Frugal dilemma: How to stay financially smart and yet splurge

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By: Good Nelly
on 5th Oct,2015

Any rule thats followed too strictly usually begins to lose its importance in our lives, the same might happen to your frugal lifestyle.
Frugal dilemma: How to stay financially smart and yet splurge

Any rule that's followed too strictly usually begins to lose its importance in our lives, the same might happen to your frugal lifestyle. For example, you follow a nice, budget-friendly healthy diet, but over the course of time, you become sick and tired of eating salads and sandwiches all too often. Instead, you start craving for some spicier, hot junk foods.

The same holds true in case of saving too much of money for too long a time. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a poll conducted by them in early 2013 comprising of around 2121 people revealed that 66 percent of the participants confessed to have grown complacent in pinching every dollar from wherever they could. However, they admitted to have continued with their respective saving strategies despite the attrition. Only about 5 percent have said that they stopped following a severe thrifty lifestyle and had reverted to their old splurging habits.

So, the exact amount of money that we should save or spend has remained a mystery till date. This is the reason a new term has surfaced in the personal finance world and that is frugal fatigue . Though there are differences of opinion in this regard, yet it has survived until now nonetheless. Few consider it to be a scapegoat to justify our splurges, while there are others who regard frugal fatigue to be a kind of a psychiatric anomaly.

How much is too much

According to a leading financial website, if you emphasize excessively on saving money, then you could end up depriving yourself of a healthy lifestyle. In other words, you could encounter severe hardship in all frontiers of your life, be it financially, emotionally or even personally.

Here are some of the after effects of being too much of a frugal person:

  • Losing out - One of the foremost adverse effects of frugal fatigue is that your life would appear more frustrating than ever before, especially when you'll deprive yourself of things that are easily accessible to others and not to you.
  • Lost time - Another adverse effect of frugal fatigue is that you'll tend to lose a lot of time over researching for better and more budget friendly products and so, you shop around as well as bargain all the more.
  • No gratifications - Finally, a stage might come in your life when you'll have to battle out extreme frustration. For example, your frugal fatigue will set in when you'll not be able to purchase certain big ticket items or fulfill your impulsive cravings.

Healthy splurging tips

Frugal fatigue will set in when you live on a tight budget way too long, saving money all along without sparing a couple of dollars for a recreational purpose. So, if you've already started suffering due to frugal fatigue, then as per experts' advice you should allocate a certain amount of your income to splurge intermittently. To help you plan for the small splurges, here are some tips from where you can get started (Caution - Never overdo them):

  • Start a splurge fund to pay for items you wished to buy for quite some time
  • Purchase a new novel or a book of your interest
  • Buy a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine before catching up with your friends and relatives
  • Enjoy a rejuvenating spa or massage therapy
  • Purchase a line of affordable sports equipment like darts or any other similar accessories
  • Watch a movie or play (either indoors or outdoors)

Having endured so much all this while, it'd feel liberating to spend some dollars with a sound sense of responsibility to amuse yourself. Still, it can become quite a challenging task to purchase even the smallest of things when you've vouched to live on a shoestring budget.

Yes, its possible to enjoy your life without being obsessive with your frugal ways, even if you're one of the most budget-conscious people in town. Following the above-discussed guidelines will never break your bank or for that matter you'll never feel deprived and most importantly you can beat the blues of frugal fatigue with ease.

Can frugal be fun?

Frankly speaking, if you lead a frugal life, particularly when you are going through financial turmoils, then it can mostly be considered as a rewarding feat rather than something severely depriving or stressful. As some financial experts opine, you must learn to be grateful for what you have in your hand now, frugal fatigue will creep in the moment you wish for more than what you can afford.

Your focus should be on the most important things you and your family require like a proper home; healthy, nutritious food, peaceful social life and a happy family. Counting these as your prime blessings will prevent you from suffering under frugal fatigue and you'll gradually learn to appreciate that you've got more than what you could've ever expected.

As far as recreational costs are concerned, then you can make good use of discount passes to pay a visit to your local amusement parks, zoos and museums. Moreover, you could let your kids have a gala time by indulging them into activities like mountaineering, biking, camping or summer concerts at a fraction of what a typical overseas tour would cost. Remember, you've got ample opportunities to save your dollars and yet remain happy, after all it's your willingness to whether save money or to spend them that matters at the end of it all.

Read on: Money lessons you can teach toddlers to make them financially smart

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