How to Avoid Frugal Fatigue

How to Avoid Frugal FatigueFrom the September / October edition of The Quarter Roll

How to Avoid Frugal Fatigue
by Miranda Marquit

The recent recession has encouraged many of us to improve our financial habits — including cutting back on spending. Frugality has allowed many to regain financial footing. However, for some of us, it can become wearing to always be watching costs and pinching pennies.

Indeed, after nearly three years of increased budget consciousness, many are feeling what is being dubbed “frugal fatigue.” Instead of closely watching your money, you might be tempted to return to former ways, bending your budget a little and perhaps carrying a balance on your credit card for a couple of months. Frugal fatigue sets in when you begin to feel deprived by your good financial habits.

Here’s how to avoid frugal fatigue:

Mind Set: Focus on What You Have
One of the most important things you can do to avoid frugal fatigue is to focus on what you have, rather than constantly worrying about what you don’t. Look at your family and friends, and consider the enjoyment you get from being with them. Pull out some of the items you’ve had stored away and start using them again. Instead of pining over the latest video game, pull out a classic and reacquaint yourself with how much you love it.

Rather than dreaming about the off-the-hook spring break you think you want, focus on some of the interesting things you can do nearby, and with people who are important to you. Often, we are so wrapped up in what we don’t have (and these things are rarely items that we need — or even really want), we forget to be grateful for what we do have. Create a “gratitude list” of things you have to help you get in a better mindset.

Enjoy What You Already Pay For
Your tax dollars pay for libraries, public parks and other “free” attractions. Go take advantage of these amenities. You can have access to any book you want for free at the library. You can also rent videos at many libraries, and read periodicals. Parks offer great recreation that allows quality time with the family, as well as getting you out in nature. Studies have shown that being outside can have a positive effect on your mood. Spend time with those you love outside, and you might not notice your frugal fatigue. You have a number of options, from local nature centers to libraries to farmers markets that open the world to you and cost very little.

Read the rest of the story in the September / October 2011 edition here

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