I’m so misunderstood. If only you knew me.
Being frugal is not something you randomly do. It takes a few key frugal rules as part of your frugal mindset that drives this change and consistency towards frugality. This ultimately affects the decisions you make.
Why is a frugal mindset so important?
Many people misunderstand the concept of frugality, associating it merely with saving money and the result of a healthy bank balance. This is way off the true concept of frugality. It is so much more than your bank balance and budget but the way you view your situation. Having the right mindset affects the decisions you make and how close you get to reaching your goal.
Why can’t I just live the way I want
Part of the misconception about being frugal is that you are constrained from living the life you want to have. Frugal habits can on the contrary give you that freedom of thinking so long as you allow yourself to! For example, there are countless options you can consider for the same outcome instead of restricting yourself to the ‘norm’ or best considered.
I don’t know where to start
You can start small and still aim big! Read my 5 Brilliant Mind Blowing Frugal Tips to Try blog to find out more. We are all busy people, so there’s no need to be strictly frugal unless you want to be. That is, with absolutely everything. I’m here to help you be more frugal and take the stress out of it on the way. You can visit my website Three Kids and Heels to read related blogs. The great thing is that you can be as frugal when and as you want. The first thing I would advise, and I have often reminded myself countless times is that:
- Do not care what others think of you and your ideas – Only you know the value of what you consume.
- Educate yourself – Don’t overpay for goods or services. Know their true value by doing your research.
- Do it yourself – In some instances definitely consider this option and you could save yourself a small amount to hundreds of pounds.
- Question yourself – Go through the thought process of whether you need or want something, if you could do without, borrow or get it cheaper.
- Treat yourself – Don’t feel guilty about this. You are in charge of your budget not others.
- Be frugal, not hard on yourself. Find the right balance for you that allows you to be frugal AND happy.
- Go generic, not brand specific. Try something new, make a small change. You don’t have to stick to it.
Why I love the Shopmium App
Since I downloaded the shopmium app several months ago, I have been more willing to try out new products. Needless to say, if I don’t drink coffee, I am still not willing to try any brand of coffee! Luckily I like coffee 😉 The other day I came across a new brand of coffee on the shopmium app. It was offering £3 with a £1.50 cashback. I had heard of the brand before so I decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised that it was as good as my normal brand and so when there is an offer in the supermarket, I will be more flexible with regards to the brand of coffee I buy. My point remains that you can save some money if you are not brand specific.
You only have to go out for a pint of milk and you easily come across the top 10 brands which then have their range of milk from whole milk, whole milk with vitamins and organic whole milk to name a few. The Grocer gives us the lowdown on Who owns the dairy industry. The 10 biggest dairy companies in the UK. Use this frugal living tip whenever you intend to go out shopping and you could make quite a bit of saving over time.
The real question you have to ask yourself is, does it taste bad, good, better or just different? Not being brand-specific, doesn’t mean you have to consume something that is of less quality.
Frugal means change
Sometimes it takes a bit of an effort to change over that broadband provider or try out that new coffee brand, however, the motivation should come from the frugal mindset that for a short term inconvenience or effort, in the long run, you will have more happiness. That could mean different things to different people. Money saved more satisfaction, better service, whatever is value for money to you.
My other half and I have often revisited our energy and broadband, mobile suppliers almost every year since the last few years. According to Which Magazine’s article Switch broadband provider and save up to £143 per year, you could save up to £143 per year by switching your broadband provider alone. I can safely say that we must be saving much more than that each year. There are so many frugal ways to save money.
Hang around with your frugal friends
One thing I’ve noticed since I started my business on Instagram is that there are a whole load of frugal people like me! Sometimes being frugal can feel lonely, a misfit from the crowd so to speak. It can often put you off from being your true self. I would love to connect with like-minded frugal besties, just join me on @threekidsandheels on Instagram.
Luckily I come from a frugal-minded family however I view my other half a little less frugal than me. He would probably beg to differ! I can say that over the 17 and a bit years I have been married, I have become a little less frugal which I am sure that my dear husband has had a role to play in. He on the other hand has become a little more frugal. You can find out more about me here.
