Being Frugal Begins with Attitude

When it comes to saving money, it doesn’t have to be all work. It can also be a little fun. I know that living frugally brings to mind all sorts of unpleasant things to many people. But those that live frugally often have a zealous approach to frugal ideas. They are actually excited by the idea of saving a little money. And it doesn’t matter how little it really is.

Frugal living becomes a game you play against yourself. You are looking for ways to save. I started out simply looking to see if I could really lower our electric bill. And I did with very little effort. Then I looked to our heating costs. Hey, I did it again. Then I looked to our driving expenses.

Frugal living isn’t something that is painless on a family when you take the attitude that you must do it. It is like cleaning house. It is something that has to be done. You can either make it a good experience or a bad one. With the wrong attitude you will probably fail.

Consider frugal living as a challenge. And the best thing is that you are improving more than just your financial situation. Many financial counselors and advisors say that when people gain control of their money, they gain control of their lives. That is because self-control bleeds over into other things. You simply begin to look at things differently.

Whether you are looking to a frugal life out of need or out of a shrewd money management plan, begin by simply tackling one area of your expenses. Then move on to another. Over time, you will find that your attitude changes and you look at things differently. And you start seeing that you can save money (to spend on things that really matter) without much exertion at all.

And that’s the best thing about the frugal challenge — you save money.

Home Decorating the Frugal Way

To improve your home decor, you do not have to spend a lot of time or money. From a simple paint job to adding candles, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere in which to live. The following are some fast and frugal ways to redecorate your home.

Painting — One of the main ways people tend to redecorate their homes is by painting. This is an inexpensive method to creating a whole new look. If painting your room is not something you want to do, consider adding a wall boarder or choosing a wallpaper to brighten up your room. These are all inexpensive ways you can change the décor of your home.

New Curtains — Another fast and frugal way to redecorate any room is with new curtains. Whether you are aiming for the sleek look or the country look, you’ll find a variety of styles and colors to choose from. Café curtains are a great way to let some light into your kitchen and for a new look in your living room, try something bright and cheerful. If you have the skills to sew, try new looks for the cost of fabric.

If you’re crafty, you can even try your hand at a new cover for your sofa to match your curtains. For those that do not have sewing skills, you’ll be able to find one-size-fits-all sofa covers in almost any department or home decorating store.

Candles — One of the most enjoyable ways for you to change or add to your decor is with the use of candles. Candles can be purchased in a variety of scents and colors that will add to the aroma, as well as the style of your home. Place them on tables and windowsills, as well as on the mantel and hearth.

Frugally Safe

You don’t have to spend a fortune to ensure the safety of your family and home. I have listed several things you can do for little money to help make your home a safer place without having to install a complete home security system, which is definitely not frugal. In fact, few have the money to install such a system.

*Install alarms
First things first. You might want to buy one of those small door-installed alarms that cost about $20 or less. Powered by cell batteries, once it’s turned on and the door is opened, the alarm emits a sharp warning to alert you. It’s cheap, unobtrusive and it works.

*Bolts and locks
For doors and windows, you can install bolts and locks to reinforce an existing lock. As long as the bolt is solid and the hinges are properly screwed in place, you will have little worry. If you have sliding doors that don’t have an anti-lift device, it would be a good idea to install one. Or you could install two door locks – one on top and another at the bottom – to reinforce the hook lock.

*Keep the light on
Illuminate your porch, back door and garage. If you’re willing to spend a little, invest in dusk-to-dawn lighting powered by photoelectric cells. These save a lot of energy and will be cheaper to use than electric-powered lights. Even less expensive is a solar-powered spotlight that collects the sun during the day and lights the yard at night.

*Keep things thorny
If you don’t have a fence or wall, keep thorny plants and shrubs around. Plants like roses, holly and hawthorn have spiny leaves and thorny stems are great deterrents because they can produce punctures and tear at the skin. They not only provide you with security, but they are also great ornamentals.