July 24, 2024
8 Reasons I Remain Committed To Saving Money

Brigid C. has always been careful with her money. As a member of Generation X who came of age during tough economic times, frugality is simply a way of life for the 49-year-old Utah resident. “Saving money is just ingrained in me,” she said. “It’s not about being cheap, it’s about being mindful of where my money goes.”

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From housing costs to discretionary spending, Brigid has developed smart habits over the years to keep her finances in order. Here are eight key reasons this frugal Gen Xer remains laser-focused on saving.

Paying Yourself First

“I know the importance of paying myself first before anyone else gets paid,” Brigid said. She makes saving a priority by automatically transferring 15% of each paycheck into her retirement accounts and separate savings buckets.

“It’s money I don’t see, so I don’t miss it. Paying myself first ensures I’m always making headway on my goals,” she said.

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Limiting Housing Costs

After watching friends struggle with mortgage payments during the housing crisis, Brigid has always rented modest apartments to keep her housing costs low.

“Rent is my biggest monthly expense, but it’s still very reasonable at $875 for a two-bedroom,” she said. “I could afford a mortgage, but I prefer the flexibility of renting to avoid being house poor.”

Embracing a Used Car Lifestyle

Brigid drives used cars and keeps them for well over a decade to minimize transportation costs. Her current vehicle is a 2008 Honda Civic she purchased for $6,000 three years ago.

“I’m not worried about having a fancy car because that’s just not a priority for me,” she said. “As long as it’s reliable and the cost of ownership is low, I’m happy.”

Cooking at Home

With the exception of weekly lunches with co-workers, Brigid rarely dines out in order to save money. “I almost always bring my lunch to work, and I cook dinners at home,” she said.

Her grocery budget of $300 per month allows her to buy wholesome ingredients while avoiding pricey restaurants.

Trimming Entertainment Costs

“I have a pretty minimal entertainment budget of around $100 per month,” Brigid shared. She takes advantage of free community events, hikes in nearby canyons, borrows books and movies from the library, and runs a monthly game night with friends to keep entertainment costs down.

Buying Secondhand

From clothing to furniture to home decor, Brigid seeks out quality secondhand goods. “I get a thrill out of finding good deals,” she said.

She frequents thrift stores, yard sales and Facebook Marketplace. “So much stuff is perfectly usable, you just have to put in a bit more effort to find the good stuff,” she said.

Avoiding Debt at All Costs

Brigid hasn’t carried consumer debt like credit cards in over 15 years. “I made some poor spending decisions in my 20s, but watching the interest accrue on those balances was a real wake-up call,” she shared.

Now she uses cash or debit cards or lays away items if she can’t afford to pay out of pocket.

Being Content With What You Have

At the end of the day, Brigid credits her contentment with allowing her to remain frugal. “I’m satisfied with my lifestyle. I don’t need much to be happy,” she said. “That gratitude for what I already have prevents me from chasing more stuff that will only weigh me down financially.”

Because of her saving and spending habits, Brigid’s finances are doing well. She currently has over $175,000 in retirement savings and a $50,000 emergency fund. “My frugal approach can feel limiting at times, but it’s allowing me to achieve my goal of retiring comfortably one day,” she said. “For me, that long-term security is what makes the small sacrifices worth it.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Frugal Member of Gen X: 8 Reasons I Remain Committed To Saving Money

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