Today’s post is part of an occasional series called ‘Concepts in Frugality’.
You don’t ‘have to’ do anything.
Too often we fall into the trap of thinking that we have to buy a certain brand, go to a certain store, send our kids to a certain activity. “I have to buy this brand of facial cleanser,” you might say to yourself. “Otherwise my skin breaks out.” Or maybe “I have to use this kind of laundry detergent– I don’t like the way the other one smells.”
I do it all the time- I rely on old habits, on old patterns, firmly entrenched ways of thinking in making my buying decisions.
But what decisions would you make, if you rethought your thinking? If you were forced to act another way, would it change your mind and your patterns?
I have a friend who was convinced that she could not lower her monthly grocery budget below a certain point. When she started only using cash to pay for groceries however, she managed to spend a third less than the months before.
I thought I had to keep the heat at a certain temperature, or my kids wouldn’t sleep. Turns out I was wrong. I thought I had to buy a brand name coffee, or we wouldn’t like the taste. Turns out I was wrong. I thought I had to have a two hour contract on my cell phone, or I wouldn’t have enough minutes. Turns out I was wrong.
Rethinking my habits and my convictions, even those I was convinced I couldn’t change, was a useful exercise for me. I’m discovering why I do things. Some of the reasons are frugal worthy… others, not so much. But I don’t have to do anything- I make the frugal (or almost frugal) choices I make because I choose to make them.
What things do you do because you have to? And what do you do because you want to?