Four Ways To Live Your Best Frugal Life

Four Ways To Live Your Best Frugal Life

Adapting business tactics to your personal finances.

I take pride in my pursuit of a business degree. Trudging through hours of coursework relating to accounting principles, marketing strategy, economic theory, and other “businessy” topics, my perspective on personal finances has changed. When grocery shopping, I’ll think well, what’s the ROI, return on investment?

When walking to class, I’ll remember that assets equals liabilities plus owner’s equity. So perhaps one day I’ll run a corporation.

I find myself business minded now, which coupled with my love for travel, causes me to live frugally. Living on a budget doesn’t have to feel suffocating. Your bank account and credit card aren’t chained to a fence in prison.

Instead, it should feel empowering to live economically, because you have the ability to be picky about where you invest your hard earned cash. Here are four tips to live your best frugal life.

1. Grocery shop for what you really like.

I like oatmeal and peanut butter. I like eggs and bacon. And I love avocado toast but my grocery bills aren't extravagant at all. Instead, I can get by with spending fifty dollars for a week on groceries by just getting what I like. I don’t buy unnecessary items that end up sitting in my freezer for months nor do I buy colorful vegetables that end up rotting. Grocery shopping is cheaper than eating out for every meal, so if you just buy what you like to eat, the essentials, you save more money than you think.

2. Be aware of your “free cash flow.”

This is a term in accounting used to measure a company’s ability to earn a profit. Just subtract capital expenditures from cash earned from operations and there it is.

But I know, that’s complicated if you have never taken a class in accounting. In regards to you and your life, be aware of the amount of money coming in and the amount of money going out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Payday might be on Friday but, your bank account isn't locked until then.

You aren’t limited to making payments only on Fridays. Be aware of what’s coming in every two weeks and the set payments that will be going out. Car payments, rent, utilities, gas, and groceries are non-negotiable. Daily expenditures like Starbucks actually do add up.

3. Know why you’re doing it.

During my study abroad trip in China, I diligently kept track of each kuai and yuan in order to see if I could afford the trip up north to Beijing. I ended up not being able to go, so I came back home and made new goals. I’m going to work hard, save money, and travel next summer in China.

The experience of traveling for two months abroad made me reconsider what I wanted for myself in the future. When I’m in the middle of a grueling shift with testy customers, I just keep my goals in mind. Every minute I’m a dime and a nickel closer to affording the next trip.

4. Save small.

I opened a savings account when I got my first paycheck. I began by putting thirty percent of my paycheck into the account.

But then I began playing a little game with myself.

If I stopped myself from committing an impulsive purchase, then I would transfer between three and five dollars into my savings account. Small amounts compiled together someday become big amounts. Sooner or later your nest egg will become a whole chicken coop.

Every time I drop a penny into the teacup on my desk I feel like Michelle Tanner shaking her piggy bank. Saving money is addictive and fun. It makes you proud when you know that you're doing something that will benefit yourself in the future.

Cover Image Credit: NBC News

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To The Nursing Major

Is it all worth it?

"You're going to feel like quitting. You're going to struggle. You'll have days where you'll wonder, 'what's it all for?' You'll have days when people attempt to break you down, or challenge your intelligence, skills and right to be where you are. You'll have moments when you question your own abilities, and perhaps your sanity - but you'll rise. You'll rise, because your strength as a nurse is not determined by one grade, one shift or one job - it's an ongoing journey of learning, honor, humility and a chance to make even the smallest difference in the lives of your patients."

Don't ever give up on achieving your dreams to be a nurse. Keep pushing forward, no matter how hard it is. Nursing is not an easy major. You will have very little, if any, time to do anything other than study. But just think about how great it will feel to connect with a patient, pray with them, and even save his or her life. This will make all of the late night studying, weekly breakdowns, countless cups of coffee, and tests so hard all you want to do is cry, worth it. To see a patient's face light up when you walk in his or her room will make your heart melt and you'll know you chose the right major.

The kind of nurse you will be isn't based on a test grade, it's based on your heart for the people you are caring for. You may have failed a class, but don't let that ruin you. Try again and keep pushing toward your goal. Don't allow others around you to drag you down and tell you you aren't good enough to be a nurse. Show them how strong you are and that you will never give up. There will be days when all you want to do is quit, I know I question my major more than once a week; however, there is a patient out there that needs you and your caring heart. You can do this, have faith in yourself that you can move mountains.

I will say that you definitely must have a heart for nursing. Personally, I want to be a Pediatric Oncologist and work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Just the thought of those precious children going through the hardest part of their lives, keeps me going so that I can be there for them. I want to be a light to my patients and their families during a dark time. When I feel like giving up, I just think about how many lives I have the chance to touch and I keep on going. So when you feel like giving up, just think about your future patients and how you can make a difference, even if its only for one person. I love the quote from Katie Davis that states, "I will not change the world, Jesus will do that. But I can change the world for one person. So I will keep loving, one person at a time." Even though this quote is about foreign missions, I believe it fits the mold for nursing as well. Nurses have the opportunity to change the world for people everyday. Just remember that, smile, don't give up, and keep pushing toward your goal.

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