The Three F’s: Frugality-Fun-Finance

by JT McGee

It seems pretty unrealistic to think that all of my readers can associate three words such as frugality, fun and finance with one another. Sure it’s easy to correlate frugality and finance together. So how is it that we add the fun to this equation?

For people like me, watching investments grow and turning down an unnecessary item has a thrill of its own. For others, the tingle that comes with spending money is what makes life exciting. Subsequently, come time to pay bills, sensation leaves.

If you find yourself identifying with the latter, it’s time to introduce the fun into your savings plan. This is best achieved through baby steps. Cutting out everything you love at one time can be overwhelming, causing you to feel as if you lost a part of yourself. On the flipside, starting small and seeing the return can help you to make additional sacrifices that will ultimately produce some pretty great rewards.

Monitor your Utilities

Check whatever records you have spanning the last several months of all utilities paid. This includes gas, water and electric. Take an average of them and consider that “your monthly payment.” From there I want you to make a few minor adjustments to your lifestyle. This could be as simple as unplugging everything before you leave the house.

I also want you to make sure you are taking full advantage of any plans your utility provider may be offering. It’s likely that they know more about what you are spending money on than you do. Regardless of where you reside, you can visit online price comparison sites for energy utilities in Ohio and other states. Find the best plan for your needs and just go with it.

Over the next few months, I want you to continue to monitor your bills closely. Every dollar saved over your average monthly payment needs to go directly into your savings account. Look at this way…you would have spent that money anyway so you really shouldn’t miss it.

After about 6 months you will have saved a decent amount of money and will quite possibly be enjoying the added comfort. If this stimulates you as I believe it will it is time to take it a step farther.

Trim the Fat

It’s likely that you don’t feel as if there is anything you can cut out of your life. We become accustomed to our routines and it often seems as if we are already living on the bare necessities. This just isn’t accurate. We all have fat that can be trimmed. It’s a matter of searching until you find it.

Start with your bad habits. This could be anything from smoking to fast food. Give yourself a budget for food and take that money to the grocery store. Make a conscious effort to pack your lunch and cook dinner. This by no means every meal has to be prepared from scratch. With a loaf of bread costing around $3.00 and a pack of lunch meat around $5.00 for $8.00, you have lunch for the week. Even the dollar menu will cost you $15.00 minimum.

Add the money you didn’t spend on food to your savings and give it some time to set in. Not only are you saving money you are now a little bit healthier. What’s not fun about that?

By doing these couple of simple things, I am convinced you will have done enough to enjoy the extra dough. You will see a realistic picture of what your future can be. From there you will know how to continue on the path of financial gain. We have all been told a million times how to save money; it’s really all about putting that advice into play. Remember, trying to do it all at one time can be overwhelming. Start small and the good times will roll.

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