It isn’t easy to stick to frugal living. So many different things impact the way we spend and save money. Our mood, life circumstances, and even the media we consume can dramatically alter our approach to frugal living. If we aren’t careful, we can easily fall off track.
That’s why it’s so important to have a support system that understands your frugal living goals. Of course, you don’t want someone looming over you like a nagging parent reminding you to save money. However, you do want the people you spend time with to really understand your goals and help you to achieve them.
If you’re lucky, you happen to already have people in your life who support your frugal goals. However, most people don’t have that without putting in a little bit of effort. The effort is well worth the reward. Take the time to build up your community of frugal-minded friends.
Buddy Up for Accountability
You can start growing your frugal community with just a single person. Find someone in your life who is willing to be an accountability buddy for your frugality. You want to choose someone who also embraces a frugal lifestyle. If you can find a mentor, that’s even better, but it can be a friend, family member, or even a casual acquaintance. Put the word out there that you’re looking for this person and you’ll find the one you need.
Once you have your accountability buddy, come up with a plan. It might include:
- Sharing a daily call or email to discuss immediate challenges to frugal living.
- Setting specific goals for your budget, savings, and spending. Checking in weekly about this.
- Reading books about frugal living and discussing them monthly.
- Providing an “out” or support for one another when asked by others to do expensive things.
In other words, you’re there to check up on one another, keep the frugality conversation going, and remind each other that there’s someone else in the world who cares about your frugal choices.
Expand Your Circle of Frugal Friends
Sometimes it feels like we have to spend money to be social. We meet for drinks or dinner. We go to movies together. Even if we’re invited over to someone’s home, we often feel pressure to bring a small gift. If you want to live frugally, you’ll need to find cheap and free ways to socialize with others. The best way to start is to find friends who share your frugal goals.
This might be as simple as putting a social media message out there. “Hey, all, I’m trying to save money and looking for people who want to do free activities with me like walking the dog and attending lectures at the library. Anyone in?” Some people will ignore you, and that’s okay. You can address the issue one-on-one with the friends you need to do so with in the future. For now, bulk up your schedule with free dates and enjoy time with the friends whose money goals align with yours.
If you can’t find frugal minds within your existing circle of friends, you might need to make some new friends. Attending free events in your city is a great place to start. You might also try taking some personal finance classes in your local area. If you have little free libraries, tool sharing centers, and other collaborative resource-sharing spots in your area, then those are good places to find frugal friends, too.
Be Open About Your Frugal Goals
Many people avoid talking about money. If you do that, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Be open about your goals and why they matter to you. It’ll be easier if you’ve got your buddy and a few other frugal friends to support you.
It’s important to know that not everyone will support you. You may face challenges in your family. Some longtime friends might still keep inviting you to expensive outings. It will be up to you how you want to cope with each of those challenges. The more you practice talking about money, the easier it will be when those issues arise.