Frugal Fatigue and Budget Burnout

Article by R. Joseph Ritter, Jr. CFP® EA

You’ve created some long-term goals — paying down significant amounts of debt or saving a large amount of money, such as for a new car or downpayment on a home. You’re off to a great start! About 1 1/2 to 2 years in, you begin to feel burned out on living frugally. You might even forget why you were living frugally, resent the budget or wish you could go back to the lifestyle you had before making the switch.

If you are in this position, you’re not alone.

If you are thinking about embarking on a frugal lifestyle to accomplish some goals, frugal fatigue and budget burnout do not discriminate — you could wind up there too!

  • Don’t give up. There was a reason you wanted to live frugally or live by a budget. You are probably in a better position than you realize. All you need now is a little tune up.
  • Reassess your goals. It could be one of your goals is not as achievable or measurable as you first thought. But don’t let that stop you. Chances are you are in a very good position to regroup and be back on your way. Look on the bright side, you’ve already made good progress. All you need now is a little help to get back on track.
  • Don’t let it consume you. Hyper-frugality can lead to an unhealthy emotional imbalance. All you need is a little help finding peace of mind that you will get where you want to be.
  • Get help. You don’t need to be alone. Talk to your doctor, minister or spiritual advisor, or even just a friend. Sometimes it helps to talk things through and sort them out in your mind. But when it comes to answering questions on financial matters, leave that to a financial professional.
  • Don’t blow your budget on binge spending. If you share with us your goals and what matters most to you, we can help you find a way to enjoy life a little without compromising your goals.

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