Can We Really Switch to a Frugal Lifestyle?

by Vinaya HS on May 31, 2011

in Finance

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This question’s been plaguing my mind from the past couple of months and especially after I wrote about how I make my budget work. Because, I don’t recollect a single month when I have managed to beat my budget — ever. I’ve always overspent but never underspent. I’ve always thought that when the chips are down, we’ll be able to cut-down on this or cut-down on that.

For example:

I like to think that in a crunch, we’ll be able to cut-down on our petrol bills (easily our biggest expense each month), we’ll be able to fire our cook, we’ll be able to give up 3G on our cellphones, we’ll be able to eat-out less, and so on. But can we really do all these in reality without feeling deprived?

Here’s the magnitude of the problem:

The Swift’s clocked 48,000 kilometers @ 10 kilometers per liter (and in 27-months). And if we fire our cook (who additionally doubles up as our maid too — lucky us!), our lives will be very very intimately tied to our wall clock. And frustratingly, though I have Skype Out credit through work, I more often than not dial long-distance simply because it’s convenient.

I honestly don’t know the answers.

But as a first step, here’s what I’m planning to do:

  • Make a complete list of all our recurring monthly expenses.
  • See which ones we really can live without — classic absolutely need to have vs. nice to haves.
  • Get rid of all expenses that aren’t absolutely need to haves.

I think that will be a great start.




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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ashutosh Tewari May 31, 2011 at 11:24 AM

“Lifestyle” Inflation is something that slowly creeps in and before we realize, all the luxury expenses from college and early career times become an absolute must. Few years back going for a movie to a multiplex was a luxury, but now it seems to be a must have, along with eating out. A simple thing like renting a DVD or buying it from websites like – http://www.moserbaerhomevideo.com and enjoying the movie along with home cooked food can be such a wholesome experience.

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