There is a difference in the way the brain of a heavy-spender works compared to that of someone who is use to living frugally. I was never a shopaholic, but it still took some training to change my thought processes over so that I spend money more wisely. And yes, I am still in transition mode. Below I explain one of the first steps I went through to gain a frugal mentality.
Get over the need to have the best things
It is easy to get caught up in the battle to have a fancy house, luxury cars, and all the latest gadgets or toys. Our society has taught us that we are entitled to have more than we can afford. I recently saw a local commercial for a mortgage company. The commercial conveyed a husband and wife that were looking for a new home. A portion of their dialogue went something like this:
Husband: “I’m tired of looking at homes that are within our price range, only to find them too small or run-down!”
Wife: “Yeah! We work hard for our money! We deserve a nice home for our family!”
There it is. We are being conned into thinking that we deserve nice things, whether we can afford them or not. I am not saying that people should not have nice things, but I do wonder as to what extent we are willing to buy those nice things. Do we end up in reality trading our good credit for the nice house we feel we deserve? Instead, I would suggest that the peace of mind that comes from knowing that we actually can afford the things that we have is really what we deserve for working hard. When you are considering a purchase, be it small or large, it is necessary to exercise some willpower in determining how much money to spend. The easy way out is to tell yourself you are entitled to it, or that you deserve the new shoes because you worked so hard during the week.
Having a frugal mentality means that the things you really want are worth actually working for them, instead of getting them merely because you feel entitled to them.