Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Exercising Frugality- Part 1

It’s been a long while since I spoke with a dear friend. Today she called me out of the blue. Every time I ran into her, it’s like she’s lost another 10 pounds! I finally asked her today what her secret is: eating healthier and WII Fit 30 minutes a day, 6 times a week. It has taken her about 5-6 months to reach her optimal weight. Talking to her just motivated me. After all, she also works part-time outside the home, plus, juggles school and extracurricular activities for her kids. Yet, she made her health a priority.

Whenever I'd see her, I was embarrassed because I haven‘t done anything about my own baby weight. This time, I knew that I had to just ask her what she’s doing and believe that I can do it too. Same with couponing. Many of my friends know that I am frugal and I would LOVE to help each of them save money too. I would even do an in-store tutorial for a cup of coffee. Except for one, I mostly got rain checks.

Becoming a “frugalista” is a lot like losing weight. But that weight is measured in dollars and cents. Being frugal is hard work. Most of us think that it takes a whole lot of time. But if you can spare at least 30 minutes a day and stay focused the whole time (ie no kids or hubby around), you will get a lot of planning and shopping done.

Thirty minutes a day is a lot for me, too. It shouldn’t be, since that’s only enough time to watch a sitcom. Because the only way I can be a stay-at-home mom right now is if we saved money, then I made time to be frugal. As with exercise, your desire to get fit financially has to be much greater than any excuse to stay the same way. The only way to trim excess expenses is to learn to shop a different way.

As with my friend’s success story, my own frugality did not peak overnight. It started slowly, saving about 50% on my grocery bill at first. Then, when I started reading bloggers like Money Saving Mom I learned other tools that sped up my training tremendously. Now, with the proper tools and the motivation of shedding a few pounds of overspending, I regularly save 90%.

To be continued…

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