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This is a guest post by Nathaniel Kidd, who is a retired soldier and frugal living blogger. He was the runner-up of December 2014 Aha Gem Leaderboard and thus the winner of this guest post opportunity. He reveals the ways of frugal living that can make you and your family live happily in peace, forever.
There is nothing better in this world than living a happy life with your family.
Unfortunately, so many people are too hung up on financial struggles, so they never really get the opportunity to enjoy the true fruit of living.
While many are making New Year’s resolutions that involve “getting healthy” and “losing weight,” what you really need to focus on is living a happy life.
You see, believe it or not, happiness does not start tomorrow or the next day, or even someday – it begins with you right here and now.
Happiness leads to healthy living and yes, happiness can also lead to weight loss.
With all of those thoughts in mind, I am going to take some time to share my personal secrets with you!
Here, you will find 10 ways of frugal living for more happiness and peace in 2015.
Frugal Living For Happiness And Peace
There is a common misconception of thrifty or frugal people as folks who pinch every penny so hard that Abe Lincoln screams, “Uncle!” whenever he sees them coming.
Let me assure you right now that it is so far from what frugal living is all about.
It is just another in a long list of false impressions about economical people. Living sensibly does not mean living like a tightwad.
1. Start With A Simple Life
A simple life has a different meaning for every person.
For me, living a simple and happy life involves eliminating the material items that I do not need from my life and only buying items I need.
While I could go out and enjoy a luxurious life, I prefer living a simple one, because that is what makes me happy. In a simple life, lies a big difference between wants and needs.
2. Don’t Worry What Others Think
I recall a time when a friend of mine was so caught up on caring about what others thought of her, to the point where she was spending more money than she could afford, trying to keep up with the jones’, as the old saying goes.
She would only eat at the finest restaurants so she could relate to her friends and keep them impressed and interested in her.
She did not want to be found in a “low quality” place, such as the dollar store, so she’d go to a “name brand” store and pay more for her items.
For the longest time, I hesitated on whether or not I should talk to her about this problem.
Finally, I sat her down and had a long heart to heart talk. I told her that she should stop worrying what others think of her financial status – to stop spending money she really couldn’t afford.
I gave her some of my secrets to living a happy life and pointed her towards my blog.
After that talk, she listened to me, made changes in her life and is now happier than she has ever been before.
I know she is not alone in her boat – there are many people out there that are just like her sinking in debt and cannot find a life preserver to escape it.
3. Learn To Say No
I am telling you right now; there are people out there who simply do not know how to say “NO” to others.
Are you one of them? Yeah, I used to be one of that type of people and honestly, it was dragging me down.
Take it from me, if you are not able to say “NO” to someone, you will take on too much, and this leads to undue stress.
Yes, I understand that it is difficult to say no because we want to be liked and included in everything.
We do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We say yes to so many things because maybe we are trying to prove we can do it all or maybe it is out of guilt – I am not really sure, and it differs from person to person.
But what I am sure of is you should remember that it is okay to say no sometimes. Your wallet or purse will thank you later.
The only person, you have to worry about accommodating, is YOU, so don’t make the mistake of giving in because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, or because you think you are obligated to them somehow.
4. Learn Why It Is So Hard To Say No
There are many reasons why an individual finds it difficult to say no to others. However, what all this reluctance does is to cause worry and stress.
Worry is not in your best interest, as it also causes depression, doubt, a lack of peace, and so many other health related issues.
Don’t allow guilt to overtake you. Don’t be concerned with the impression you will leave, as long as you convey your answer in a positive and polite way to others.
Above all, don’t be afraid to say no because you are worried about whether or not people will still like you.
5. Pay Off Debt
People frequently find themselves tied to jobs or situations that they dislike because they are in debt and need to pay their bills.
By living frugally, you will enable yourself to pay off your debt and have the freedom to live the lifestyle you want.
Just remember that frugality is not something you stop once the debts are paid off, and you have a more secure life.
Living frugally is a mindset, and it simply means you want to get the best bang for your buck, and you desire to live a prudent and economical lifestyle.
This type of mindset is what will propel you to a life of happiness and peace.
6. More Leisure Time
Living frugally allows you to have fewer bills to pay and the ones you do have are smaller and more manageable.
It also makes it possible for you to avoid working long hours of overtime as too many Americans do.
This frees you to do as you like with your time, whether it is spending more time with your family or taking up a few hobbies.
There is an old quote by Henry David Thoreau that says “We make ourselves rich by making our wants few.”
7. Retire Early
Being thrifty and frugal now will make it possible for you to reach a financially comfortable retirement level long before your friends and colleagues do.
It also gets you used to live a modest lifestyle before you retire.
This is very important and will ensure that you will not be in such a shock when you do retire and find that you have to live within or below your means.
You’ll be much happier if you start saving earlier rather than later. The future is coming so start preparing for it today.
8. Leave Your Children An Estate
Many people would be thrilled to be able to take care of their children once they pass away, but that is not always possible.
Sometimes circumstances arise and people find that their expenses are so large when they are alive that there’s no money to put aside for savings.
The frugal person will always have money put away for an emergency. For me, this starts with understanding how much I make and ensure I spend less than that.
It seems like a simple concept, and actually it is once you truly embrace frugal living.
If you embrace this concept you, can have the peace of mind and satisfaction of knowing that you can impact not only your children financially, but also generations that may come after them.
9. Benefit The Environment
Frugal people find it very simple yet empowering when it comes to protecting the environment. It happens quite naturally.
They use less disposable products and make less trash in general because they learn to reuse what they have.
They also use way less electricity, water, and other household amenities because they are thinking about keeping expenses down and living below their means.
10. Give More
Thrifty people might tighten the belt for themselves, but they can also be very generous to others.
By keeping their own expenses under control and saving more money, they are able to support people in need and various social causes that they believe in.
All of this is guaranteed to make you a happier person.
Try it for yourself and see how it feels to be able to help someone in need by giving instead of having to be the receiver.
We all fall on hard times financially, but if we practice frugal living, we will be able to sustain those hard times much more effectively.
So there you have it, 10 ways of frugal living for more happiness and peace in 2015 and beyond.
Over To You –
What about you, do you plan on living a happier life this year? What are your ways of frugal living? Share in the comments.
Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos