The key to avoiding unnecessary financial stress is saving our money.
Emergency savings accounts, investment accounts, and Financial Freedom all take money to make happen. Spending unwisely definitely is a hurdle to the foundation of financial peace.
But what if you don’t particularly want to be frugal?
Frugality is Money for What Matters
Our focus should always be to have money for what matters, and that means getting your priorities straight.
Everyone’s priorities will be different.
For example, I am not a big fan of video games so buying electronics is not high on my priority list. However, I know several families that do put video games at a high priority because they have family game nights that revolve around them.
Start with a List
Make a list of things that truly matter to you. Things that represent stability and make you feel happy.
Mine looks like this, in no particular order:
Make a Plan
With my list, I am able to keep a plan of what I need to buy to feel safe, secure, and happy.
This also helps me build certain habits that prevent me from spending unnecessarily.
For instance, the first thing on my list is nice clothes and shoes.
I buy kids’ clothes only twice a year, at a local week-long consignment sale.
Below is a short video of a haul I got at the sale in Spring 2018. Click here for a short primer on how to shop second hand and saving money on kids' clothes even if you don't consignment shop.
I go early in the week to get shoes before they are picked over. Then I go back on half-price day to get clothes.
I get nice name brand clothes for almost nothing. It’s my habit not to pay more than $2-$4 total for any item, although certain items like rain boots do usually cost more.
I avoid overspending caused by shopping too much. I don’t wander in stores to window shop, and when I go to stores like Target or Kroger, I avoid the clothes section entirely.
Once I have the clothes, I must keep them clean and dry to prevent them from getting moldy, ripped, or otherwise ruined.
This means I must do my best to keep up with laundry. I must keep laundry detergent at the ready. And I have learned to mend clothes and remove stains.
Clear Picture of Stability
Once you have a clear picture of what your stability looks like, you can start trimming away at your buying habits so that you never have to wonder where your money went.
This habit combined with tracking your spending will help you cement control over your money.
Wasting your money won’t seem so tempting because you will have a clear picture of where you need it to go to conquer your stress.
Don’t get so focused on saving money that you start to act compulsively or hurt others.
All the money in the world won’t comfort your kids if you are constantly fighting burn out.
Don’t exhaust yourself so that you can’t enjoy your time with your children or lose a sense of your self.
For me, the line between miserliness and frugality exists at the point to where I am worried about saving money more than I am worried about my children learning joy.
Where does the line exist for you? Let’s start a conversation! Comment below.
Hi! I am Ali, a homeschool mom who is passionate about science, managing my money and time well. Unfortunately, with an army of tiny faces, I am always still kind of a mess.
I was tired of not having a judgement free place to talk about money troubles with other moms. So I created one!
Click on the picture above to join my Facebook Group, Money Savvy Mommas.