Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Good “F” word

What do you think of when people say "frugal"? Are you picturing tasteless meals, threadbare clothes, and overall going without?

Luckily, being frugal is not any of those things. Being frugal means you make the best choices that fit your personal finances. Your guidelines are these:

  1. Do I really need this?

    This is big one. No matter if it's a pair of shoes, a new car, or that cup of coffee that costs almost as much as a pound of beans. Making the choice to purchase or put energy into something you need, will use, and enrich your life is the first step in cutting your costs.

  2. Is this a good value?

    Know what things cost, on average. For groceries, cars, whatever you plan to purchase. Knowing the average cost of things will help you here. Remember, sometimes you will spend more to get a good value? How can that be? Quality plays a big part here. Think about the life cycle of the item in question. Will this be something you use for a long time? It may be worth the investment of a higher quality vs. lowest price, keeping in mind your budget, of course! Once you've made the decision, know how to get the best deal. There are many coupon and deal sites out there that can help you with this. For things you use often and store well, stocking up when there is a great price will save you over the long run.

  3. Could I do or make this myself?

    Remember that cup of coffee I mentioned earlier? How about that birthday card you bought last week? Whether it's cooking, crafts, something for your home, or writing a resume, you can do it! Need help? Don't forget the library and classes at your community center or local college. There are inexpensive resources out there to help you do pretty much anything!

My goal is to help you live a rich life, without spending a fortune. You can do it, if you keep these guidelines in mind every day. It's not about what you give up, it's all about the choices you make for yourself and your family, to make your lives wonderful yet simple.

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