By: Cheryl Johnson
That most of us are considered poor is no disgrace, but does us credit; for, as the mind is weakened by luxurious living, so it is strengthened by a frugal life.(Minucius Felix, 3rd century A.D.)
People who live a frugal lifestyle often live with less stress. Typically, those who take control of their money
feel they have more control over their life in general. You’ve heard the old cliche?”Money is Power.” What most of us fail to understand is that the power isn’t in having the money, or how much you have, rather in the ability to control what money you do have!
With that power comes peace of mind. It’s the peace of knowing that all you have is truly “yours”. With that peace of mind comes Frugal Freedom. Freedom from debt. Freedom from envy. Freedom from ridicule, shame, and loss. Loss of what you might ask. Sanity, for one thing. Trust me, when the walls of financial ruin come tumbling down around you, it’s easy to loose your sanity! And, no matter how much money you have, if you can’t control it, you are headed for financial ruin. There are many stories of those who have become wealthy and eventually fell to financial ruin. These are people who let money control them instead of responsibly managing their money.
Much of the transition from spend thrift to frugal is within the mind. It’s not so much a physical shedding of the luxuries of life. Rather, it is the ability to accept that you don’t have to “keep up with the Joneses.” This can be a huge mental leap living in today’s world of material values.
It takes an understanding of what you really need to be successful. Focus inward to what drives you to want more money. Is it necessity or just appearances that drive you to spend more, have more and, consequently, owe more?
In review of your own unique situation you might find the answers very enlightening. Hopefully, seeing the true origin of your desires and re-evaluating what you “need” will lead to change. Then again, you may not like what you see and in denial exclaim that it’s all baloney!
I hope you have the courage to make the changes needed to achieve financial security and peace of mind. Many of us forget that we do have the ability to change. It’s never too late! There is no truer realization of how hard it can be, and how we may need help, to change, than the following well known serenity prayer……..
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….The courage to change the things I can and…..the wisdom to know the difference.
Now whether you’re a religious person or not, the above statement is true in all aspects of our lives. I often think of it when presented with life’s little dilemmas. It reminds me that I do have choices. I need to evaluate the situation carefully and research my options. Some things we can change, some things we cannot change. Figure this out, have the courage to fix it, or peace of mind to accept it. I can tell you from personal experience that financial ruin is something you can fix. It is rarely an easy fix, but always will bring peace of mind!
So, when asked what I think frugality is…..It’s Freedom. Peace of mind. Re-evaluating what life really means. Knowing the difference between necessity and wants. Shedding appearances in exchange for reality. Taking control of my finances. Getting back to basics, and focusing on the “really” important things in life….family….friends….children…..learning….and teaching.
About the Author: Cheryl Johnson is a mother of four helping herself and others become and remain debt free. Publisher of Simple Debt Free Living at http://www.simpledebtfreeliving.com – A self-help plan, ideas, and resources for debt reduction , personal budgeting, frugal living, and extra income opportunities.
By: Natalie Aranda
There are foundational principles that rule the cycle of wealth building whether you build your wealth on stock market, home loans, or any other type of real estate investment. Many who are new to wealth building are often not aware of, or not disciplined to follow the principles for building wealth. The formula for building wealth is straight forward 1) make more, 2) spend less, 3) start early and 4) manage the risks. The cycle of wealth building consists of phases of goal setting, planning and execution.
1) Define the goals of your wealth building both short term and long term.
Goal setting begins with the questions of where do you want to be financially 5 years from now, 20 years from now and by the time of your retirement. For instance, you plan to own a half million dollar house in 5 years. You would like to accumulate net wealth of one million dollars in 20 years. And you want secure two million dollars in your bank account when you retire. The goal of wealth building should be challenging enough yet realistic. If they are set too low, you wont be motivated to work harder. You’ll be totally frustrated if the goals are unreachable. Studying books for personal financing and attending wealth building seminars will help you to get it right at the beginning.
2) Develop a plan that help achieve the goals you’ve set
We wont know exactly whether the goals of the wealth building are set too low or too high unless they are justified by a plan. Many investors may think one million dollar net wealth is unthinkable. In fact, if you invest $500 a month and that invest generates 11% annual return, you’ll be a millionaire in 30 years. 11% annual return is what S&P 500 index has realized in past 30 years. To achieve your one million dollar goal, you don’t even have to make the choice between eating well and sleeping well.
3) Follow your plan and work hard
There are two common causes of failures in wealth building 1) not committed to the plan to work hard enough, and 2) not disciplined to follow the plan and rules even they work extremely harder. Even well-known investment gurus are often distracted to believe the possibility of get-rich-quick when financial market experiences drastic up-and-down swing.
Once you’ve completed the cycle of wealth building, the next cycle of wealth building begins. Returns on investment
contribute to building your wealth but not if you forget about high interest rate on debts. Taking a wealth building seminar you can discover how maintaining a realistic and positive attitude is worth more than crying about a loss. Wealth building can begin with a raise at work or your first income after an investment.
Genuine wealth building is made up of learning which comes from a wealth building seminar or personal experience, enhanced with the input and feedback of those who are already building their own wealth. In this cycle, cash is the king so get ready for developing enough liquid resources and never invest if you are afraid to lose because you will be propitiating your luck.
