How to Be Frugal By Being Resourceful (Day 9 in Our How to Be Frugal Series)
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In writing about how to be frugal, I had to make sure that being resourceful made the cut. Being resourceful is something that I’ve gotten increasingly better at over time, perhaps because I gain more confidence in every new thing I try.
Being resourceful can appear in countless ways, and what you may find to be a resourceful choice in your life is somewhat dependent on what your personal gifts and talents are. For this reason, this is where we are going to start in learning how to be frugal by being resourceful.
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Do an assessment of your gifts, talents, and strengths
Are you creative? Are you artistically inclined or perhaps more mechanically minded? Is it easy for you to pay attention to the small details or, like me, are you more of a big picture gal?
Being aware of the answers to these types of questions will give you a great base on which to let the creative juices flow. If you are creative, you can more easily come up with a product or two to create and then sell. If you are more mechanically gifted, you will have an easier time with basic or even complicated repairs.
Take some time determining what you enjoy doing and what your talents are.
Repair or repurpose
The next time something seems to be broken in some way, do a little research to determine if it can be fixed. Sometimes we can do some sort of simple fix on something that may alter its functionality just a bit, but still be completely usable in some way.
Similarly, we can often repurpose something in a new way to make it still meet its intended purpose or a different purpose altogether.
We live in such a material world these days that we so quickly discard something that we deem as less than perfect, only to turn around and spend money to replace it in some way. It may take some time, effort, and faith in your own ability, but get daring in taking care of some of these things on your own before calling someone else to fix what could be a simple problem or discarding it.
Find a need and then meet it
This is all part of being resourceful. Do you know someone who complains about having to make meals? Has she even mentioned that she would pay someone to make meals for her? Have you experienced something similar in someone you know who hates doing laundry? If so, these could be needs that you can step up and fill, earning a little extra money in the process.
It is amazing how easy it is to discover the needs of others around you if you start paying a little bit of attention to what they are saying.
You can even swap services in this way. Maybe you can negotiate for some free babysitting for a night out with your main squeeze by taking something off the to-do list of someone you know or have been put into contact with.
If you find yourself in a tight place financially or are wanting a bit more wiggle room in the money you have to spend, get creative in finding some needs that you can meet. This is even better if you are doing things that you enjoy!
Make or do things yourself that you would normally buy or pay for
This is another area where I have expanded over the years. You can do this in the kitchen, in your laundry room, and even in your bathroom. In fact, you can find ways to make things in just about every area of your home – both inside and outside.
As just as a few examples, you can make your own cleaners, make laundry products, wash your own cars by hand, and sew some basic projects. I actually purchased a sewing machine in my late thirties because I wanted to use cloth diaper wipes and didn’t want to pay the high price tag for something so simple. I have now learned to sew some other things, too, and so have my girls.
You can get creative and change the oil in your car, rotate your own car tires by using a simple jack, and find amazing things to create as gifts for family members on Pinterest to give for Christmas or birthdays.
The sky really is the limit when it comes to making things you previously purchased in an effort to be more frugal.
Sleep on it
This is a really basic concept, but sleeping on many of our purchases would clearly define them as a want or a need. In many cases, it would keep us from making an impulsive buy that we may choose differently about after a day or two passes.
Sometimes this can most effectively be done by setting a dollar amount threshold. I also find this to work best by setting a certain amount of days that we must sleep on something – generally it is relative to the amount of money that the item costs.
As much as we would all love to just buy things without giving them much thought, this is simply not part of a frugal lifestyle in most cases.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get all family members on board this particular train, but remember that any change made is a good one. Similarly, any money saved is money saved. Small changes made are still changes and should be recognized, appreciated, and celebrated as such.
There are so many ways in which we can be resourceful, and I have named only a few here. When being more focused on being frugal, you will be amazed at what opportunities can pop into your head at times. Keeping your eyes and mind open is key!
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