April 19, 2015

Speaking to Ladies Who Lunch about Frugalness (*not an actual word)

This week I'm meeting with a lunch group who invited me to talk about "frugalness." So I've drafted this questionnaire of Markers You Will Find Along the Road to Financial Freedom.

It's funny how you (well, me, that is) can be so inspired to take steps for good changes in your own life, when your initial plan was to teach what you know to others. I'm compelled to set to work on these: don't keep two of anything when one will do just fine; stop wasting food and letting it spoil in the fridge; sort closets (spring cleaning time!) and give away overage.

Offer your own tip and I'll share it with the group this week.

DO
Yes   No                        
  __     __   Pay bills on time
  __     __   Have bank, credit card, other statements neatly filed
  __     __   Have checking account in balance
  __     __   Save all credit card receipts until the end of the month
  __     __   Check credit card receipts against statements
  __     __   Keep tax info neatly filed
  __     __   Have plan to pay off credit card debt
  __     __   Spend less than earn
  __     __   Pay back money I borrow
  __     __   Give money and things away; (generosity: the big secret to financial freedom)
  __     __   Give away overage of “stuff,” sell on eBay or consignment
  __     __   Have appropriate insurance
  __     __   Save a portion of my earnings
  __     __   Shop consignment stores, buy used
  __     __   Treat myself to an occasional planned small luxury
  __     __   Have a job I enjoy, at which I earn fair pay
  __     __   Read an occasional finance or business column
  __     __   Set up auto payment for utilities / rent
  __     __   Have my jewelry sorted, repaired or given away
  __     __   Wear out socks, shoes, underwear before buying all new
  __     __   Plan ahead for giving gifts (avoid all last-minute shopping)
  __     __   When buying new, always get rid of the item you’re replacing
  __     __   Sort closets, bookshelves on a semi-regular basis
  __     __   Monetize my time and skills (how can I earn extra money?)
  __     __   Cancel catalogs / clear my mailbox
  __     __   Shop with a grocery list
  __     __   Wait three days before buying something I really don’t need, but think I want
  __     __   Have a record / spreadsheet of my assets and net worth
  __     __   Talk openly and often about finances with my spouse
  __     __   Teach my children basic money management practices
  __     __   Swap services with friends and neighbors
  __     __   Love myself more than all the money in the world
  __     __   Know and meditate on what is true about me

DON’T

  __     __   Use ATMs that charge fees
  __     __   Waste food and regularly throw spoiled food out of the fridge
  __     __   Pay credit card interest and/or late fees
  __     __   Buy lottery tickets
  __     __   Buy stuff because it’s “such a good deal”
  __     __   Buy an investment I don’t understand
  __     __   Keep worn, torn or unused clothing
  __     __   Keep two of anything of which I only need one (shampoo, cosmetics, tools)
  __     __   Hoard anything
  __     __   Use a storage locker for anything
  __     __   Shop in convenience stores (inconvenient for your wallet)
  __     __   Go into stores just to “look” and shop just for “fun” (tip: go to the park instead)
  __     __   Feel badly about what my neighbor/ friends have that I don’t
  __     __   Make impulsive purchases (unless really tiny and very rare)
  __     __   Use money as a weapon, leverage or bribery in a relationship
  __     __   Lend money to family or friends and count on it being returned

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