Being frugal isn’t just about spending less, watching your money, or knowing how to budget. Being frugal is a state of mind. A life style, you might even say. Being frugal can come about because you have to be , or because you are just cheap. For us, it is a bit of both (single income by choice, and a deep desire to not waste money), but it is also largely based on contentment.
Being satisfied with the life we have, with the things we own, and not always wanting stuff is how we stay frugal. Yes, being on a tight budget kind of forces us to be this way, but it is also a way of thinking, one that we have to actively work on. We are happy with our current financial situation. Sure, more money would be great, but we don’t need it.
I think you need to be content with what you have, before you can be really frugal. Accept your current situation in life, otherwise you will constantly have negative thoughts about how you can’t spend any money. If you aren’t happy with what you have, and then you try to stick to a budget, all you will do is feel trapped and forced to not spend, which will result in frivolous spending. Being content doesn’t mean you can’t dream of Paris vacations and beach front properties. And of course you can work to improve your situation, it just means be happy with what you have first.
So relax and just be happy with what you have, and being frugal will come much easier!