Show them the fun you can have while saving rather than spending a bunch of money.
  7. Or, have a community yard sale so you can all make some money. Feel free to add this money to your savings for the shopping trip in number 5, or to begin stocking a pantry or planting food.
  8. Remember, you are not depriving yourself or your family. You are simply not spending money unnecessarily.
  9. And, you are not giving money away. You are using it wisely. Why pay full price for something you can get cheaper?

How do you live a happy, frugal life? Let us know in the comments, so we can try out your methods.

Be sure to subscribe to Bangor Frugal Living to receive all new updates to the column. Please share articles you enjoy on Facebook, Twitter and other social and bookmarking venues. You may contact Shannon any time at shannonlbuck@gmail.com, or by leaving a comment here. Get her eCookBooks Beverages in a Budget and Main Meal Magic for ideas on saving money on groceries.