Frugality matters simply because it’s one of the easiest levers to pull to move you closer to early retirement. Not all of us have control over exploding our income or investment returns, but we all have control over getting our lifestyle and expenditures in check.
I am a firm believer that behavior modification is better than behavior change when it comes to saving money.
- Stop buying coffee from Starbucks.
- Don’t eat out anymore.
- Get rid of your streaming services.
- Stop getting manicures and pedicures.
It’s easy to point our fingers at line items on our credit card statement and say “We have to get rid of it! Let’s cut it out completely!” But this method is rarely successful. Going cold turkey works sometimes, but unless it’s something that is quite literally killing you, quitting cold turkey is almost impossible to sustain long term.
- Make coffee at home instead of getting it from Starbucks.
- Working out in your garage instead of at the gym.
- Going out for drinks during happy hour instead of prime time
- Shopping for groceries at Costco instead of Whole Foods Market.
The true challenge for any Frugal Feline is to come up with a strategy that leaves us with an equally awesome cup of coffee in our hands and a heck of a lot more money in our pockets. This is where behavior modification comes in and this is the approach with most items we waste money on.
Seldom will I recommend completely cutting something out. That is for the truly hardcore and perhaps a better strategy once you have a lot of momentum. Or desperation.
The Frugal Feline approach is to look for ways to save money in our existing habits and routines. Because we are in this for the long term. Process is what builds wealth and independence, not events.