There are lots of things we take for granted when money is plentiful. When we want food, we buy it, when we need petrol we stop and fill up. If we need something done around the house, we call a tradesman or service. We buy furniture and dťcor items for our home and pay our bills when they come in. Itís great.
But what happens when we find ourselves on a limited budget? Suddenly all those things we take for granted have to be considered carefully. We have to question every dollar we spend and whether we are getting the best value for our money.
I have had to live on a limited budget on and off for many years and, to be very honest, I really enjoy the challenge of making it work. Iíve found that there are a number of positive benefits, too, like:
1. More variety in meals
Having a limited budget to spend on food means using all those bits and pieces in the fridge, freezer and pantry and it also means being more imaginative and experimental. I have come up with some great new dishes in this way and it means no wasting.
Image courtesy of Flickr
2. Better planning and organising
I have learned to think ahead, predict my bills, remember birthdays and important dates, allocate funds, and track everything I spend.
3. Being more environmentally-friendly
I think about everything I use and dispose of. If I can re-use or re-purpose it, I do. I re-cycle bottles and cans and If I need to buy something, I try to find it second-hand and give it a new life.
4. Being healthier
Iím much more physically active. I walk more to save petrol, I mow my own lawn and I eat more natural foods instead of processed, pre-packaged or fast food.
Image courtesy of Flickr
5. Learning new skills
Being frugal means I have learned to do a lot of things for myself, like:
∑ Laying carpet
∑ Mowing the lawn / pruning
∑ Putting furniture together
∑ House painting
∑ Cutting my own hair
∑ Grooming my dog.
∑ Basic car maintenance
∑ Installing new taps and cupboards.
There is a certain satisfaction in knowing I can do all these things, maintain a home and car, keep on top of bills and enjoy a good standard of living, all while lessening my footprint on this earth.
I agree with you, Colleen. One also learns to feel gratitude for good health, lovely weather, good friends, flowers and vegies in the garden and the like. There is satisfaction in getting a true bargain or fixing something/repurposing an item to avoid spending money. You can make friends through swapping surplus garden produce and handy tips.