About the Author: Natalie Aranda writes on family and personal financing. There are foundational principles that rule the cycle of wealth building whether you build your wealth on stock market, home loans, or any other type of real estate investment. Many who are new to wealth building are often not aware of, or not disciplined to follow the principles for building wealth. The formula for building wealth is straight forward 1) make more, 2) spend less, 3) start early and 4) manage the risks. The cycle of wealth building consists of phases of goal setting, planning and execution. Studying books for personal financing and attending wealth building seminars will help you to get it right at the beginning.
By: Cyndi Roberts
Yard sales (or garage sales as we call them in my part of Texas) are a wonderful frugal source for almost anything you need. They can also be a wonderful, frugal source of extra money almost any time you need it.
When shopping at yard sales, it’s important to remember that most things you buy are not going to be in “new” condition, although there are times when you will find items that are brand new, in the box. And at a much lower price than in the store.
Most yard sales have lots of clothes for sale. But if you are willing to take a closer look, you may find tons of treasures. The other day I found a shiny cookie sheet in a box of “freebies”! I was thrilled and so was my son, who didn’t have one!
My grandchildren have tons of books, most of which have been bought at yard sales. And all were in great condition and didn’t cost over 50 cents apiece. I keep a lookout for seasonal items for kids such as coloring books, little stuffed animals, etc. Then when Valentine’s, Halloween or other holidays roll around, we send the grandchildren a package filled with neat stuff for very little cash.
This summer I am also watching for “new-in-the-box” toys for children of all ages. In December, I’m going to send them with my son (who is in the Texas National Guard) to their annual Toy Drive. But almost every community has some sort of toy drive at Christmas time. This way, I will already have my contributions and won’t need to go out and spend more money during the holiday season.
Yard sales are a great way to make some extra money, also. Plus, you can get rid of unwanted items at the same time. My daughter and I recently held a sale and here are some of the things we learned.
Put up signs. The newspaper goofed the weekend of our sale and left out all that week’s yard sales. So we had to depend on our signs. Put as many out as you can. Find out ahead of time what kind of ordinances your town has about placement.
Take the time to make your signs…we bought ours and about halfway through the first morning, we noticed that we weren’t getting any customers. So we checked out our signs–and they were gone! We put out more and the customers started coming again. But it was costly.
And when you make your signs, be sure to make them sturdy enough to stand up in the wind and also be sure your lettering is large enough to be seen by people driving by in cars. I think a large arrow pointing in the direction they need to go is helpful.
Be sure to plainly mark your items. It will save you lots of time during the sale if you don’t have to talk to each customer about the price of every item. If you aren’t sure what prices to ask, it might help to go out to some yard sales yourself in the weeks before your sale and check out what others are asking for items.
If you really want to get rid of something, be willing to negotiate on the price. By the same token, if you really want to get a certain amount, be willing to say no when someone asks for a price reduction.
When your yard sale is over, if you are lucky, you have space to store the leftovers until next time you need to hold a sale. However, if you’re not one of the “lucky” ones, consider donating your items to the local Goodwill box. Helping you live the good life…on a budget!
About the Author: Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the “1 Frugal Friend 2 Another” bi-weekly e-newsletter and founder of the website of the same name. Visit http://www.cynroberts.com to find creative tips, articles, and a free e-cooking book. Subscribe to the e-newsletter and receive the free e-course “Taming the Monster Grocery Bill”.
1. If you have your haircut every 3 weeks, try going 4 or 5 weeks in between haircuts. If you pay $10 for a haircut, you could save $70 a year by having a cut every 5 weeks instead of 3.
2. Buy only generic basic types of cold cereal, if your family must have it. With fall and cooler weather coming, it’s a good idea to introduce hot cereal. It’s usually the best buy and by using the microwave oven to prepare, it is almost as quick to fix as cold cereal.
3. If you have a cell phone, don’t buy the accessories at the “cell phone store”. Check out prices at local discount stores first.
4. Quit smoking. Need we say more?
5. In some states, children’s immunizations are offered free at local health clinics. Call the local health department to inquire.
6. Wash, wax and detail your own vehicle instead of paying someone else to do it.
7. Put a little money aside every month in order to pay your car and homeowners insurance annually. Most insurers charge a fee (sometimes hefty!) for paying monthly. You’ll also avoid those mid-year increases.
8. When making instant pudding from a box, add an extra cup of milk. The pudding “sets up” the same and tastes the same, but you have one more cup. You might want to experiment with adding a little more. And of course, another money-saver is to use reconstituted dry milk.
9. Meat prices are soaring, so plan to have a meat-less meal at least twice a week. Substitute an egg or pasta dish. Or maybe canned tuna or salmon.
10. If you love magazines, try sharing with a friend. Each of you subscribe to a different magazine, when you’re finished reading, swap.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” –Benjamin Franklin
Shop Now for Later. If you wait until after a major holiday to shop for your decorations, and non perishable gifts, you will save a TON of money. Plus, you will be well prepared for the next time around! Now, that’s frugal.