A few years back I lived paycheck to paycheck. I struggled with keeping up with my bills. I was wondering where my hard earned money was going. I decided that we couldn't live like this, and decided to pay off our debt. This was the beginning of our debt free journey. What we didn't anticipate was how hard this journey was going to be, how stressful it was going to be, and how many times we felt like quitting. We managed to get there. We have succeeded in completely turn around and embraced this new lifestyle. Many asked if our family's struggle with being frugal was worth it.
The answer, YES! We struggled, we fought; but we kept going with it, we didn't give up. The reasons we struggled was because we didn't want to accept it. We didn't want to admit that we were the reason we were in the financial mess. We had no one to blame but ourselves. Still, the journey was hard but so worth it in the end.
A Family's Struggle With Being Frugal: 7 Tips To Help You With Your Struggles
Let me just begin by saying congratulations! You decided to kick debt in the butt and start living frugally and start living life. Your family is struggling; you can see it, and don't know what to do. We have been there, and I will give you some helpful tips that will help you with these struggles. We had some struggles ourselves, but by following these helpful tips, we got by and made it.
Tip #1 – How Frugal
First, you must accept what being frugal is. My definition of frugal depend in control of your money. Your family living life and not letting money control you. Being frugal, or how frugal you live, depends on you. You and your family define how frugal you want to be. Frugal is not a contest; it's a lifestyle. Each individual interprets it differently and lives it differently. You must come to terms with how frugal you want to live. This takes time; the struggle will come with accepting and adjusting, to the new frugal life you set for yourself and your family.
Tip #2 – Communicate
To avoid family struggles, you must all communicate with one another. Sit down and have a family meeting. Talk and listen to one another. You are all in it for the same reason, to take control of your finances. Write down your goals. Try to make it fun. Include everyone and assure them that everything will be alright. All the changes, the sacrifices, are for the better.
Accept the ‘I don't give a crap' attitude. Yes, you heard me. Your friends and family will not understand, at first, what you are doing. They might think, or in some cases might call you, weird. You are all of the sudden making changes that some people might not understand at first. You and your family will start doing things to save money that others are not used to seeing you do. This is when you accept that you are ‘weird' and continue with what you're doing. Many people were called ‘weird' and are now living life to the fullest because they changed and took control of their finances. Think about it this way; your family decided that they were going to live a better life that will bring happiness, stability, and wealth. Comparing yourselves with the Jones' is what got you in the financial mess you are. Being called weird should be a compliment.
Tip #3- Be Open
Be open to everyone. By being open, I mean to be honest about being more financially responsible. I know you might think this is crazy, but if you talk about what your financial goals are and your journey to others, it will eliminate the peer pressure because they will understand. They will know that you are not avoiding them because you don't like them, but because you have personal reasons. I would get many invites to My Thirty-One parties my friends will host. As much as I love the products, I couldn't spend any money. By me being open about my financial journey, they quit inviting me; not because they didn't want me there, but because they understood my situation.
Check out these posts:
- 10 Things You Shouldn't Buy When You Are Struggling Financially
- 15 Financial Planning Books We Must Read
- 5 Steps To Help You With Your Broke Mindset
Tip #4 – Listen
Listen to reasoning when you are shopping. That little voice inside of your head screams, “Put that purse down sister!” Girl, you need to listen. Before you buy, think about your financial struggles and where you want to be. I worked retail, and the temptation to shop was insane. It was challenging for me at first, but every time I would attempt to buy something I didn't need, I would think of my journey and listen to my voice of reasoning.
Tip # 5 – Support
Surround yourself with support. Believe it or not, you will be surprised that when you are open to people, two things might happen. People will not understand or people will. You will also be surprised to hear about people that are doing exactly what you're doing. From there, you have support from others.
Also, you will find amazing people that have gone, are going, or are starting on their own financial journey. When you are in doubt or struggling, surround yourself with others who understand and are going through the same journey. Online you will find a community of people that will provide you with the support you need.
Tip #6 – NO
Learn to say no. This was major for me, learning to say no to people for feeling like I was going to disappoint or upset them. Learn to say no to that girls night out. Learn to say no when your friends invite you to a game. Learn to say no to things that will cost you money. Once you get your finances under control, the things you are saying no to might someday change to a yes. 🙂 You are saying no for a good reason.
Tip #7 – Enjoy the Journey
Accept where your financial journey is taking you, and enjoy the ride. We learned so much about ourselves during our financial journey. We enjoyed finding ways to save money. We enjoyed the visits to the Library, the walks on the trails, anything that was free and available to us. We learned to garden and to cut down on groceries. The journey and the experience continue afterward. Look at the positive, and the struggles you are going through will be like little bumps on the road on this journey to success.
The road to financial freedom is not an easy one at first, but with these 7 helpful tips it will help you minimize your family struggles with being frugal along the way. Remember that being frugal is a personal decision and how frugal you want to be depend on you and your family. Adapting to this lifestyle takes time and, like creating a budget, it will take time to get it right.