First ‘STEPS’….

Saturday Dec 3, 2011

How do you even begin to be frugal with your family?   It begins with planning and organization.  If you can get your family’s mindset modified and your day-to-day scheduling PLANNED and ORGANIZED, you’ll find that it will make your family’s life less stressful.  General “living” on a day-to-day basis will become easier and, you and your family will be able to lead a much happier, frugal lifestyle!

What I have found within families is that without planning and organization, there is no “defined” schedule, set goals or expectations.   Most everything that happens is in a “re-active” mode instead of a “pro-active” mode.  You always feel as though you are putting out fires.  How does this have anything to do with your family being frugal, you might ask?  Well, let me give you some examples (first hand accounts, I might add!):

Problem — Dinner has not been “planned” :  Reaction — Go out to eat : DISCUSSION – Because your family does not take a few minutes to plan your meal for this particular day, now, instead of preparing your meal at home with store bought ingredients, your family has to go out to eat which is going to cost as much as five to ten times the cost of preparing the meal at home.  I might add, it’s even more dis-heartening when  you think that you probably already have all of the ingredients for the meal purchased and sitting in your pantry and freezer at home!

Problem — Your vehicle has left you stranded on the side of the road : Reaction — call the tow truck, the mechanic and the rental car company : DISCUSSION – You’ve been putting off having maintenance on your vehicle for quite some time now…. you knew this was going to happen….. but now, instead of being pro-active and having the vehicle fixed before hand, you are being re-active and it’s going to cost you even MORE!   Tow trucks are not cheap – neither are rental cars – and now, you could have made matters worse with your vehicle and damaged something else.   Wow, just to think, if I would have taken care of this problem last week when I wasn’t on the way to a job interview, a family birthday gathering, or the birth of my baby niece (as examples) and, this could have cost me $500 to $1000 less!

It’s better to be prepared and to have planned — it will just about always cost you less money and definitely less stress and heartache.  But you’re probably thinking, “my family’s life is so out-of-hand – how do I even begin to pull things together?”  The “family lifestyle” here in the U.S. has drastically changed in the last 50 years.   Moms didn’t work full-time jobs back then to the extent that they do today.  Dads didn’t have to put in 60 to 80 hours per week in their jobs either.  AND, there weren’t nearly as many single-parent families either!  In today’s world, the economy is bad, unemployment is through the roof and prices for everyday items just keep going up and up!  It seems that no one has the time to do what they need to do – how many times have you heard someone say, “if I just could add another 8 hours to my day maybe I could get everything completed that I need to do”….   It seems like we are always just putting out fires!  And let me address the STRESS issue – stress can kill you.  PERIOD…. Not only does stress lead to problems like anxiety and depression, but it can lead to ulcers and a host of other medical problems.  Bottom line – stress can kill you.  And I know that a few of you reading this post right now, completely understand exactly what I’m talking about because you are at the end of your rope as well.

I do have some good news for you – your first STEPS to accomplish a change in your life is easy… We’re not talking rocket science here either.  You’d be surprised how just a few changes in how you do things can make your life and your family’s day-to-day schedule and activities less stressful.  And, everyone will be happier.  It begins with planning and organization.  It begins with being frugal – not only with your money, but with your time.  Let’s face it, most people are not just limited with the number of dollars they have to spend, but also with the number of hours they have available in the day to accomplish everything they need to do.  FRUGAL = HAPPY….    LESS STRESS = HEALTHY….

I’d love to hear from you – what are some of the problems that you are facing as a family — what are you having to be RE-ACTIVE to instead of PRO-ACTIVE?   Your problems and examples can help me to better address your situations.  Email me at information (at) simplefrugallife (dot) com.

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