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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday's Tips - Dealing with Frugal Burn-Out

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Frugal Burn-Out

We all experience it.  We get tired.  We're working so hard to make our financial lives better.  During some seasons it feels like there are no breaks.  The day in and day out hard work to stay on budget becomes mundane and frustrating and makes you want to throw in the towel. .  

Saving money is hard work.  Couponing takes time, effort, and brain power.  Gardening is another task on your to-do list in the summer.  Meal planning can take every last brain cell you have!  Finding clothing that fits your family and budget, takes some searching. 

When you're in the Get-Out-of-Debt phase, you're so totally focused on that debt, often just seeing the progress you are making helps make the work worth the extra effort.  Unless your Get Out of Debt plan that takes longer than 1-2 years, just seeing the debt go away can be enough motivation.  

Once out of debt, you still need a budget, but there's no Finish Line per se.  It can become disenchanting, especially if you are living on a smaller income.  Pinching pennies with no end in sight can become disheartening.  You cut coupons, meal plan, garden, but for what end?  Sometimes you just want to spend without abandon.

How to Deal With Burn-Out 

It's not easy.  It's a battle in your mind and a need of renewed focus and energy.  Go back to the roots of why you are doing these things.  What's the reason you are wanting to save money?  Have you vowed never to go back into debt?  This is a great reason.  Thinking about how much harder it would be with payments should help you remember a reason why it's worth it!   Or if you're still working on getting out of debt, consider the Freedom you will feel when it's done.
Time for a Break?

Sometimes you need a break.  Take the week or month off of couponing.  The deals will be there for you again when you start back up.  Or if there's another area that can slide for a while without completely throwing your finances to the wind, let it go, for a short while.

And if you are a Christian, Pray.  God will hear you.  Sometimes all you need is to talk it out with someone and who better than our loving God?  God may even bring to your mind something you can change to make your journey easier or He will just help you bear the load.  He may even decide to work a miracle for you.

Time to Move On

Once you've prayed, taken your break, and reflected on the why behind your frugal living, then hop back on the wagon.  Just start taking the steps and pretty soon it'll start being second nature again.  Remember it's okay to slip off the frugal bandwagon for a while, you're not a failure as long as you hop back up and get ready to do what you can.  

Let's Hear from You!
I'd love to hear how you've dealt with frugal burn-out.  Give me some great ideas of what you've done to help you through those times.

If you're a blogger I'd love you to link a tip for the home, family, or money management.  Please link directly to your post so others can easily find your tip and put a link back here on your blog.

Dealing with Frugal Burnout Works for Me.  This post is linked to 30 Minute Blog Challenge, Thrifty Thursday, and Frugal Friday.

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Jenn said...

wow! thanks for posting this! i dont have any tips really but i just wanted to say that im so glad i read this! :)

i am just coming off of one of those frugal burn outs!!!

glad to know im not the only one who experiences this kind of thing! :)

ready to get back on the wagon!

btw, I am a first time commenter but i have been reading your blog for a while!

thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

Grace Wheeler said...

I'm bookmarking this post! Really good stuff! I definetly go through this and will need your encouragement for the next time I'm feeling the burn out! Thanks!

Amy said...

Great post...again!! For me, I just need to be willing to splurge. Allow myself that 1 thing every so often. I am so frugal by nature, that the splurge is never very costly, but it helps keep perspective. Sometimes my splurge is going to the grocery store without coupons. Yep, that's me, living on the wild side. :)

Stephanie said...

What a great and inspiring post! I find it the hardest to stick to my budget when we are on vacation. I just want to have a good time, and not have to worry about spending money.

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

Thanks so much for the kind words ladies! I'm so glad to not be alone!

Jenn, Me too! That's the reason for this post;)

Amy, I think that's part of my thing. I don't want to splurge on anything because I keep thinking I might be able to find a better deal somewhere!

Tammy G. said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! Glad you liked the bubbles. I think I linked you in correctly ^_^

Joy said...

Hope my tips will be able to help someone! :)

Johnlyn ~ said...

I needed to see this today. I am an all or nothing person so it's really hard to relax at frugality. I need to though so I don't drive my husband nuts.

He thinks it's okay for me to buy avocados every week for myself even though nobody else likes them. In my eyes, if somebody else doesn't like them, then I shouldn't buy them.

I absolutely LOVE them though. Plus they are so good for you! That is one splurge I started doing just for myself.

I am still working on finding a happy balance!

Candi said...

When I'm feeling burnt out on coupons, I go and shop at Aldi and the Farmers' Market. Neither accept coupons so it's kind of refreshing to check out without the coupons.

Bitterroot Mama said...

I don't experience as much of this as my husband does. He sees all of the money he's making and wants to spend it instead of saving it. In order to continue marital bliss, sometimes I just let the budget go by the wayside. We've still been fine. A lot of the times, I realize that the reason for the strict budgeting is just one way I am trying to control our financial situation and, in effect, my husband. That's something I need to work on. Thanks for the great post!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Not everyone can splurge when they're feling a frugal burnout. Sometimes the burnout comes because there just isn't any money. Sometimes it gets tiring, living from your pantry for months on end. I don't have the money to "splurge" on buying food. Here's what I do for Encouragement:

I also recomend reading this piece, written by a friend of mine, called When Frugal's Not so Fun Anymore:

Jennifer said...

Everything ebbs and flows. When you get unmotivated it is time to figure it out again and get back on the wagon. Usually when I feel like that I try to allow myself some breathing room. Sometimes I get so sick of hanging laundry so I will take a break for a couple of days and then it doesn't seem like such drudgery.

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