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Avoid Feeling Deprived While Living Frugally
Many people believe that to live frugally means you are depriving yourself. This is usually the case when I meet someone who doesn't know what it means to live a frugal life. They assume we are poor and deprived. Neither of these ideas is true. Living a frugal life does not mean you have to deprive yourself of the things that matter to you. That wording there is the key difference.
Most people that are spendthrifts do not deprive themselves of anything and they do not want to be deprived of anything. They want what they want when they want it. To live frugally means that you spend carefully in some areas to better afford the things you want or need in another area. A frugal person has taken stock of their life and decided what is important to them. Then they live frugally in the areas that don't matter much so that they can live however they want in the areas that do matter.
Sometimes a person has to be frugal whether they like it or not. Maybe they need to pay off their debt, maybe they need to afford an expensive medication, or maybe they make a low income. Whatever the reason; sometimes we are forced into frugality. When we are forced into frugality I think it is easier to succumb to the feelings of deprivation. So how can you avoid this?
Well, when are forced into frugality it is best to look at the big picture. The chances are good that this is just temporary. Knowing that you are depriving yourself only temporarily will help you get through it. Nothing is forever. Just because you can't go on vacation this year doesn't mean you will never go on another vacation. Just because there is no room in the budget this month for pizza, doesn't mean there won't be next month.
Think about what got you into this situation. Did you overspend for years and years? It is time to pay it back and it might be tough for awhile, but it will be worth it in the end. Being forced into frugality and feeling deprived will give you the push you need to fix the problem so that you won't have to live like this for long. Analyzing what got you in this position will help you avoid it in the future.
If you live frugally by choice you are much less likely to feel deprived. We are frugal by choice for the most part. A little bit of necessity and a lot of choice I like to think. When I start feeling deprived by our lifestyle I try to analyze why. Usually it is when we are forced to be extra frugal and really halt the spending to pay for something big that has come up. At times like those I try to be grateful that I have areas in my budget that I can cut while also realizing that it is temporary. I also try to list all the things I do have and am grateful for. This quickly changes how I am feeling.
Another way to avoid feeling deprived is to realize that frugality is a choice. Even when you are forced into it, it is really still a choice. Every time you spend money or don't spend money you are making a choice. Realizing that you are in control of your choices will help you avoid feeling deprived. For me that means that sometimes I give into my desires and stop for a coffee. I am making that choice. I am choosing to spend my $3 on a coffee instead of something else. I am in control of my choices.
In the end I don't think that feeling deprived is entirely bad. I also don't think that living frugally and deprivation go hand in hand. It is all in your attitude and how you look at the situation. Even if you are forced into frugality, you might find that you enjoy saving money in certain areas to better afford the things you want in other areas. And that is what living frugally is all about.