Debt is a serious issue in the US today. The national debt clock ticking away at a frightening fast pace is a testimony to the fact that the US is indeed not in a good economic state. A major reason for this scenario is that most of the people have no sense of control over their finances. Using credit cards and spending beyond one’s means has almost become a fashion today. No wonder why a large number of Americans are resorting to debt relief programs. So where does the solution lie? It is just you who has the power to bring your finances under control and the best way to achieve this is to start living frugally!
First of all, get rid of the wrong idea that being frugal is cheap, it’s not. Rather it is smart! When you practice frugality, you make reasonable and economic choices for yourself. So if you are hesitant to take the first step towards frugality then read on to know how you can go about it.
1) Try the do-it-yourself approach: What is the first picture that comes to your mind if you see your faucet leaking? By most chances a plumber. We have become so used to paying others to get our things done that we fail to realize how much we can save by a do-it-yourself approach. If you are a little uncomfortable with that then you can even check out your local home improvement store which conducts free home repair workshops. Take the help of a friend or research on the internet with a quick search to fix your problems. With this approach, the person who gets paid at the end is you, with a pat on your back!
2) Stop being too brand conscious: People fancy buying branded stuffs. You can very well end up paying a lot more for a simple pair of branded shoes than what you would have paid had you purchased it from a normal store. Brands might provide you with better quality stuff but it is really not worth to lighten your wallet so much. Unbranded stuffs are the way to go and the good news is nobody really bothers to notice what you are carrying with you!
3) Don’t let the Joneses bother you: So you are jealous of your neighbor’s shiny new car? It does not really matter how others choose to live their life. You are your best judge, know what you can afford and tread accordingly. You can always spend on things you fancy but before that you need to build up a healthy financial picture of yourself. If your neighbor has the new car and shows it off as an achievement then you also have something to show off- you are free from debt! And you know yourself which is a bigger achievement, got the point?
4) Prepare a handy list of your finances: Keep a track of your income and expenditure. Know the areas where the major chunk of your income is utilized, it could be food, insurance, bill payments etc. You don’t really need to give up on the little luxuries of life but some compromises are worth it. It is perfectly fine to indulge once in a while but you should be careful to stay within your budget and trim your expenses from other areas if necessary.
5) Avoid cards as far as possible: This is an old advice but the best and the most prudent one. Credit cards do tempt you to spend beyond your affordability. Make use of cash to ensure that you never become a victim of credit card debt.
Do not be hesitant to practice frugal living. It is your guide to living better for less. It is a wise adjustment with your finances and lifestyle. So get geared to try the frugal side of life so that you can always enjoy being debt-free!