Q: What's the hardest thing about being frugal?
A: I'm generally pretty cheerful about frugality--it's just plain fun for me to save money! At this point in our marriage, though, the hardest thing is staying frugal when we no longer have to scrimp. This is the first year that we've had a true abundance of income, relative to our lifestyle. There is always the tendency to make life a little easier, to spend more freely, to upgrade. But if we don't remain true to our goals, our lifestyle will quickly outpace our income. Staying frugal is what keeps us in abundance. When I think about your question in those terms, it doesn't sound hard at all.
What about you? What do you find most difficult about pursuing frugality?
The hardest thing for me is finding people that are like minded. I am surrounded by "slaves" of the credit card debt and the keep up with the Jones' game. And continually wonder why they can't make ends meet when they change nothing! I am searching for some type of frugality group and thinking about starting my own so I can enjoy other people with similiar interests. Any ideas of where I can find these folks?
OOPS! I meant to put the above comment under the frugality hardship comment. It would make more sense there now wouldn't it!! :} TGIF!#@
The hardest part of being frugal for me is the time it takes to search for the best price, to practice all those frugal skills I've acquired. That's why it's so important to think ahead and build up your hoard of frugal food, clothing, etc., so you're not tempted to splurge away your savings when time gets really tight.
The hardest thing for us right now is sticking to our budget without giving friends and family the impression that we are penniless. Sometimes they seem to think that if we say we can't afford it, we must not have anything at all!
You know, I found it quite the opposite. When we were in the position where saving money just meant going less into debt, I found it immensely frustrating--all that work and still nothing to show for it. Now that saving money somewhere means having it to spend somewhere else or save, it's much more rewarding.
I bow to the Queen (of Carrots). The hardest part of being frugal, for me, was erasing past debt. It was a ton of work and felt like very little progress. Once we were "over the hump" and could save for things that need to happen (a new-to-me car, or new flooring), it was so much easier.
I guess we were lucky. We didn't have any debt except a small student loan and our home. We just had such a low income at first; we never had any extra to save.
The most difficult thing is avoiding a Scrooge mentality.
I was hoping you could give me some ideas on how to deal with paycuts. My husbands pay is down to about 40% of what it was 2 years ago. He the owner of a construction business and has about 50 emplyees so it's not like he can just go find a better paying job. He still makes good money but its so hard when you get used to it. We are debt free except the house and the house payment is still only about 20% of his take home pay. (He was wise when we searched for a home two years ago and didn't let me look at my dream home, for this I am very thankful.) Any thought's would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and I love your blog. Esther
The hardest thing for me is keeping my teenagers on board. They have jobs of their own now, and that has helped them appreciate the value of money. Still, they want a lot of things, and I want to give them nice things. Where to draw the line, how to treat them and instill a more frugal mindset, how to help them see how lucky they are, those are all hard things for me to find balance in.
We just finished back to school shopping. My son literally outgrew everything he owned (he has gone from 5'8" last September to 6'1" this September). I used to be able to get him things at consigment store or eBay, hand them over and he'd be set. This year he wanted to pick out things, and he has certain preferences. It's hard for me to walk the line between what's enough and what's probably too much.
Luckily two of my three older kids are very frugal minded, save their money, shop sales and are generally money savvy. That other one, well all I can say is two out of three ain't bad!
The hardest thing for me after being frugal for so long is shopping at retail stores...I feel guilty spending over $35 for a dress when I know I can go to a thrift store and find one for less than $6.
For me, it's that the process of paying off CCs so danged slllooooowwww. I pay extra each month, I cut back on purchases, I try and try...and I don't see as big a change as I'd like. But I'm doing much better than a few years ago, and it is dwindling. So there is hope for the future.
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