I am now one third of the way through Frugal February, and every year I participate in this
financial challenge I learn something new about myself. I become aware of my mindset, my
habits (both good and bad) and where I am facing money blocks.
Here are a few of the things I’ve learnt so far:
1. Organisation is key to being frugal – meal planning, food prep and outfit planning for special occasions rather than simply buying something new because I have had a complete wardrobe crisis. I am forced to not only look at the day impending but my entire week so that I can financially prepare myself for all of my commitments. This helps me shield myself from the impulsive on the go purchases that I surrender to when I feel like my day is in disarray. The most impulsive purchases are also always things I have lying around the house already. With our busy lives, it is so easy to dip into disorganisation but spending a month focusing on preparation, for me, introduces healthy discipline back into my life. Feeling on top of my day, week and month brings back time, energy, and confidence back into my routine.
2. Prioritise energy – when I am tired, I throw money at the problem. It could be a muffin or some chocolate when my afternoon fatigue kicks in. This leaves me and my bank account feeling flat after the sugar high. A simple and frugal solution is to listen to my body go to bed earlier!
3. The removal or reduction of snacks creates instant savings – It is so easy to slip into the habit of buying food out and whilst I am all for supporting your local café or venue, usually we are buying snacks or food out with complete disregard for the experience or taste of the food. It is simply to stop us from keeling over or gives a break from our office or workspace. $20 per day, Monday to Friday is over $5,000 for the year! And with nothing to show for…I would far value that being in my share portfolio or putting that towards a nice brunch with your family, something that you value and don’t feel immediate pangs of guilt for.
4. I am far more resourceful than I realise – I quite often tell myself that I can’t do something because I won’t do a good enough job or it is a complicated skill reserved for trained professionals. For example, I accidentally walked the contents of Tiger’s nappy over our new carpets, my first reaction was to call a professional carpet cleaner in my state of panic. Tom suggested before I do this, I should see if there were any tutorials on YouTube. After a quick search and some interesting corners of the internet my carpets were clean again thanks to some morning fresh, white wine vinegar and a white cloth. I need to back myself before reaching out for paid help.
5. Accountability and Community – sharing my Frugal February with you on my Instagram account has made me accountable. I don’t want to disappoint you and more importantly I want to inspire you to be more mindful with your money. Seeing all your frugal habits and hacks for the month of February has filled me with an immense sense of community. You all have motivated me to stretch my frugal habits further and think outside of the box with all your brilliant ideas and suggestions. This is the power of the community. So thank you and please keep your Frugal February love coming. It is so inspiring to see all our savings quickly add up and have an opportunity to connect and empower one another.
Canna Campbell is the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a boutique financial planning firm. She is also a Keynote Speaker, Financial Commentator and the founder of financial media platform SugarMamma.TV, including a best selling author of The $1000 Project and Mindful Money.