When asked, most people would probably say it’s good to be thrifty. Sure, their frugal great-grandmother might have done slightly weird things like cut paper towels into smaller squares or wrapped school day sandwiches in repurposed empty plastic cereal bags, but, you know, being thrifty is good, right?
I know, you are probably thinking, “Well, being thrifty saves money, and I like saving money,” but that’s a really vague reason. Perhaps you’ve decided to cut out your morning latte to save $4 a day. Assuming you used to buy 5 lattes a week, now that you have an extra $20 per week… what will you do with it?
For some families, the answer is immediately obvious: they need the grocery money or have bills to pay. For other families, the answer is less certain. Put it in savings? Put it in a kid’s college fund? Why ARE you thrifty? It’s easy to slide back into old, money-spending habits if you don’t have a clear idea on why saving that $20 a week is a good idea. Perhaps after a month you’ve added $80 into your savings account, but then you see a crazy expensive $80 bottle of wine at the store you’ve been dying to try and your birthday is in a few days. It is easy to justify buying yourself that bottle of wine now that you have an “extra” $80 stashed away, and if your savings goal is “to be able to buy nice wine on my birthday,” that’s fine. But if your personal savings goal is more specific, such as “to eventually have $1000 in emergency savings,” or “to save up enough for a down payment on a car by this time next year,” you’ll be far more hesitant to drop $80 on wine. Having a specific savings goal in mind can inspire thriftier behaviors and keep you on track.
Spread The Word!