Do you have frugal fatigue? Frugal fatigue refers to being tired of watching and controlling every penny or cent that you spend. Frugal fatigue is more likely to happen to people who had to change their lifestyles and their money habits to adapt suddenly to a negative economic or financial situation.
This is what happened to 66% of Americans who had to cope with the recent recession and economic downturn. This figure came from a survey or poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) in the US.
Many people went through negative experiences such as job loss, a loss in income due to pay cuts, a reduction in retirement funds, the loss of their homes, etc. Therefore, they were forced to take drastic measures in managing their finances in order to cope in a difficult situation.
When money is tight, everyone has to watch where their money is going and adapt to a frugal way of life. Spending on necessities like food becomes a priority and spending on non-essentials takes a back-seat.
Those who accept and adapt to the stringent money management style, do not experience frugal fatigue. They view the experience positively and appreciate the impact it has on their lives. These are people who feel good about the changes and are willing to maintain the new money practices instead of going back to the old ways or old money habits. Previously, they worry about paying off bills and debts (old and new). With the changes, they focus more on reducing debt or not taking on new debts as well as stretching the dollar to meet living expenses. They also focus on saving money for the future. Hence, the changes in their money management style have brought about positive results.
Those who wish to return to the old ways of easy spending and refuse to change may experience frugal fatigue more often. They perceive this experience of curbing money spending as a negative one and do not see the positive side of it or the good changes it has brought.
Have you experienced it?
Experiencing frugal fatigue is not exclusive to the Americans only. People from all over the world who have faced similar economic or financial hardships would have been forced to change their lifestyles and money habits. What about experiencing temporary frugal fatigue? I can identify with this and I believe most of you too especially during the student days when money was scarce. Priorities were on food, room and board, books, other related school expenses and transportation. This experience alone should have taught us to be careful about spending money unnecessarily.
Personally, I lead a frugal lifestyle and this is by choice. It has become a habit to keep track of spending and to limit spending money on non-essentials. The positive side to this is there are no sleepless nights about mounting bills or debts. Therefore, being frugal has some positive aspects to it and focusing on them helps to keep frugal fatigue away.
Reference source: Yahoo! Finance, Marketwatch