Thrifty Tip #1: Decide What is Important to You

thrifty adjective economical, frugal, provident, sparing

People decide to become more thrifty for a range of reasons.  You might:
  • want to save for a specific goal e.g. a house, a holiday, education costs, a car, a new pair of shoes, retirement
  • need to pay off debts: this could be consumer debt such as a credit card (or cards), or a long-term debt such as a home
  • need to reduce expenditure to meet basic living costs: a job loss, a new baby, interest rate rises or hikes in utility costs could all lead to the need to manage expenses more efficiently
There are some who need to cut all extraneous expenses in order to simply make ends meet, and there are others who may choose to be thrifty in order to have leeway for things they especially value, whether a hobby, travel, education, cultural  events, giving to charity - or any number of other things.  Most of us have room to cut less important items in order to have more for those things we need or value most.

In the Complete Tightwad Gazette, Amy Dacyczyn - long considered a guru of frugal living - admits that her idea of thrifty living was quite different from most other people's, and might even be considered unthrifty by some, "I had always wanted a large family and a rural pre-1900 New England farmhouse (with attached barn)."  Amy and her husband practiced extreme frugality to attain their goal because it was what they wanted more than anything else.

Beyond necessities such as basic food and shelter, what we spend our money on is a good indication of what we value.  Thriftiness is the decision to spend money on things we need or value at the expense of things that are less important.

What do you need extra money for most? What would you like to have money for, if funds were available?  What would you be prepared to spend less on to achieve your goals?

This post is part of my series, Thirty Days of Thrifty Tips.

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