I apologize for the trouble with approving comments, will have them posted once figured out.
Have you noticed that people who are successful at living frugally- living on less than they make and saving and investing - are always asked how they did it and seem to expect a 3 point solution that will be as easy as waking up and putting on underwear in the morning.
There is a trap to thinking that there is a magic key that will unlock success and it can be replicated the exact same way by each and every person. Unfortunately, this is not the truth of the matter.
Before I go further, I want to make it clear that we can all learn lessons from people who have achieved a successful frugal life. Sometimes their correct decisions and roads taken in life can work in similar way for you. And like birds who find nourishment in the crumbs we drop, we also can find useful ideas from the lives of those who have succeeded before us.
As we journey toward a frugal life, there are a few things to consider so that you don't get tripped up along the way. Just as I want to be successful, I want you too as well.
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1.No Magic Key
Action is the foundational key to all success.
A successful frugal life has no key to open up steps that, if done in the right order, will take you right to a life of financial freedom. I wish that were true, but in my 37 years on this earth I have found that nothing is that simple except a recipe. If you look at those who have frugal living down, you will notice that nothing has come easy to them. They make mistakes and learn from them and they know that the goal for a frugal life is one of patience, hard work, doing things they may not want to, and all to get an end result that they are happy about. It doesn't fall into their lap; instead they put one foot in front of the other and move towards the goal they have in mind.
2.No Conclusion to Life
Despair is the conclusion of fools
Life never comes to a conclusion as long as you still take in it's richness and expel your own thoughts and ideas. Through the process of my under-employed days, I have learned that frugal living is tossing me a new set of challenges that I thought I would be prepared for. I am very aware that I need to keep in the forefront of my mind all that I have accomplished and all that I have learned and use those to my best abilities, but also take those ideas and grow them beyond my initial understanding while using my creativity.
3. Enjoy the Journey
The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.
Don Williams, Jr.
It bears repeating again, we need to remember that if it weren't for the journey, we would have no lessons learned and wouldn't be stronger in character for it further down the road. Make sure you look back on something you have achieved and realize what a large hurdle that was at the time. Now look at the hurdles you have today, would you be able to handle these back before you got over those other hurdles, earlier in your life? However difficult things are in life, we become stronger people because of them. Consider how our generation looks upon those who went through the 1930's and 1940's. We too can be great people because of our bumps in the road.
4. Don't Run, Walk
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.
How many times have we been told that at the swimming pool as kids. Don't run, Walk! We all get a chance in the pool. It certainly would be more exciting to win the pot of gold at the end of the megamillions jackpot. But such a small percentage of people actually keep that money and then they also have to deal with the new found friends and family sticking out their hands.
Instead, taking our passion to live frugally, and we have the time to learn the best way to make and use that money that comes to us. We are already in a rush to learn the new technology that come out every year and are used to cheap gadgets that can be replaced faster that fixing them. Building anything worthwhile takes time, whether that is the home you live in or garden you grow.
5. Passion Flickers
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.
Your passion, your desire, your drive to find that financial freedom, to living frugally isn't something that can be taught at a seminar or learned through a Youtube video. You bring that one small flickering flame to the game and you stoke the flame with knowledge, inspiration from others, hard work and patience. Taking action as you learn will cause the flame to spread throughout your life. For each of us the frugal life is a unique flame that only our life experiences, inner voice and personal skills can determine how far we go.
6. Trust That You Can
Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart.
By all means call upon the help of mentors and friends who have walked the road before you. But, Remember that we each have a unique path to go and it is our hard work that brings the goals we have set for ourselves to come to fruition. Sometimes we look to other because we don't trust ourselves to do our own thing and trust our decisions. We need to learn that starting today, we need to listen to what our heart, our intuition, our gut is saying and start acting on what feels right. The only person who can regret a life is the one living it.