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You probably already know, deep down, the basics of being financially successful. Work hard, save, invest, spend wisely, and don’t take your eye off the ball.
But this doesn’t mean you have to live a penny-pinching life with no treats. You can live a happy, fulfilled life and still be financially responsible. And the secret is to embrace frugality.
Here are five ways to live a more frugal, fulfilled financial life.
1. Use what you have
Most people have more stuff than they need. Our culture promotes the idea that spending more and more money and acquiring more and more stuff will make you happy.
Look around you right now. Do you have lots of books? Or clothes? Or games? Do you use them all? Have you worn everything in your closet this year?
Before you buy something new, ask yourself if you genuinely need it right now.
2. Enjoy what you already have
Maybe you’re the sort of person who buys stuff to cheer yourself up. Chances are your apartment is full of stuff that is you haven’t yet enjoyed.
Give those books or clothes or computer games a chance to make you happy before you go out on another shopping spree.
3. Edit what you have
You’ve probably heard about getting rid of possessions that don’t bring you joy.
If you have a closet full of clothes that only need you to lose ten pounds before you can wear them, or something so expensive you can’t even look at it without feeling guilty, you need to have closet purge!
Start small, one closet or room at a time, and sort your possessions into three piles: keep, donate, and trash.
4. Think twice before buying
Lighten your load of stuff and think twice, even three times, before you buy.
Don’t feel bad about wanting to shop, there’s a lot of pleasure in browsing, choosing, and purchasing. But you can enjoy the looking without actually hauling more stuff back home to join all the other stuff.
Acknowledge that you want the item – that will defuse some of the need-to-buy energy. Then really consider how much you need it. Do you already have something similar? Is it something you can live without and don't need to buy?
5. Rent or borrow
If you see an item you want, think about whether you could rent or borrow it. You might be able to save the cash and still use the tool. It’s also a great way to test how much you “need” the item.