By Money Beagle
This is a guest post from Money Beagle, a personal finance blogger from Michigan who is new to blogging, new to marriage and will soon be new to raising a family, as the ‘Beagles’ are expecting their first child next May. Money Beagle’s blog focuses on frugality, saving, the economy, and whatever else comes to mind.
Being frugal is one of the current ‘buzz words’. Turn on any news channel and chances are that you’ll see something about extra tips to save money in today’s tough economy. Clip a coupon here, pack a lunch there, eliminate the latte, and you’re on your way. These are great tips as we look for ways to work ourselves out from under the mountain of debt that has somehow piled up in front of us.
While these tips are great in terms of how to become more frugal, there is one tip that I think needs to be added, and that is “keep at it for the long term“. Being frugal is not a fad!
It’s so easy these days to jump on the bandwagon of something, only to look back a few months later and find that it’s been forgotten about. Ask yourself the following:
- How many of the ‘gas saving tips’ employed this past summer are still in use? Many people were all about filling up their tires, avoiding sudden stops and starts, and cutting down on the excessive speeding. Yet, how many of those habits became a permanent part of how we drive? Especially now that gas has come down in price?
- Is everybody still as ‘green’ as they were on Earth Day? Just a few months ago, all the hype was on global warming and how we needed to save the environment. Is everybody still using their reusable shopping bags? Did we really finish swapping our light bulbs to CFLs?
- And of course the obvious one: How many people have dropped out of diets or workout programs?
Bottom line is that things like driving efficiently, being green, and staying fit require a long-term commitment in order to be successful, and so does saving money and being frugal.
Here are some tips:
- Have a long term goal – If you have a ‘prize’ at the end, such as paying off a big debt or saving for a down payment on a car or house, this will keep you motivated.
- Have short term goals – Long term goals take time, so make shorter goals along the way that are achievable. Success is it’s own reward!
- Find out what motivates you – Read personal finance blogs. Heck, write a personal finance blog if it keeps you motivated. Whatever works, find it and stick to it.
- Evaluate your progress – Keep an eye on how you’re doing and also on what’s going on in your life. Things like changes to your family, job changes, or unexpected changes can make it so adjustments are necessary.
Keep these tips in mind every day and you’ll find yourself saving more money and spending less without even breaking a sweat! Good luck!