The importance of dreaming big

by Karen on June 25, 2009

frugal goals
Photo by martie

I’m the first to tell you that frugality is a real struggle sometimes. No matter how committed I am to this lifestyle, no matter how appreciative I am of the security and peace of mind it brings us, I still have weak moments when I look at what other people have and want.

I want to own a pretty little house with a huge fenced-in backyard and a cozy fireplace.

I want to travel every other month and see the world.

I sometimes even want to buy big ticket items that we don’t need just for the luxury, like a big screen TV or new furniture or even a second car.

But the hardest part isn’t the big stuff. I can always easily remind myself why we need to wait for those things. I remember what debt feels like, and I don’t want to owe a furniture store or a credit card company ever again.

The hardest part is not spending little amounts every day. Sometimes I find myself wishing I could spend $5 on a frou frou coffee drink from Starbucks or $15 on a book or $30 on a restaurant meal.

Don’t get me wrong, we give in to those urges every now and then. But we can’t give in every time I want to or we’d never make any progress. We’d nickel and dime ourselves right out of our savings.

When I find myself struggling to say no to the little things, I remind myself of our big dreams. Our trip to Europe, the house we want, the family we plan to start in the next couple years. When I think about those big dreams, and how every penny is bringing us closer to achieving them, it’s much easier to resist the temptation to spend a little here and a little there.

When I think about our big dreams, suddenly buying a frou frou coffee drink isn’t nearly as important. I can live without that little stuff if it means we’ll have the big stuff sooner.

How do you keep yourself going when frugality gets tough?

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{ 4 comments }

1 EastTXmom June 25, 2009 at 10:20 am

Karen –
Your positive attitude toward the future is great and believe it or not, the habits you’re living right now will become second nature. I count myself lucky/blessed that I no longer have to watch the pennies when I go to the store, yet when I shop, I have my list in hand, still price compare, watch for sales, and cut coupons and argue with myself on purchasing something that’s more of an indulgence than a necessity. Granted, I’m not as ‘vigilant’ as I use to be, but I know if I needed to really shave off some $$$ on the grocery bill I could do it.

Hang in there and keep an eye on the future like you’re doing and your goals will be met. Plus, they’ll be even sweeter since you know the sacrifice behind it.

Take care.

2 Mrs. Money June 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I think of all the good things I’ve done with my money- funded and emergency fund, paid off x amount of debt, live happily without whatever modern conveniences, etc. That normally helps. :)

3 Jennifer June 25, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I struggle with it too. I want, and it will become a need in the next year or so a new van. Mine is old and falling apart. We are saving as fast as we can. Every time I am tempted to buy something frivolous I remind myself of paying cash for a new car. It usually works, but it is hard to stay motivated for something so big.

4 Bobbi June 27, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I do the same. :( You just have to keep your eye on the prize. :) I have a hard time not messing with my budget during the month. I can never seem to ‘set it – and forget it’, anyone else have that problem or is it just me?

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