One of the issues that has arisen with the recent economic troubles (and is likely to rise again with concerns about the U.S. deficit and the recent S&P credit rating downgrade) is that of frugal fatigue.
Many people began living more frugally after the 2008 global financial crisis, and continue making efforts to live frugally in the face of further economic uncertainty.
However, after a while it can become wearing to save too much. We make restrictive budgets, and we try to avoid spending money.
Over time, all this restrictiveness can result in a condition known as “frugal fatigue,” in which you simply get tired of always pinching pennies and trying to deny yourself. In some cases, frugal fatigue can result in getting a little crazy with the spending in order to “make up” for all of the ways you have denied yourself.
Before you let frugal fatigue get the best of you, here are some things you can try to combat the feeling:
Focus on What You Already Have
Take a look at what you already have. In many cases, frugal fatigue comes from wishing you had something else. Before you get too wrapped up in what you have been denying yourself, take a look at the good things in your life. Some of these might include:
- Good food to eat
- A few comforts at home
- Good friends
- Your health
- A roof over your head
- Good books to read
- The park nearby
- Family game night
- The occasional treat
In many cases, you might have more than you thought. Focusing your energy on being grateful what you have, rather than always pining for what you don’t have, can really help you get over frugal fatigue.
Splurge on Something Small
Another great way to avoid falling prey to frugal fatigue is to plan small splurges. You can set money aside each month in a “splurge fund.” This will allow you to get something fun, and keep you going.
Rather than just getting sick of it all and splurging big, a few small splurges, when they make sense for your budget, can help you feel as though you are enjoying life without breaking the bank or sacrificing your frugal lifestyle.
Some small splurges might include getting ice cream, buying a new book, visiting the cheap theater, buying a piece of sports equipment, or getting an inexpensive used video game. When you take the time to enjoy yourself, and use some of your money for “fun,” you will be less inclined to give up your frugal habits altogether.
Look for Discounts on Things You Like to Do
You can also enjoy yourself, and avoid frugal fatigue, by looking for discounted activities. Look for discount passes to amusement parks, or join a daily deal site to help you get access to great deals. (Just make sure you are careful of what you buy.)
You can also look for discounted activities around town, such as summer concerts in the park, sledding at a local hill, camping, bike riding, and checking out books and movies at the library. Keep an eye out for free museum days, or kids eat free days at local restaurants.
This will help you stay on top of your frugal budget, while still ensure that you have some fun and avoid frugal fatigue.
What are some of your ideas for avoiding frugal fatigue?
Photo by MandCo