Can Frugality Become a Habit?
Can frugality become a habit? Absolutely. I have not always been frugal. When I got into major credit debt I knew I had to make changes in the way I was living, changes that not only cut back on living expenses, but also would lead to permanent frugal habits. It did not happen overnight, it took time to develop these new frugal habits. Aristotle once said:
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Aristotle understood that in order to do something exceptionally well, you had to do it over and over until new habits developed. With Aristotle in my head, I slowly incorporated new frugal habits in my life that helped me not only get out of debt, but also increased my overall happiness. My new habits made me healthier, helped me sleep better, and made me look at the big picture. Here are 25 of my Frugal Habits:
- Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
- Open the dishwasher before the dry cycle; air dry the dishes.
- Leave oven door open after using; free heat in the winter.
- Order water only at the restaurant; free and much better for you.
- Start compost pile; use it to fertilize flower beds/garden.
- Bring my own lunch to work; easy since I work from home.
- Pack our lunch when going to amusement parks/fairs/beach, etc.
- Redeem my aluminum/plastic/glass for cash.
- Stock up pantry when we find good deals on non-perishables.
- Buy used books/DVDs/CDs; great online deals for these.
- Maintain autos; change oil every 3,000; rotate tires; follow maintenance schedule.
- Drive the speed limit; avoid quick accelerations and stops.
- Shop online; only when coupons are available.
- Shop at Ross/TJ Maxx/Marshalls for quality clothing at discounted prices.
- Maintain things around the house before they become big expenses.
- Turn the thermostat down and burn free firewood.
- Cut way back on junk food; healthy move and much easier on the pocketbook.
- Sought out cheaper recreation for myself and the family.
- Reduced or cancelled subscriptions that we rarely use.
- Cut back to the most basic satellite cable package.
- Stopped using vending machines.
- Only go to Starbucks/Jamba Juice on special occassions.
- Bought quality furniture for kids room; no re-occuring replacement costs.
- Utilized the public library.
- Limited vacations to small weekend trips; stay with friends when possible.
Oxford defines hardship as “a state of misfortune or affliction”. I don’t see any of the things on my list as a hardship. If anything, the frugal things that I choose to do help me save money and relieve many financial pressures, which in turn gives me the time to reflect on the good things in my life; in particular, my family and friends. What I like to call the “state of my fortune”, is looking better and better everyday!If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
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