At one time, huge lines of credit may have inspired us to be overly generous. For example, you may always insist on "picking up the tab" when you dined with a group of friends at an expensive restaurant. During holidays and birthdays, you may have been the person that showered everyone with costly gifts.
When it came time to manage your debt, people that you encountered or articles that you read may have advised you to become more "frugal." Hearing this word may make you cringe because you may associate frugal with being cheap. With some new insight and lifestyle changes, you may realize that frugality can be fun, creative, and less stressful.
Frugal living encompasses many concepts such as using things that you have on hand instead of purchasing something new. For example, a frugal person would cook dinner with items that they already have in their kitchen cabinets instead of ordering take-out or buying more food at the grocery store. Rather than hosting a child's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, a frugal parent would organize an imaginative party theme for a small group of children at their home. For example, parents of daughters could have a princess party where little girls make their own crowns.
Frugality may have a negative connotation because some people relate it to deprivation or being stingy. There are times in life when we may not be able to be as frugal as we want to be. For example, if a child unfortunately needs cough syrup at midnight, most parents would purchase it at the local convenience store rather than wait until the discount grocery chain opens the next morning. Being frugal is not sacrificing basic needs in order to save money.
During the coming month, meet with your family to discuss ways in which you can become more frugal. Can you refinish or paint a piece of bedroom furniture instead of buying new set? Would your family be willing to dine out one night less a week or reduce the number of premium television services? Over time, your family may begin to integrate many innovate ideas in order to create a frugal lifestyle. In the end, these changes may make you more relaxed because you will know how to live richly without spending a lot of money.