The other day, I touched on the subject of saving money for groceries and mentioned my soda guzzling hubby. Well, that got me to thinking about obstacles in our way of living frugally and how to deal with them. Friends, family and coworkers alike may try to sabotage our efforts to live on less. Even if they don't realize they're doing it, they can make us feel belittled with their comments as well as their actions. I know it really frustrates me that my husband has this soda addiction but that only makes me determined to look for other areas to save.
So, how can you deal with a not so frugal party pooper? Everyone in the household needs to be on board if you want to be successful at keeping costs down. Whether it's a struggle with hubby over buying soda, brand name clothes shopping for teens or eating at home instead of restaurants, you need to convince them to be on your side.
With kids, I've found the best way to get them to spend less is to have them earn their own money. If they get an allowance, make sure they know once it's gone, that's it. If your teen has to have certain brands of clothes, turn the shopping over to them but let them know they have a certain limit and if they want anything else, they need to figure out how to get it for themselves. Of course, introduce them to thrift stores and consignment shops. My daughter knows she can get about 10 pair of brand name jeans at the thrift for the price of one pair at Abercrombie. They'll either learn to shop smart or have a very limited wardrobe.
Younger children want every toy they see on commercials, don't they? The thrifts come in handy for this as well. My 5 year old knows he can buy one cheap toy at the department store or fill a whole bag with toys for $2 at the thrift. He is already learning to stretch his dollar and he rarely asks for anything when we're out shopping because he knows where the bargains are!
Now, for the toughest of all, the adults. Sometimes they're so stuck in their ways they can't imagine change even if it means saving money. I do understand having preferences but I don't understand being inflexible. Talk to them, show them on paper how much you can save by making a few changes and simple sacrifices. Don't nag them. Nagging gets you nowhere. Sit them down and show them all the advantages of your plans to save. Ask them what they're willing to cut back on and go from there. Think of it as playing a game of Let's Make a Deal. If you realize you're not getting anywhere with them, drop the subject until a later time. Again, I have to say, don't nag =)