You've heard it before, if you want to be successful do what successful people do. And it makes sense. It's why we read business books, or attend conferences or listen to podcasts.
So why wouldn't we apply the same to our frugal lives? Of course, you have to choose things that work for you in your family in your situation. Nothing is ever really one size fits all. But these tips are a great jumping off point.
1. Frugal people have a plan
You've heard that quote "a failure to plan is a plan for failure." Not having a budget is a failure to plan.
Frugal people sit down before the month begins and they make a budget. It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be pen and paper or a spreadsheet or an app. Just do it and understand the first time you make a budget it won't be perfect. Just keep doing it.
2. Frugal people don't make excuses
I could give you 100 reasons why budgeting, couponing, cooking for scratch would never work day in and day out. I am the queen of excuses. However, when I got fed up with debt I quit making excuses and starting doing the things I knew would work.
Frugal people accept responsibility for mistakes which led to the debt to begin with.
I didn't blame society or a system that perpetuated debt. I didn't blame the economy or past employers. I just accepted my role in my own life and moved on. When I stopped blaming others my life changed.
3. Frugal people set goals
Where do you want to be in five years? What do you want your financial picture to look like? Do you want to own your own home outright, do you want to cash flow a degree or a new business? Then go after that.
Frugal people set goals with a definite beginning and end and they run as fast as they can toward them.
4. Frugal people talk to their spouses
I cannot tell you how many comments, emails and YouTube comments I get from people who tell me they either don't talk to their spouses about money, or their spouses don't listen.
This is a team effort, people. If you don't want to talk about money with your spouse this isn't going to work. Jason and I never fought about money. That's because we didn't talk about it all. This led to us being deeply in debt the first six years of our marriage.
I wish we had those hard discussions, or even those fights, because that would mean we were actually getting somewhere.
When we finally did talk and talk honestly things really changed in our financial picture. It won't be easy but it is so worth it to have these frank discussions about finances with your spouse.
5. Frugal people prioritize
Even the most hard set budget-minded person slips or has an emergency pop up. But frugal people prioritize their wants over their needs.
This isn't always easy. Trust me, I know. Sometimes not getting that thing you truly want can feel heartbreaking at times. But the truly frugal understand that the thing you want is temporary while your goals are long-term.
Don't let the short-term derail those bigger plans.
6. Frugal people don't care about the Joneses
I have met a lot of women in the sisterhood of savings and not one of them gives a rip that their cute blouse came from the Goodwill or that their refrigerator was bought at the scratch and dent store.
In fact most of them wear their frugality like a badge of pride. It might not always be the popular decision to buy your clothes thrift or drive a beater to save money, but those who know how much money they are saving just don't care.
What about you? What would you add to the list?
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Frugal, Debt Free Life. It has been republished here with permission.