3 Tips for Maintaining a Frugal Mindset


3 Tips for Maintaining a Frugal Mindset

Being frugal over a long period of time is not always easy, especially in today’s world where there seems to be spending temptations around every corner. As with any other sustained effort, having a certain mindset from the beginning can help you stay consistent. Being frugal is about more than just being cheap and trying to find the best deals on everything you buy. Frugality is a lifestyle choice more than anything, and once you learn to treat it like a way of thinking rather than a way of spending you’ll be on the right track to living a more financially stable and fulfilling life. With that said, here are 3 tips you can use to help maintain a frugal mindset:

1. Focus What You Need, Not What You Want

Oftentimes, we catch ourselves looking at bargains on outfits, gadgets, or other items that aren’t necessities. When you let your desires dictate how you spend your money, you’re putting yourself in a position to fail. Before making any purchase, ask yourself “do I really need this item, or do I just want it?” Learn to be happy without the things you want as long as you have the things you need. I learned from Rutgers school of social work that having a strong sense of priority and independence from personal luxuries are two of the most important aspects of developing a frugal mindset that will last.

2. Keep Your Goals in Mind

Another thing that I learned when getting my masters in social work was that there are two types of savers – people who save money just to save, and people who save money with a very specific financial goal in mind. You need to find a balance between the two, leaning more towards saving with a purpose. When you’re able to remind yourself of the reasons for being frugal it’s much easier to convince yourself to continue course. Visualizing your financial goals regularly can help you stay conscious of your reason for being frugal during times when you might otherwise ignore your responsible side.

3. Remember that Saving a Percentage is Not the Same as Not Spending

How many times have you been lured in by a sale and once you’re finished buying your items the cashier says to you “you’ve saved a total of ___ on this transaction.” Did you really save money, or did you spend a little less than you would have? Just because you see the opportunity to take advantage of a great deal doesn’t mean you should. Don’t let promises of 50% off and other discounts trick you into spending money when you would’ve otherwise never made the purchase. A discount should never be a reason to justify unnecessary spending.

Understand that Saving Starts with Psychology

Being frugal is all about having enough discipline and self-control to adhere to a strict budget even when there are opportunities to splurge. By heeding the above tips you can help foster such a mindset so that positive spending traits become learned habits in the long-term.

Madison Main
When Madison isn't tending to her job at a bank, she is hauling her 5 children to soccer practice and other activities. Main is also a speech and drama coach at the local high school.

8 Responses to “3 Tips for Maintaining a Frugal Mindset

  • I love your tips. As with most things, it’s mind over matter. I spend mostly on my kids now but I try to think about whether xyz is really needed.

  • I really need to start focusing on what I need, not what I want. I’ve let my spending habits get out of hand recently and need to be more sensible.

  • These tips are not only for maintaining a frugal mindset but also for the best frugal living. Thank you, I really appreciate all these tips.

  • These are fantastic tips! Especially the saving percentages/spending one. That’s easy to forget if you get caught up with bargains!

  • Saving definitely starts with psychology. You have to convince yourself and commit to saving money in every aspect of your life.

  • Yes #3! I get so mad at Kohl’s when they make this HUGE deal about what you saved. I saved nothing – I spent $75 in clothing! Same thing with Groupon. I unsubscribed from the emails years ago. It IS NOT a good deal, no matter what the percentage off is, if it is something you don’t need to spend money on in the first place.

  • My son heard the check out clerk say “You saved $20” and he turned to me and asked if he could have the $20 we saved … he’s five, and it was really hard to explain to him that it wasn’t money I got back, and that we still had to spend money to get out of the store. I love how stores try and trick us into feeling better about where we shop by saying we saved money.

  • These tips are fantastic! I’ve put myself on a budget, and I can definitely use all of the money-saving tips I can get. I’m still learning to have a bit of self-control when it comes to shopping!

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