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Extreme frugality isn’t just about cutting cable or growing your own vegetables. It’s about cutting your lifestyle and expenses to the bare bones.
Frugalistas are the cheapest of the cheap. They live on beans and rice, rice and beans with the hope that one day they’ll hatch the golden egg.
Okay…maybe that’s an outlandish portrayal of extreme frugal living, but I’ve done my fair share of skimping out on spending money so that we could save enough for a specific cause.
Sometimes we lived super frugally so that we could keep the lights on and food on the table. Thankfully, we’re at a place in our lives where we don’t have to be insanely frugal…we choose to within reason.
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Folks with an abundance mentality, on the other hand, believe that there is more than enough to go around. They believe with all their hearts that they already have all they need (and then some).
Go to instagram and search #abundance and #theuniverseprovides. You’ll see a plethora of motivational posts to help shift your mindset.
These are obviously two completely different ways of living, and yet some people have found a way to combine the two and live an amazingly abundant life.
3 Reasons for Practicing Extreme Frugality
There are three main reasons why folks choose to be frugal freaks.
- Out of Necessity
- Out of Want
- They were Raised to be Frugal.
Let’s break these down real quick.
There’s a reason I mentioned beans and rice earlier. Dave Ramsey has offered beans and rice, rice and beans as a ‘way of life’ when working on paying off your debt, also known as Baby Step 2.
- Necessity- You’re broke, living paycheck to paycheck and don’t know where or how you’ll get the money to put food on the table, let alone rent.
- Want- You’re sick of being broke. Maybe you have plenty of money to pay the bills, but your monthly payments are nickel and diming you. You want out. So you give up the extras so that you can finally be free of the financial burden.
- You were raised to be frugal- Mama and Daddy didn’t believe in credit cards (or banks, for that matter), and you have a really good savings account in your gun safe (or sock drawer) at home.
Whether you’re living paycheck to paycheck or just working on paying off debt so you can start working towards bigger goals, like funding your retirement account or paying off your house early, you need a plan.
Living frugally out of necessity often means temporarily delaying gratification in order to reach a specific goals. Dave calls this extreme frugality ‘gazelle intensity’. It’s basically stripping your budget down to the bare minimum, no extras, multiple jobs in order to pay off your debt.
How to Live Abundantly Frugal
1. Choose Your Tribe Wisely
Keeping up with the Joneses is very tempting when they’re getting new cars and boats and campers and traveling all the time.
You have no business trying to match other people’s lifestyle! Hang with humble, down-to-earth people who have some of the same financial goals.
If you find that you struggle with the comparison trap, check out Rachel Cruz’s Best Seller Love Your Life Not Theirs on Audible. You might think you don’t have time to read, but let me tell you something, sister.
There is always time to listen to an audiobook while you’re putting on makeup, cooking, driving, etc.
Which brings me to my next point…
2. Make Personal Development a Priority
There wasn’t a lot of good that came out of my time as a Beachbody coach. If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I cut ties with the multi-level marketing goliath 4 years ago and haven’t looked back. You can read more about why I quit Beachbody coaching here.
But Beachbody wasn’t all bad. The company taught me about the importance of personal development. I never realized how empowering it is to learn through audiobooks.
I know it sounds cheesy, but you can instantly lighten your mood by listening to something positive and uplifting.
3. Change Your Money Mindset
I talked a bit about abundance mentality earlier and how you can easily find all sorts of mainstream advice to bow to the universe, and the universe has your back and it will provide.
I’m personally a believer in Christ, and some of this is hogwash, in my opinion. I do believe that we have the ability to will something into existence, but the universe isn’t God.
Focus on positive thoughts and set goals. For example, if your goal is to increase your income by $10,000 this year, take a look at all of the ways to make this happen.
Then, believe that it has already happened. You just have to follow a couple of steps to finalize things.
Ask your boss for a raise. If you aren’t comfortable asking directly, then rephrase it and say, “What would it take for me to work towards a raise of X dollars in the next six months?”. Maybe there is a position opening up that could offer promotion potential.
Another way to work towards increasing your income is to start a side hustle. I previously wrote about 76 Side Hustle Ideas to Start This Year. There’s plenty of inspiration to get started. I’m currently earning about $2,000 per month from this blog, and a year ago I was only earning $100 monthly.
You can literally write about anything that interests you. Follow my simple tutorial on how to start a blog, and you could be up and running in 30 minutes!
I know there’s a lot of confusion about blogging. How can a person get paid for writing blog posts. And you might be scared of what you’ll do when you actually start making money. How will you manage it? You might barely be able to keep your personal finances in order. Don’t stress too much about this right now. Just get started. There are plenty of articles on how to separate business and personal expenses.
But you won’t know what you’re capable of until you start doing things that make you uncomfortable (and a little afraid). Trust me. I stay scared. It keeps me on my toes!
Prioritize your Expenses
If you want to live abundantly frugal, you’ll need to start prioritizing what you spend your money on.
Print out your last month’s bank statement and take a look at where your money was spent.
Do you have a goal to spend $10,000 per year on travel, visiting a new place every year? Why did you spend $600 last month eating out at restaurants?
I’m not here to judge you. It’s up to you to decide what’s important to you….find your WHY…and make adjustments so that your budget aligns with that.
Then, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on something by skipping those expensive dinners because you’re funding one of your dreams!
Super Frugality is one extreme in which I’d caution you to steer clear. It’s simply a ‘fad diet’ for finances that leads to burnout.
What happens when you’re tired of starving yourself? You pig out. And everything you’ve been working so hard for goes down the drain. Find a healthy balance between extreme frugality and abundance mentality, and you’ll set yourself up for success.
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Life is a collection of memories and experiences. There are ups and downs. I am so grateful for God’s grace and am on the journey to a renewed spirit, free of perfectionism. Perfection Hangover offers the sober truth – no filter.