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Frugal: My New Favorite “F” Word

Toni Husbands founded the Debt Free Divas, a group of financial advisors who not only have an awesome name, but also the best tips for staying out of the red! Read more from Toni on her blog

Frugal: My New Favorite "F" Word

The Internet is filled with websites helping you tap into your inner frugal diva. Frugal food sites. Frugal fashions. Frugal fix-it-ups for anything – all by your lonesome. If you can name it, it can be done frugally.

By some of us.

Frugal is the current “in” thing. Sure, I support being economical in consumption and/or spending while avoiding waste. That’s how the dictionary defines frugal. You’ll get no argument from me.

I’ll admit I find some ideas fascinating and the associated pictures inspiring. However, I generally stop at good for them. The frugal receptor just doesn’t fire for everyone when it comes to finances, cooking, or living life in general.

“Frugal” is a fantastic concept for those working to embrace a debt free lifestyle. While you may not find pleasure in breathing new life into fishing poles as picture frames (true story), I submit anyone can be frugal for a minute to dump debt and accomplish near term financial goals. Frugal may not come naturally, but the following tips can help you harness an un-frugal spirit.


Associate With Frugal Friends

I have a good friend from college who is the epitome of frugal royalty. She was frugal before frugal was cool. Of course, we just called her cheap. College kids aren’t the most financially sophisticated beings yet. Over the years, her cost conscious ways have rubbed off on on the whole group – some more than others. Looking back, my introduction to frugal ways began with my exposure to a frugal roommate who didn’t care if she was the butt of constant – but always with love – cheapskate jokes.


Do It Yourself

Think smaller. Forget about adding that second floor addition to your home right now. I love Pinterest and YouTube, but there’s a line where DIY becomes a waste of time and resources. Small fixes around the house – which don’t involve certification training requirements or safety hazards –  can save money and put you in the frugal camp. Switching to a beauty regimen that can be maintained in your bathroom is doable. Identify regular expenses that don’t have to be outsourced to conserve cash.


Shop Smarter

A huge category in any family’s budget will include groceries. Coupons are great – not everyone will clip. Let’s jut be honest. Give coupons a try (How To Get Started With Coupons), but also locate less expensive shopping options. Low cost, quality grocers with cheaper prices will save money with out the extra effort.

Avoiding window shopping, browsing consumer product magazines, and tons of commercials will also limit the financial impact of marketing influences.


Practice Contentment

Your material matters may not be in the shape of your heart’s desire, but being intentionally thankful for food, clothing, and shelter is a good place to start. If you have an automobile, wash it and keep it clean. A clean car – regardless of the model – drives so much better. Practice contentment by appreciating what you have – daily. Take good care of and keep your belongings in working order. Contentment will counteract the tendency to continually upgrade for the sake of show-n-tell.


Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Remember your goal. Debt freedom is the lifestyle of choice. Audit your actions with money against the impact on future goals and forward progress.You may need to adjust your living expenses, increase sources of income, or find less expensive options for entertainment.  Maintaining a regular budget and connecting with accountability partners will help you keep financial goals in focus.


Everyone isn’t frugal by nature. The good news is frugality can be a learned behavior. When it comes to harnessing an un-frugal spirit, go ahead and fake it until you make it – or at least until you’re debt free.

Toni Husbands, Financial Coach

I'm a financial coach with the Debt Free Divas on a mission to help 1 million families dump consumer debt. My family dumped over $100K in debt and you can too. Instagram: debtfreedivas

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