How to combat frugal/debt fatigue

Some Shoutouts:

First, I want to thank Krystal of Moneyville fame and Give me back my five bucks for featuring me in a post as one of her 8 favourite PF bloggers! How awesome (and cute) is she!?

Second, I literally whipped up the post yesterday morning at 8 a.m.-ish after being given a deadline, and within 2 minutes, fellow Torontonian Money Rabbit had it posted on her blog and tweeted: The Minimalist Life.

Seriously. I wrote it THAT morning with a fast proof read.

THANK YOU! 🙂 What a wonderful & kind surprise.


Financial fatigue is a big thing that a lot of you are facing right now!

I noticed a trend in readers’ comments:

  1. Some are just naturally frugal and don’t feel the “pain” of saving others do (lucky!)
  2. Some were shopaholics and learned to like being frugal (<— me!)
  3. Some try to be frugal but are struggling with it and hate it (<— partly me!)

So for those of us who are not naturally frugal, here are some tips.

Let’s start with this kitten.

Imagine this cute furball as your debt or your financial goals.

She doesn’t care that you had a bad day and you hate clipping coupons and you wish you could get rid of your roommate and have the whole apartment (and bill!) to yourself.

So if your debt doesn’t care, then how do you deal with getting frustrated and tired with saving and NOT spending?

How to combat frugal fatigue

Change your mindset

You must be thinking: That is the dumbest advice I’ve ever heard. How in the world am I supposed to change my mindset?

Well I think it’s a matter of removing money into the equation and linking it to other benefits.

For instance, you are paying out a wad of cash each month to your debt and feeling really fatigued, distraught and quite angry at the whole situation.

This is where you need to focus on the benefits (if you can).

Think about what getting out of debt will do for you:

  • Won’t have to steal that kitten’s food to survive when you’re retired
  • Able to sleep better at night
  • Won’t have creditors/debtors knocking on your door
  • Won’t have sweaty palms hoping your debit or credit card clears
  • Able to save that money rather than “spend” it on debt
  • Will loosen those purse strings and have a little vacation later
  • Never have to make the same mistake again (I hope!)
  • Will have a better grip/control on your money and confidence

You have to think of the benefits of what you are doing. Not the actual ACT of “losing” all that money to debt each month.

Set priorities

If you don’t have a goal or reason why you are getting out of debt, you are likely to become even more fatigued.

I am not talking about saying: Hey I want to be out of debt.

I am talking about setting priorities like saying: Hey I want to be out of debt so that I can start saving for a home and start a family.

When you start tying why you are saving all of this money to something positive and happy, you will be more inclined to stay on track.

This can be a really hard thing to do, but every time you pay money towards your debt, repeat to yourself a goal: This is for that nice 2-bedroom home I will soon own in the future. I will be debt-free, and have a down payment when I go into that bank and apply for that mortgage.

Treat and reward yourself

No one can be perfect and NEVER want a treat.

Celebrate milestones, like buying a reasonably priced handbag when you’ve saved M amount of money, or paid down D amount of debt.

Give yourself some money to spend each month and choose wisely.

This is all part of a budget, budgeting in the fun stuff is important, or else you are going to snap like a rubberband and end up going on some huge shopping binge that will negate everything you’ve worked so hard for.

Don’t beat yourself up over falling off the wagon

Just don’t make it a habit. If it happens, don’t say: ARG! I’m a total failure! I give up!

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and promise to do better starting right now.

Try to stop yourself from thinking that you are a failure and don’t give yourself a sneaky free pass to wait until next week or next month to start again.

Practice really does make perfect.

You can’t give up at the first roadblock.

You have to jump over that hurdle, smash your way through it, and recognize what the situation is.

(Or at the very least, find a sister to blame it on. Just kidding.)


Make a vision board for visual motivation

What do you want to do at each milestone of getting out of debt or saving?

If you are saving for a trip to Paris, then make a vision board!

Kind of like this one below:

That’s all I have for frugal or debt fatigue tips.

It is what has helped me make it through all the falls, the bumps and the highs of getting out of debt.

You will come across times where you want to give up and it is absolutely normal.

NO ONE makes it through such a change in lifestyle and mindset without a hitch.

(If you have, I’d have to take your word for it…..but grudgingly :P)

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.