The truth of the matter is that being frugal doesn’t just happen like that. If anyone says it does then they are not quite telling the truth. Often people give the perception of making things look effortless when in fact things aren’t. We most often make a conscious effort to do things by planning, hence the frugal mindset. For instance, a really basic principle which I often follow and is sabotaged by my 3 kids is that I plan my meal at least a day before. It means we less often grab or order pizzas or go out for a meal. Instead, we opt for a frugal meal at home using fewer and simple ingredients that are not only healthier but cheaper too. Lauren from Loveremodeled has a great article 5 Behaviours to cultivate a frugal mindset. One frugal tip Lauren encourages is cooking at home.
Planning your meals is a great way to start
Planning your emails is an easy way to start being more frugal. It takes a bit of effort but the benefits are twofold. I’m being more frugal at home through shopping and planning for a meal that week. I take care to include more vegetables as when I find that I want to cook a meal on a spur of the moment, it means I don’t always have the necessary ingredients available. I’m more creative when planning meals than I used to and it proved very useful especially with our addition of small children to the family. You can download my free meal weekly planner here.
Stick to your guns
Another thing I noticed when meal planning is that I stick to the recipe I chose and am not tempted to improvise with naughty alternatives or scrap the recipe altogether for an unhealthier option. The other day I collected the ingredients for macaroni cheese. Just feast your eyes on this Instagram reel! Yes, our comfort food these winter days. It’s funny when you want to make a recipe that involves only a few ingredients that you always end up running out of milk or not having the flour to thicken the cheese sauce. Even worse, you run out of cheese 😉
You’re not just saving money
This brings me back to my main point again, the association between saving money and frugality. Being frugal and planning can mean big differences to your lifestyle for the better.
COP26 & Frugality
What’s the connection
The initial climate change agreement was signed in 1995. The 26th conference held in Glasgow gives rise to the name COP26 standing for Conference Of the Parties 26. According to the Economist’s article on climate change, this was a final opportunity for countries to embrace and take action on climate change.
Ultimately, the connection between the frugality mindset and COP vision is that frugal consumption habits become imperative if we are to meet COP26 targets. The government in my opinion is imposing frugal rules so to speak not only on companies but on individuals too. This is difficult with the strong direction of money and selflessness being the main motivator of actions.
Does this have sustainability written all over it?
The recent conference highlights that the agreement is not to be underestimated with progress being made in the right direction. Sustainability is an integral part of frugality. The ability to consume, reuse and dispose of, not to mention the allocation of these resources in a way that is beneficial to the environment and human nature spells sustainability and frugality in one sitting. We need to consume less since resources are finite and use effective systems and rules to redistribute them.
Frugality is a necessity
Of course, the ideal situation is that being frugal is a choice and it’s not something that you feel you are pushed into due to circumstance. I can say from experience that there are certain circumstances where you need to be frugal to live a balanced life to afford a lifestyle that matters to you. Even where frugality becomes less of an informed choice and more of a necessity, it’s the mindset that keeps you focused and able to reach a goal of living life and consuming what is important to you.
The correct mindset leads to the right action
The frugal mindset has to be put into action. It’s just my personal opinion but the recent protests around COP26 cause more disruption and a waste of resources such as police and security and emergency services. These same services could be allocated to a much greater need than a deliberate movement that although has the right intentions but whose actions do more harm than good. There is so much we can do on a personal level that collectively acts as a mindful large positive impact.
The frugal mindset is so many things and more
The frugal mindset is a deep concept and while it is influenced by several factors, we cannot say that it ends there. We could likely agree that the result of a frugal mindset is more happiness as a result of planned thinking.
This is as opposed to a mindset that is seen by most to be restrictive, burdensome and limited in terms of its options. The frugal mindset is greatly underestimated. It’s not to be confused with a haphazard and disorganised, impulsive thought. Careful planning that some even view as emerging from religious belief, results in positivity and happiness that is in the long term more impactful than any impulsive time and money-saving decision.
So don’t look at what the Jone’s are doing or what they’ve got. If you have less or are doing things a little bit more frugally, I’ve got your corner.
Chat soon Besties,