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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Keepin' My Money Tuesday

Today I want to talk about an easy way to keep your money....

Decide what your priorities are.

This has been a total learning experience to me. I like nice things. I like new clothes. I like to eat out at nice restaurants. I like to travel. Okay, with that said, I had to decide what my priorities were.

For me, my first priority- right now- is to pay off the rest of our debt as quickly as we can. The reason that this is top priority is because I want to eventually live on one and half to one income. The only way this is possible is to only have our "regular" household bills - not credit card payments!

Being frugal is not about being poor or being cheap. To be frugal is to be wise with your finances. I like this quote from the Simple Dollar by Trent:

"The truth is that it’s [frugality] not about pinching every penny, it’s about freedom. It’s about simply trying different activities and seeing which ones leave you feeling the most fulfilled..."

I agree that in order to be "frugal" you have to decide what matters most ... and spend your money on that. Being frugal isn't about having NOTHING but rather not having EVERYTHING.

Later, when my debt is paid off... it will look like this:
Travel (with my family) for new experiences will be first priority.

That is what is important to me.
That is what I enjoy the MOST.

Sure, I like new clothes. But I would much rather just wear the ones I have and buy my clothes at discounted prices in order to save my money towards going on an unforgettable trip with my family. Sure, I can buy the clothes NOW. They are much cheaper in relation to a trip. It WILL take time to save for a trip, but that is what I enjoy the most - not wearing new clothes.

Sure, I like the looks of a new car. But, I would much rather save all those pennies all year long (or maybe even for two years) to go someplace I may never have another opportunity to go to. And you better, believe, that trip will be frugal too! :) I will eat breakfast at the hotel (continental) and pack a picnic lunch and eat ONE nice meal out. This way my money goes further and I still get to do the things I REALLY want to do. Being frugal is about making choices and getting the most for your money!

But, that is just me. Maybe you would rather have a new car than anything else! Great! Then, save your money for that! Don't spend you money on things you don't really want. You don't have to have that designer bag or that new pair of jeans, because you would much rather have new wheels.

Again, being frugal is about choices. It is about deciding what is most important to YOU (which may be different than EVERYONE ELSE). It is about SAVING (this is key - notice I didn't say spend money you DON'T have) and then spending your money on what makes you happy - not on everything else that makes everyone else happy or what it takes to keep up with the Joneses'.

Decide what your priorities are. Instead of spending money just to spend (or to keep up with your friends or co-workers) or because it makes you happy NOW (as I USED to do) decide what will make you happy in the long run.

Save you money on things that don't really matter. Then reward yourself with the savings on something that does matter. Being frugal can be fun and it can also be REWARDING.

Hey, but that is just me! I don't have all the answers! I will never pretend that I do! But, this works for me.

What does being frugal mean to you?


Nicole said...

Being frugul is a way of living. Its not something you do for a short amount of time. Its something you have to adjust to.

My husband I loved to eat out. We'd eat out every weekend and spend at least $100. What do I have to show for it... my mommy tummy! We've adjusted our way of thinking and got our priorities straight. I'm sure people have thought we were poor before because we refused to go out to eat or something along those lines but the thing is... what matters most to us is like you said... we'd rather make mememories and have something to show for it.

thanks for this post... its just a reminder of why we make sacrifices!

Kacie said...

Those are great goals to have! I like to think of it this way: Once a debt is paid off, it's like getting an instant tax-free raise! Suddenly, a paycheck goes much further. It's awesome.

Our priorities are to get a six-month emergency fund ready to go asap, and then we'll start putting money aside for other things (extra money for retirement, vacations, a second car, etc.)

Catherine said...

Another site that I subscribe to - Free Money Finance....I think he said he got this quote from a friend of his - I cut it out and posted it at really does ring true....."Many purchases these days are a waste. They are simply people buying things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't like."

And another thank you for all you do.

Denise Sawyer said...

I have seen that quote before! I think my mom shared it with me not too long ago! I love that one too!

The "Cent"sible Sawyer

Erin said...

Where can I get a bed like this? And, if I were to find this bed, would I still need to clip coupons? :) Actually I like clipping coupons too much to give it up!

Cortney said...

Before I read your post, I posted about my struggle with contentment on my blog. God has really been pressing me about this lately. I think you provided a slightly different spin about making priorities, but we both come back to the same place.

Best of luck to you!