By now wee have all heard of "frugal fatigue" or if you haven't, listen to any news story as it relates to shopping. Actually frugal fatigue doesn't have to mean that you are tired of saving money and are going to spend the day impulse buying your way through the Mall of America. It can also be that you are simply tired of washing out sandwich bags and sick of following family around to turn off the lights behind them.
Fatigue isn't a bad thing, actually it just means you are exhausted by the whole experience and if you were exhausted after a long day, you sit back and relax - the same goes for frugal fatigue, try to relax for a spell and see if the energy doesn't creep back in later.
Living frugally is not any different than if you were changing your dietary habits, occasionally you fall, but you get back up and get on track. Don't beat yourself up because you slipped and bought a $200 pair of jeans; enjoy the jeans, make them last and get back into the thrift stores again to get yourself back on track. Habits are made by slipping up but getting ourselves straightened back up and on our way.
Have you noticed how when you are having fun time slips by so much faster than when you dread it? The same idea can be used to fight off frugal fatigue; make a game of it. One of the ways I started to help myself save money was to round up everything I purchased to the next dollar and then move that "extra" money to savings at the end of the month. It was a mystery, a game to see how much I would come out with at the end of the month. Or there is the challenge to see how short of time I can take a shower, I've gotten it down to just over 5 minutes.
When the inevitable fatigue does slide in, having something on the ready to pamper yourself and allow yourself a luxury. You could toss your change into a "mad jar" and then you will have some money on the ready when you need it to buy a small expensive box of chocolate, a discount movie ticket or a much desired item from the store.
Since the occasional time does come up where you say, "I want it all, I want it now"; you can plan for it by figuring it into a budget. Make it a bill that you set aside a few dollars so that you have a certain amount of money to go crazy with if the left over change from the day isn't satisfactory.
Now the one thing that always seems to bring me back on track is to remember why I'm being frugal, for myself it is to pay down debts and the thought of working fewer hours. For another it could be so that your child can go to a certain school or to get through college with as few debts as possible. And if it helps, find pictures that will inspire you on that journey.
Remember, it is a journey and detours do exist and we learn from our successes and our failures to make the next day better than the previous.