I know I say this often but it’s because I truly believe it! We all have different reasons to be frugal and whatever our reason, it’s absolutely valid. Your reason should be what motivates you and what keeps you going and today I’m going to share my new reason – my new ‘why’?
For us, we’ve paid our debts now, we’ve pretty much got our budget down to the lowest I think it can go without sacrificing things that we don’t want to sacrifice and we’re overpaying our mortgage by a comfortable amount each month to allow us to repay our mortgage in 10 years rather than the 21 years left that we officially have.
And now that we’re in the position we’re in, our money priorities are starting to change! It’s no longer about stripping this back to the lowest amounts possible and cutting out the things we could live without, it’s about allowing a few more ‘treats’ in the budget (travel for example) and about having the freedom to spend more of our money on living our lives in a different way. For example, I’m becoming more aware of how much I want to try and live a more sustainable lifestyle which isn’t always the cheapest option.
So basically, my whole reason for needing/wanting to be frugal has changed in the past twelve months. In the past, our WHY was a necessity because we had to save money wherever we could in order to be able to afford to pay our bills and still have a little left over to be able to do things with the kids. We were living beyond our means at one point and definitely had a few sticky periods where we struggled more than a little over the years.
These days though, we’re in a better position and being frugal is more of a habit and a lifestyle rather than the necessity that it once was and our WHY is much harder to define.
I still want to be frugal because I’ve learned that I hate waste and I genuinely can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to be frugal – it saves us so much money and waste that it’s a bit of a no-brainer to me but there are other reasons now that are motivating me to save money.
My first new WHY is to focus on paying my mortgage off as quickly as we can and it’s hugely motivating to see that mortgage balance come down month by month. I could be missing a trick with my overpayments though as there’s a strong possibility that I could take the money I’m overpaying by each month and invest that elsewhere to get a higher return on my money. Over the 10 year period that I’ll be overpaying my mortgage, I could be investing that overpayment elsewhere to make enough money at the end of that period to pay the mortgage and have some leftover.
Just knowing that I’ll be mortgage free before I’m fifty is massively motivating and I’m fired up enough about it to be making extra payments here and there to get it paid even sooner if possible.
My second new WHY is that I want to live a more sustainable lifestyle as a family which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and have done to a certain degree but it’s not always the cheapest option. To give you an idea of just a few of the things we have the freedom to do now – we have a veg box delivered from local farms now and we also go to a farmers market once a month to buy from local food producers.
Being able to support local businesses and reduce the ‘food miles’ on the food we buy is a big WHY for us to save money in other areas. They’ve then inspired me to grow more of our own food which was something I’ve tried over the years but never really put in as much effort as I could have. My WHY of living a sustainable lifestyle has made me want to do this too as it feels like the next step.
And my final WHY is the fact that I definitely have a bit of a travel bug! I love love love travelling and having a trip or two to look forward to is the most motivating reason to help me to save money where I can. We’ve had some amazing holidays recently and I know that we’ve made memories with the kids that will last us all a lifetime.
So that’s my three WHY reasons to be frugal. They’re personal to me and I’m pretty sure that your reasons will be different but whatever your reason, you need to work out what it is and once you know what it is, use that to get you fired up and motivated.
(This post was totally inspired by a really interesting talk I heard recently at a conference. It was all about future proofing your finances and one of the speakers, Maria Nedeva from The Money Principle, said something about finding your passion and using that to motivate you to achieve your financial goals and it really made me think.)
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