As I work toward helping my family become debt free, from time to time I struggle with staying motivated.
We’ve paid off our smaller debts and now the debts we’re working on are larger, and are therefore going to take longer to pay off.
Without a little financial victory on a more frequent basis, I find it hard to stay as intense about my goals.
The big picture? Sure, that is easy to get excited about. I cannot wait for the day when debt no longer has a hold over us!
But the little details, the day to day choices, and sometimes struggles? Those aren’t as fun. There’s not a lot of joy there; in fact, it can feel like downright drudgery.
It can be a challenge to stay motivated day to day. To be honest, I get frustrated sometimes when it feels like we’ll never get there, never reach our goals.
Oh, yeah, another bill to pay.
Oh joy. Price matching diaper deals.
Sorting my coupons on a Friday night. Total excitement.
Hooray. Drinking water. Again.
Another budget meeting date night? Sexy.
Forgive me for the dripping sarcasm, but that is why I started documenting our family’s frugal deeds (done dirt cheap, of course), and I started a Pinterest board with the same name – because I need help to stay motivated to do the little things.
Because, really, there are no little things: they all add up.
(And if I have a rockin’ [if silly] mental soundtrack to go with it, that’s all the better, right?)
So, here are just a few of our latest Frugal Deeds (done dirt cheap!). I’d love to hear in the comments what frugal things you and your families have been doing lately so we can motivate each other.
Frugal Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap!)
- Removed the eBay, Amazon, and Etsy apps from my phone–because they were making impulse buying too tempting and easy for me. (Self-discipline is not my strong suit, friends.)
- We only have meat for dinner one or two nights a week and have been focusing on meatless meals.
- We’ve been eating lots of sandwiches and salads, some with the lettuce and radishes that are starting to be ready in our garden and store bought bread purchased in bulk at the Bakery Thrift store.
- Streamlining our gardening this year and sticking to what I know we will eat and use, because in years past I’ve probably invested too much in plants and seeds for veggies and herbs that my family won’t eat or doesn’t like and that isn’t saving us money.
- Putting in the work to weed and maintain the garden and our trees so that we protect that investment–plus, gardening = FREE exercise!
- Speaking of exercise, we have an Amazon Prime account and many of my favorite workouts have been found in the “free with Amazon Prime” selection.
- Water is the beverage of choice (or milk at meals for the kiddos).
- Reading one article or blog post about money every day (that’s where the Pinterest board comes in handy). Other people’s stories and financial victories help to keep me motivated.
- Decluttering and selling a few items to raise some extra money. Every little bit helps as we pay down this debt and selling things we aren’t using anyway is a pretty painless path to success.
- I put myself on a yarn and fiber “diet” as I knit from my existing stash.
- I’m making a list of children’s clothing items we need for the upcoming fall and winter and I’m keeping my eyes open at yard sales, the thrift store, and wondering what we can refashion or hand-down from things we already own.
- The same goes for school supplies and homeschool needs: making a list, checking it twice.
- Re-read this post on the Art of Simple (hmmm, man vs. dryer, that story sounds awfully familiar) and then sat down with Christopher to discuss the sunk cost fallacy and the future of certain appliances around our home.
- Speaking of re-reading posts, I actually took some time recently to re-read this post about our turning point. It was a good reminder of where we’ve been and that we really are making progress.
- I’m already planning for a mostly homemade holiday season this year.
- I’m also selecting crafts and projects for gifts that can be made inexpensively and, even better, with materials and patterns that I already own.
- Getting back into the practice of making our own homemade cleaners.
- Using the library and making sure to turn things in on time to avoid fines.
- Checking out the free books available on Kindle.
A few of my favorite places for frugal living inspiration:
- The Art of Simple (of course)
- Snail Pace Transformations
- The Queen of Free
- Living Well, Spending Less
- Life As Mom
- Money Saving Mom
- Dave Ramsey
Those are just some of the things we’ve been doing, I haven’t listed everything, but even writing this brief list is motivating to me and reminds me that we are making progress.
I’d love to hear what you all have been doing and hope we can encourage each other. What did I leave out?