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Frugal Fatigue 101

Don't get caught up in the idea of strict saving that you crash and burn before your end date!

Posted on: July 13, 2018

Don't get caught up in the idea of strict saving that you crash and burn before your end date!

If you’ve ever been one of those people who took a strict approach to saving and eventually crashed and burned, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. One day you might wake up and decide that this is the day. This is when I get my finances in order and start saving to set myself up for early retirement. Unfortunately, you may go from fearless spending to compulsive saving in a matter of days and not take the steps to set yourself up for success. Here, we discuss the realities of complete frugality and how it may just turn out in the opposite of your favour.

The beginning

So you’ve decided to do away with your reckless spending and save for more fruitful purchases. You’ve cracked down, and made a budget that you’re determined to make last. No more spending for the sake of spending and you’ve decided to allocate each and every last bit of money that comes into your account. You’ve got your rent/mortgage repayments, food, fuel, bills, and minimal treats locked down to include every last cent and the remainder is assigned straight into your savings account. Maybe you’ve decided that you will be sending yourself on a holiday, saving for a house deposit, or setting up a retirement fund, but you’ve made the commitment to saving with an end goal in mind that will be your light at the end of the tunnel.

Let’s just see how that turns out…

The middle

The budget is in place, and you’ve been sticking to it for the last little while. Now, you’re starting to get tired and restless. You went from having a disposable income to restricting yourself from life’s pleasures and didn’t take the baby steps approach that is essential to such a commitment.

Now that you have gotten over the half-way mark and are on-track, you might think it’s time to treat yourself for all your hard work. Unintentionally, you could very well start to treat yourself too much and break away from your savings habit you spent so long working to perfect. This is frugal fatigue. Relentless saving can be draining, and many people can hit a wall one day and break. It’s important to acknowledge baby steps and implement them into a long-term savings plan – your success rate might just go up!

The end

You’ve broken your habit, found yourself in a dire need to save those pennies in the lead up to your self-appointed deadline and are now at an odds to figure out how you got here. It’s a challenging process, and one that few have mastered from the beginning. But, don’t forget you managed to build up a comfortable savings pool in the beginning and aren't just starting from the start again. You have incentive to continue, and hopefully you’ll get a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel and motor through with your cash at the end.

Religious saving can be both a blessing and a curse. Don’t get caught up in restricting yourself from life’s pleasures and start to recognise that no one is that committed – even Warren Buffett has had some setbacks. Own your errors and take full responsibility of your setbacks, so you can recoup and start saving again; the right way this time.

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