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I think the social media driven world has made staying content even harder. When else in history have we been able to see our high school buddies shiny new, way better than ours, car just 5 minutes after she bought it even though she lives on the other side of the planet and we have not seen her in person for the last 20 years.
With discontentment comes the temptation to toss financial goals aside and start living beyond our means. That said however, I think it is possible to stop being sidetracked by discontentment.
10 Ways Thrifty People Stay Content And On Track For Reaching Financial Goals
1. We read books that remind us that we are blessed
- More or Less: Choosing A Lifestyle Of Excessive Generosity
- Enough: Finding More While Living On Less
- Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity And Generosity
- Live To Give: Letting God Turn Your Talents Into Miracles (intended for teenagers but great for any age)
- Tales Of The Not Forgotten
- Tales of The Defended Ones
2. Memorize verses on contentment
For a complete list of the verses I think all thrifty people should memorize see 10 Bible Verses Thrifty People Memorize.
3. Limit sources that feed our discontentment
Back many years ago we had satellite TV. I use to watch HGTV for an hour each night while I was knitting. I soon started noticing things around my home bugging me that had never bothered me before. My wallpaper was outdated. My bathroom did not have double sinks. Silly things I never cared about before. When Netflix came out we cut out satellite and I lost HGTV and the discontentment with my home lessened.
I also have learned to avoid certain magazines even when I can get them for free, as flipping through them makes me feel discontented with either my home or my wardrobe, depending on what magazine it is.
4. Count blessings
For several years now I have kept a gratitude journal. It is simple, and inexpensive. Each day I write down a few things I am thankful for. I find it really helps me maintain a positive attitude.
5. Use point programs for little splurges
Sometimes you just get stuck in a bad “why can’t I buy it” attitude rut and all it takes to get you out of it is a small thing. Perhaps a cup of your favorite coffee drink. Or a new album for your iPod. Or a trip through the dollar spot at Target. Or perhaps a new book. These things are small pick me ups that can easily be paid for by point earned gift cards. Here are a few of my favorite point earning programs.
3 0f my favorite point reward programs
- Swagbucks (I have readers earning far more than just treat money through Swagbucks each month)
- InstaGC (The Insta in InstaGC stands for instant cash outs for gift cards -no waiting for your reward)
- Prize Rebel (Prize Rebel has low cash outs meaning it isn’t going to take you forever to earn a gift card)
3 of my favorite cashback apps
- Ibotta ( Ibotta is a rebate app for groceries, clothing stores, pet stores and more)
- Receipt Hog (Receipt Hog is so simple to use )
- Berry Cart (If your family is has gluten allergies or buys organic foods Berry Cart is a great app for you)
2 programs I use for earning magazines & books
- Recycle Bank (I currently get Runner’s World each year with my Recycle Bank Points)
- My Reader Rewards (a point program that pays you with books! a book lovers dream)
3 Places Where I find Free Samples
- Money Saving Mom-I read this blog once a day to make sure I don’t miss any good free sample offerings.
- Freebies4Mom-a website listing samples, giveaway contests and coupons.
- PINCHme- Join PINCHme and fill out your profile and you can be eligible to sign up for a box of free of samples once a month. When the samples come fill out short surveys about them. Go here to sign up.
For more point programs and how to maximize your earnings with them visit my point reward programs page.
6. Keep focused on goals with geek charts
Nothing helps stop my discontent faster than knowing I am not getting A because I am saving for B, and seeing that I am making progress in saving for B stops discontentment even faster. So I will make a chart showing how much our next big saving goal item will cost and how far along we are in saving for it and how much longer it should take.
7. Surround yourself with like minded people
It is easier to live thrifty when your friends are thrifty. You might be using coupons on groceries so you can get out of debt, and I might be using them so I can take the family on vacation, but we both are using them to reach financial goals , and chances are that will bond us together and keep us accountable to staying on track.
8. Give to those with less
Even when we are in the midst pinching pennies to rid ourselves of debt I think it is important to give. Even if it is just a bag full of coupon bought groceries or personal products dropped off at the local food bank. Or clothes that are too small for your child given to a child of another family that you know is struggling to pay their bills. When we give, we are more thankful for what we have and feel blessed.
9. Know your priorities
Sure your friend has a shiny new car and you have a beaten up clunker sitting in your driveway, but somehow it is easier to accept if you know the reasons behind the clunker. Is keeping a clunker helping to keep a mom home with her little ones? Perhaps the clunker is helping you work your way out of debt so you can work shorter hours and have more time with your family. Know your life priorities, and suddenly the sacrifices seem worth it.
10. Wish list it and wait
Sometimes when a wave of discontentment hits an “I got to have it now and I don’t care the cost” mood can cloak our sanity and the next thing we know we are facing a huge financial set back in reaching our money goals. Instead of purchasing in this mood make a pact that you will wish list all items that are not on your “have the money, need it, and waiting for a sale to get it” list, then wait 48 hours and see how you feel about the item. When I do this I end up not buying 99.9 percent of the items.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.