3 Money Mantras to Live By
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When you first start trying to save money it can definitely be challenging, especially if you are used to saying yes to every whim and buying whatever you want. As I started to get real about saving money, I wanted to get to a point where it would become second nature to me. I was never terrible about overspending, but I wanted to stay motivated in my quest to be a better saver.
I decided to keep written reminders of my efforts around the house, in my wallet, and on my refrigerator because I wanted tangible reminders of my savings goals. If I was ever out and tempted to spend some money that I didn’t need to be spending, I’d have a visual reminder every time I cracked open my wallet, and it actually worked. Thankfully, these money mantras are now second nature to me, and I can easily police my spending.
Here are my top three money mantras to live by.
Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without.
This mantra, which lives on my refrigerator, is one of my favorites and will be familiar to many because it is generations old. Frugal living wasn’t a choice in the Great Depression era that this mantra came from, when basic goods were rationed and many households simply didn’t have the money to spend on even the most basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. You had to be frugal.
Sometimes when I’m tempted to make some silly new purchase, I think about what our grandparents and great grandparents had to live through in that time. It makes my longing for a new pair of shorts from Target seem trivial when I consider how my Granny used to wear patchworked feed sack dresses. If nothing else, this single phrase reminds me of how spoiled we are today.
Learn to delay purchases and be satisfied with less.
Learning to delay purchases was crucial for me when I began to make changes in my financial life. I used to love shopping, and I still love to shop for antiques, which can be quite expensive.
Because I like to pop into antique stores, even just to look, I have mastered the art of delaying my purchases. By walking away from an item, I gain some perspective on whether I really need it or not. Often times, it’s just a want, and I will walk away and completely forget about the item within an hour.
If I’m still thinking about a certain item after a day or two goes by, at that point I’ll give myself the okay to go ahead and purchase the item, but more times than not, the item has completely lost its luster to me. It’s funny how that works, and the more you practice delayed gratification, the more it becomes second nature to you.
When you love what you have, you have everything you need.
A big trend in the world of minimalism right now is the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In it, she says that you should declutter your entire home over a period of a few months by touching every single item in your home and deciding if it sparks joy in your life or not. If it doesn’t, it gets the boot. By doing this, she claims that you will love your home and everything in it, because every item will be your favorite.
Gone are the duplicate shoes, kitchen ware, and clothing, and this massive purge will aid you in preventing future purchases that you won’t absolutely love. The idea is that if you only use what you love, then you will not only reduce the clutter in your life, but you will reduce the need to go out to consume more in the future.
I took this idea to heart on my journey to a minimalist and frugal lifestyle, and I haven’t missed a single thing I’ve gotten rid of. I especially love how it helps me cut needless spending by making me ask myself if a purchase I’m about to make will end up in the donation pile in a few months.
Whatever it takes to help you save money, even if it seems silly or trivial, just do it. All of these seemingly insignificant money mantras have helped me put things in perspective and save money in the process. They are also great reminders that we already have more than we need, more things will not make us happier, and saving money is always a wise thing to do.
What tricks help you be a more frugal person? Do you use visual reminders to help you save money? What money mantras do you live by? What room would you tackle first if you were going to declutter your house?