Living frugal doesn't mean you have to give up everything you like to do. For me it is centered around the financial goals we have set forth for our family. Setting financial goals is an important step to living more frugal and saving money. Having a goal in mind will keep you motivated to make little money saving changes every day.
There are two main types of financial goals, short term and long term. Or if you're like me, three types, mid term goals. Sit down and assess where you are at financially and where you want to be. This is a must to setting your goals. We started to look at ways to save money last summer when gas prices topped out around $4/gallon. And when the economy continued to tumble we decided to take a look at where we were at with our finances and set financial goals.
Our example is as follows:
Short Term Goal - Find ways to free up a little extra money each month so we could do something fun as a family. We like to take the kids to the zoo, a movie, go out to eat once or twice a month or even a fun scenic family train ride. Cutting back and saving money in some area's of our budget allows us to do one or two of these fun activities each month.
What I like to call Mid Term Goal - Become Debt Free! We realize that becoming debt free will make us more financially comfortable as well as help with our long term goal. I labeled this a mid term goal since it's not something we can achieve over night rather, it's a goal that will take many months and a lot of financial discipline.
Long Term Goal - Build a house or move to a newer one! This is a goal we have set for ourselves as a family and believe it will take 3-5 years to make a reality. Keeping this goal in mind is very motivating to work hard on the short term and mid term goals we have made and stick to them. Knowing there is a prize, so to speak, at the end of the road makes me want to find even more ways to save money.
Again, living frugal doesn't mean you have to give up living. Always keep your goals in mind and depending on how much you want to see those goals happen can help determine how much you want to save money. So make your plans, set your financial goals and find ways to make them happen. Frugal living won't seem like such a bad thing if you have a goal you are working for! Good Luck!