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Frugal Fatigue

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On the news the other day, I heard them talk about consumer spending not being up because the economy is getting better, but because of “frugal fatigue.” People were just tired of scrimping. Saving is going back down, credit card debt is going back up.

So how can you counter frugal fatigue before you get into financial trouble?

Get your endorphins a different way.

Exercise. Play some great music. Call a friend. When a shopping craving hits, ask yourself, “What do I really need and want?” Most likely it’s something that can’t be purchased.

Splurge. A little.

What makes you feel decadent without a lot of money? I love a good Ghirardelli chocolate square. Perhaps a good cup of coffee is yours. Or a jasmine smelling lotion. Sometimes you need to loosen the belt. Do it consciously and without too much spending, then you can get back on track.

Reframe rich.

If you are reading this, you are most likely rich according to the world standards. Start looking at all the things you already have. Take a look at your clutter BEFORE you go shopping.


Set up a list for things that aren’t necessities, but you want. Those cool earrings you spotted at the mall. The cute blouse at Target. The book that could change your life you saw at Barnes and Noble. Don’t buy them now. Instead write them down then wait a week, a couple weeks, or a month. Whatever you personally think is good for your impulse control. If you still think they are good buys, go for it.

Enlist a friend.

If you have a frugal friend, share your success about saying no, paying down debt, and living within your means. Get a cheering section. Celebrate each debt paid off. If you don’t know any, Google frugal groups. Getting involved with people who think shopping with coupons is a fun game can help motivate you.

Do you have frugal fatigue?



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