Even though my posts are primarily about food and eating exotically (which may sound expensive but it isn't), I thought I'd join in and post a tip.
Lowering your expectations.
Settling for something less. Here is one way to be happy living a frugal life – lower your expectations. Be content with less-than-perfect. Easier to say than to do. The new dining room table you desperately want is $1500. It would look fabulous in your new dining room and you’ve never had a dining room before…so you REALLY want it.
But then you find one second hand for $250. Maybe a listing in the newspaper, maybe a friend is getting rid of hers. It’s not EXACTLY what you want and it’s not new – but you know what, it’ll work. Might have a few nicks and scratches, but so will the new one in a year.
You’d really like to buy your son that new bike for Christmas. He is 7. It will be his first “real” bike, so you want it to be special. A new bike is $140 – the thrift store has one for $50. The $50 one is a few years old, needs it’s tires pumped and a wash-down. But it will do. What your son really wants is the bike itself.
Now there are times when you don’t want to “settle” for something less. Obviously something that would comprise your health or the well being of your family isn’t any good. “Settling” for a prospective husband or wife is not a good idea either.
Set an example before your kids of having “lower expectations” when they are young. The other day we were out shopping at the mall and my dd saw the prices of mall clothing. “Wow” she said “no wonder you shop at the thrift store.”
It’s not a new tip to buy something used – the tip is in lowering your expectations of what you really need or want.