How to deal with austerity or cheapness versus frugality

This is a thing I have struggled with most of my life as when I was a child I was not commercial in the slightest and needed very little money to get by on. When I got older the wants and needs crept in. Now I think I am stabilising as I have done most of the things that you want to do when your young and its looking towards the new challenges of the future whatever they may be.

Buying things cheaply may initially be a good idea but if it keeps wearing out quickly as you use it a lot, in my case a green jacket, you need to get something more substantial. This will probably cost a lot but for the about of usage it will be quite low overall. Beds, shoes etc. are all things that are worthy of spending a lot on as your using one or the other most of time. Just don’t go overboard. Reassess your life periodically to ensure your not just hoarding and actually require all those items you seem to have collected. You will most likely be surprised at what you have managed to accumulate over the years. Moving house is also good at spurring this on.

I have been thinking a lot of Martin Lewis recently as I have been having a clean out of various items that haven’t been used in a long time and getting a fair amount of money for them. Sometimes it involves some effort but its worth it as you get rid of an item you no longer want and somebody else gets an item that they want. As a bonus I have been using the money to fund my most recent hobby skiing. This is not a thing that can be done on the cheap as its so cold so you need all that extra layering and protection as it can be quite dangerous.

Budgeting is difficult at the best of times and I think that January can be one of the hardest times as you might regret overspending at Christmas, but wonder how you can prevent doing it again as you had such a good time and now all is dark, cold and wet reality. Happiness is a key thing here. This does not need to cost money and indeed some of the best things in life are free as the song says. Its going back to basics and cutting out unnecessary things that we have probably got into the habit of wanting maybe to impress others or to keep up with the neighbours. STOP! This is capitalism at its finest. Think what did you like to do as a child, think how you could encourage your children to like more natural things, teach them to cook, garden, appreciate art, take part in arts and crafts even take up knitting or clay modelling. Everybody loves board games and if you don’t like the traditional ones like Scrabble or Monopoly how about Settlers of Catan which is an awesome board game that can be expanded and even comes in a travel version with expansions for that too. If you can’t tear them away from the TV or you want some peace and quiet time to yourself swap games, movies or even books with friends, relatives or neighbours. This way you get the latest releases but you don’t have to buy them all. Even better go to your local library.

It worked well when I was a child and human nature does not change much we are still born, grow, age and die getting married, having children and moving house several times in between along with lots of other common shared experiences. It is common sense really but sometimes we can get so caught up in our daily lives that we need to remind ourselves what we are doing this for in the first place. Don’t be afraid to spend money if it is required just make sure you are making that money work well for you.

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