We tend to think of budgeting and frugality as depriving ourselves. It may be more helpful to reframe the way we think about cutting back on stuff. I like the way author Joshua Becker puts it: "Your biggest expense is your greatest opportunity." Photo by Jeff Djevdet.
Over at Becoming Minimalist, Becker discusses the downside of Stuff:
Certainly, there is a direct link with the number of possessions we own and the stress we experience. Every increased possession adds increased anxiety unto our lives. There is a direct relationship also with excess possessions and an overall lack of time, energy, and focus. Your biggest investment also represents your greatest opportunity.
Consider the benefits of living in a smaller home: less expense, less worry, less upkeep — more time, more money, more freedom, and more opportunity.
Practically speaking, Becker's point is to look at your biggest expense and see how it can be downsized. It's sort of like the point about focusing your frugality on the big wins — housing, transportation and food.
Let's say I blow $200/month on fast food, which I do not at all enjoy, but for various reasons, it's my spending weakness. Instead of looking at cutting back on junk as an obstacle, I can look at it as an opportunity to use that money for something that's more important to me. Yes, it's a small shift in mindset, but when it comes to managing your finances, it's an important one.
In general, it's about learning to be more mindful and resourceful. Resourcefulness changes the way you think about the cards you're dealt, and that can make a huge difference in your financial life.
If we can try to look at our obstacles from a mindset of opportunity and growth, we put ourselves in a position of control. And when it comes to managing your money, resourcefulness and control are everything.
For more, head to Becker's full post below.
Your Biggest Expense Is Your Greatest Opportunity [Becoming Minimalist]