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Building the thrifty muscle one decision at a time

Being thrifty can be difficult for me. I’m not one of those people who always balks at the thought of spending money. To be honest, I quite enjoy spending money—maybe it’s the excitement of getting something new and novel. Either way, it’s not natural to me but I’m learning.

I’ve been wanting to get a new gym bag for a few days. It’s a rather inexpensive purchase. However, as I’m becoming aware of, inexpensive purchase can become huge when stacked up together in one month. £23 may not seem like a lot on its own, but if I spend an additional £15, £10, £39, £28 as flippant, ‘inexpensive purchases’, within one month that amounts to £115. Now, something which at first seemed like it didn’t matter appears to have really mattered when taken in larger context.

In the end, being thrifty is a mindset—a way of thinking and making decisions about money. If I had a thrifty mindset whilst considering those 5 simulated purchases above, I could avoid £115 altogether or even cut it down significantly.

Right now, I’ve decided not to get the new gym bag. I wanted it because my current one is a small travel rucksack and inconvenient getting things in and out of it—a small matter of course. But when I looked around at home, I found that I had an old sports bag lying around which was a bigger bag that I wasn’t really using at the moment. I don’t really want to use it because it’s a backpack not a duffel, and I want a nice, neat duffel. But if my main reason for replacing bag is size, then the old bag should do the trick.

I don’t need the new bag. I merely want it. It’s easy to justify the apparent “small” purchase but I’ll try to be thrifty here and see how it goes. I’ll hold out and at least try out the old sports bag and see if I can get used to it. At the end of the month, I (or my budget) might be grateful that I did. Most important of all, by making this decision (rather than the alternative) I would have built a tiny bit more thrifty muscle in my mentality which who knows, could help me later down the line as I try to build up the kind of thrifty mentality that isn’t naturally mine.

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