Thursday, July 22, 2010

Learning to live frugally

Is quite a challenge! I'm not going to lie to you and fluff over it making frugal living out to be really easy to do. I'm very early into this journey towards living more simply and I want to be as honest as possible, so a) I can read back on this blog sometime in the future and remember what it was like in the beginning, and b) so anyone else reading this blog gets to see the journey from my perspective truthfully.

In the past few months I have been reading a lot of books and websites on living more simply and frugally. The reason a lot of them suggest we do this is to do our bit towards saving the Earth. This has lead me to be a bit more passionate about environmental issues recently. Now things like, seeing someone using disposable cups and plates or driving just down the road, really irks me! What a change that has been in me. It used to be me doing those things, not that long ago!

It goes to show that it doesn't take long to change your ways once you change your mindset. Changing your mindset is the biggest change you can make and always the first. Once I discovered the path I wanted to take with my life, I found it really easy to find out lots of websites, courses and books on the topics, I connected with people that had walked the same path and had the same ideas, I was able to decide on some goals and am able to use those resources to decide how I am going to achieve them. But it was that initial decision to not just give in to my every whim, not 'treat' myself because I was feeling a bit low or because I got paid or just because it was the end of the working week that was difficult!

Living frugally and simply is a goal of mine to lessen the impact I have on this Earth, to connect more with nature and to live a life more meaningful to me.

I have been taking small steps to live more efficiently and aware. I have chosen to use public transport to enable me to save momey, car emissions, and to reconnect with nature as I walk the 40 mins to the train station in the morning. It's such a simple act but has had so many benefits. I have also chosen to not buy any new clothes for (at least) 6 months, to learn to make my own green cleaners, to grow as much of my food as I can, to lessen my electricity use, to learn the lost arts of crocheting and sewing, which will enable me to make my own clothes and create gifts. These things I have begun to do while still living in my near-city unit, with no lawn, while still working a 9-5 job and without changing too much to be a drain on my energy. It's the little things that you make a habit that I think have the biggest impact. The things that you would normally do everyday without thinking. So once you have decided that you are willing to change, the motivation kicks in and enables you to make these small changes.

I work close to the city where the streets are lined with clothes shops, cafe's, trinket stores, supermarkets, and generally places where I would normally spend a large proportion of my money. The temptation is definitely there to just go into a shop and see what they have and usually walk out with some junk that I didn't need. But really what is the pont of that? That's just me being another mindless consumer! It's part of the culture. These shops wouldn't be there if people didn't go into them and buy STUFF.

So I have found that making the decision to be frugal is quite hard, making the initial changes aren't so hard because you have the motivation, but when you are then constantly bombarded with the consumer culture it is quite difficult to maintain those small actions. I sometimes catch myself looking at the racks of clothes from the shops lining the streets on the walk from work to the train station and thinking "oh they're only $10, I can afford that." It is a hard task to keep on track but I have found that being almost 'obsessed' with my goals, by going over them constantly and looking at more ways I can live frugally, really helps to keep those goals in the forefront of my mind and, so far, keep me on track.

Let me know what you do to keep on track. I'd love to know what methods you use.



  1. Its so funny you should say all this. I'm having the same dilemma myself at the moment - unless your consciously aware of your actions every moment, its so easy to forget and slip back into the consumer mindset, ten minutes later you realise you've just bought a piece of junk you didn't need.

    I've been thinking of a small tattoo that embodies the whole concept and what it means to me...I'm going to think more before I commit to it , and of course figure out a design.... but I've been thinking about it. Does that count as a method?

    Try adding buying only ethically sourced stuff -it helps cut down what you're actually able to buy, and therefor living simply and frugally just follows by wrote!
    Meanwhile, you seem to be doing great!


  2. Hey Bianca

    Thanks for your comments, I'm so glad it's not just me struggling!

    I think having a tattoo that constantly reminds you of what you trying to achieve is a great idea. You won't be able to hide it away and forget about it thats for sure!


  3. I'm pretty good when it comes to clothes and other stuff, however my biggest down fall is op shops, markets and the occasional fabric shop splurge. I'm getting better at passing up that 'bargin'.

    I agree about ethical shopping, I wont buy it if it doesn't meet my criteria.

    Great idea about the tattoo Bianca, a constant positive reminder...I like it!

  4. Hi I followed you here from down to earth :-)

    I've been attempting to do this, live frugally, for about five years and I still get tempted, however it does get easier! Keeping a real focus on my goals really helps me.

    From what I've read of your blog so far, you're doing great :-)

  5. Hi Lisa and Laura, thanks for popping on by.

    Thanks for your support and encouragment to just stick with it and not give in to those silly little temptations! That instant gratification certainly does not last long.

    I look forward to seeing you around here again, and I will pop on by to visit you too, to see what you've been up to.


  6. Hi Kimberly! Thanks for coming over to my blog. I really like yours, and I'm so glad you're heading towards the more frugal life as well. It definitely isn't easy, but it's nice. I struggle with it all the time- I love track of my goals regularly and have to bring myself back to center. But it definitely pays off. Keep writing and exploring!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...