Frugal living can get boring to those who are new to it because it doesn't seem like you to get to buy anything you want or simply spend money on a whim anymore. Tightening our belts can be a hard lifestyle change. But when the frugal living boredom sets in it's time to sit down determine a new challenge for yourself to keep going to move forward to the goal you have given yourself.
Challenges are a wonderful part of life, they make us into better people or help us see where we need to do better. Without challenges in life we don't learn and grow. I know I don't like having challenges come up from a blind spot, so why not make my own frugal challenges, on my own terms?
These types of frugal challenges are more of a game in my opinion because they help me build a habit, I can enjoy the sweet taste of victory when it is over or feel the disappointment and resolve to do better next time. Frugal challenges are useful because even if you fail, you have moved down that road of frugality in some form, either by saving money, spending less or wearing down a new path for a habit to form.
Some challenges that you could turn into a game (and all games eventually have an ending).
- Summer or Winter challenge to see how long you can go without using A/C or Heat. This challenges you to find new ways to keep warm or keep yourself cool.
- The Pantry challenge that uses only the food you have bought for stocking up over the years. No more buying new food, you have to use what you already have in the freezer and on the shelves.
- A Generic buying challenge that requires you to try the generic version of what you would normally buy in name brand items. Of course if you don't like it, you now know to cross it off your list and then you can use up the "bad" food for a work potluck.
- The Second-Hand challenge where you only buy items second hand - furniture, clothes, appliances, toys - for a certain period of time, no matter what. Some people I know are masters of this already, but that is why we have so many cool challenge categories!
- A Home-made challenge of your choosing, whether it be to cook at home when you usually go out to eat quite a bit or to make your own home-made cleaners. If you are not a cooking master like myself, start easy by taking your lunch every single day to work.
- How about a No Electricity challenge to unplug anything not in use, keep the lights off for as long as possible through the day and use low electricity items to cook.
- Let's not forget a Drive Less challenge to master the art of one trip errand running, and then challenge yourself not to drive 1-2 days a week and see how much longer you can go before filling up with gas again.