Is "frugal" a four letter word? OK, it has five letters, but you know what I mean. We all have understandings of "frugality," so to see what yours might be, try this short, informal review:
1. Only those without enough money have to be frugal. Yes___ No___
2. I have all that I need and use my money the way I want to. Yes___ No___
3. Being frugal means I win the advertizing battles for my money. Yes___ No___
4. I'm being punished for having too many debts, so I have to be frugal. Yes___ No___
5. When I am being frugal I feel deprived. Yes___ No___
6. Being frugal means I can have anything I want when I choose to. Yes___ No___
Until the last three years of 180 degree life change, my gut feeling about frugality was that it meant deprivation and punishment. Not much of a motivator for getting out of the large credit card debt I had. The more I tried to be frugal, the less I succeeded to pay it off or to save money. I'd like to say that virtue won and I bravely chose frugality. What really happened was that not being able to go places to shop and little inclination to buy on-line, I became frugal by default. Big surprise: I don't feel dis-empowered or deprived. How did that happen? Like any intervention, being away from your drug-of-choice means you don't feed your addiction. I was at the "rehab center" provided by being sick, and when I felt well enough to go out, the addiction was gone. I've paid off my debt and recently bought a big-ticket item we wanted - with cash. That is enormous progress for me!
Opportunities for attitude change can come from anywhere, but if you're struggling with accepting frugality as a life-style, try these web sites. For them frugality is a fun game they are winning. I enjoyed checking into many of them and am recommending a few to you. Look for "frugal blog" on the web - there are A LOT of them out there. All of them provide ways to make your money go farther. My new favorite word: frugalista.
A Momma and the Boys Living on a Budget : printable coupons (I don't usually buy name brands, but will if I have a coupon.)
http://www.momadvice.com/blog/: lots of freebies
http://www.frugallivingjournal.com/blog/: lots of topics - search for one you're interested in
http://www.livingonadime.com: More topics
http://www.frugallawstudent.com/: good advice about student loans and other helpful topics
http://www.frugal101.com/: getting out of debt and other topics
www.mightybargainhunter.com: shopping ideas and personal finance
www.getrichslowly.org: good advice and good reader stories (you can post your own story here.)
Be careful when you choose a blog. Only go to the sites with some indicator that the web connection has determined it's virus free. When I went to "Ask the Frugal Decorating Diva," my virus alarm went crazy!