The effects of the slowing economy can be seen and felt nationwide. Living through a recession has brought many people back to what is really important in their life. Living a simpler life, appreciating the things that really matter and being held accountable for our actions are just a few of the lessons learned during tough economic times. Families are adopting frugal lifestyles in part due to necessity, in part because it is the now the “in” thing. For individuals that have not had to live on a budget, the adjustment can be a bit rough at first. Here are a few tips that can help anyone survive budget burn out.
- Focus on your goals- It is not unusual to feel frustrated and resentful at some point when you just want to throw caution to the wind and spend your paycheck without worrying about the consequences. Clearly this is both unrealistic and irresponsible so most people continue on the right path by paying down debt, saving money or working toward financial goals. It is important to remember why you are making adjustments in your lifestyle today and remain focused on the goals you are working toward.
- Indulge yourself- Living on a budget is similar to going on a diet. In both cases you have to change your lifestyle in order to find success. You also have to realize that it is unrealistic to give up everything you love so remember you can eat that piece of chocolate cake or get a manicure. The key is moderation, in your previous life you might not have stopped at one piece of cake or perhaps you just had to have the manicure and pedicure. Living on a budget shouldn't mean depriving yourself or your family of everything you find enjoyable, rather it involves making a conscious decision to stop spending money wastefully.
- Get creative- Many people don't realize how much money they spend entertaining themselves or their kids. When you eliminate these expenses from your budget you may find yourself with a lot more time on your hands. This is a great opportunity to get reconnected with your spouse and kids. Use your imagination to think of new activities you can share together or dig out the old board games for a walk down memory lane. It is important to not view your downtime as a punishment but instead use the time to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.
People who live on a budget or practice frugal habits historically have been thought of as either poor or penny pinchers The fact is people who live on a budget and choose to not spend every cent they earn have far more control over their finances than folks who spend now and later worry about the consequences.