Admittedly, Frugal February can evoke a sense of dread in me, but at the same time it also revitalises me. It is a fun, financial detox, where I reconnect with my value system, regain perspective and find some quick savings that I can put towards The $1000 Project. By the end of the month, any wasteful habits have been replaced with more responsible ones. I regain a sense of respect for my time, an admiration for the flow of money and heightened gratitude towards the purchases I make.
This year I will be doing Frugal February and sharing the challenges and triumphs through my IG stories and a weekly vlog-style YouTube video. I would love for you to join me on this journey and share your savings, tips, inspiration and goals. Together, I hope our community can tackle this financial challenge together and collectively reap the rewards!
Here is how “to do” Frugal February.
- Use an online savings account – ideally with a $0 account balance, with no upcoming direct debits or credits due.
- Nickname this account Frugal February
- Every time you save money (even $1) transfer the saving into this account immediately. For example, if you skip your morning take-away coffee, transfer $4 into the Frugal February account from the usual account you would pay from.
- Share what you are saving money on or doing, by tagging @SugarMammaTV #FrugalFebruary
- Have a goal. Whilst this is optional, setting an amount of money you would like to save, or something you would like to do with your Frugal February savings, creates more motivation!
- Plan – being frugal can be exhausting! When we are rushed or feeling disorganised this is when we often turn to money as a solution – like when we order home delivery when we are too tired to cook or forgot to grab some groceries. Learn to meal prep/food prep by scouring the web for delicious dishes and don’t forget to source other savvy ideas that will cost & time effective!
- Have healthy boundaries and communicate – being frugal doesn’t mean you have to forgo goodness, quality, value or joy. There are certain things I can’t compromise. For example, I won’t buy a chocolate bar instead of a $5 avocado to save money as that doesn’t match my value system for health and fitness. Also, it is one of my best friend’s birthday in the middle of Frugal February, so even though she knows I do this challenge I will still celebrate her birthday and have something special planned (that I have already pre-saved for). Good friends will understand what you are doing, but make sure you let them know upfront so that they can support you. They may even want to join you!
- Have rewards along the way. If I take lunch to work every day, I will reward myself with lunch on Fridays in a café. It is always zero waste style and within a small budget, but it will be a pleasurable reward that you will amplify your anticipation!
- Be real – set backs will happen. But don’t let them stop you, keep going. We cannot control every dollar and every saving. Just open yourself up to the message and lesson you learnt. This is actually one of the best benefits that I personally gain from doing Frugal February, as I sharpen my resilience & build better money-saving habits.
- Have fun and watch your savings grow each day. Even if you can save $1 each day, transfer it into your savings account and keep going. At the end of the month, lets see how much we saved, but more importantly, what we learnt!
Frugal February can be challenging at times, but when it’s all done and dusted, you will be so proud of your financial achievements! Beyond personal satisfaction, your bank account balance will thank you. But this month is about more than just saving money, it also teaches us the possibility of surviving with less. The frugal wisdom you have gleamed will strengthen your everyday spending & saving habits.
Canna Campbell is the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a boutique financial planning firm. She is a Channel 9 Financial Commentator, founder of financial media platform SugarMamma.TV and best selling author of The $1000 Project and Mindful Money.