Reader question… “For weeks now I have kept our grocery budget at $30 a week (for my husband, me, and 2 kids) by purchasing only what I could buy with coupons or was on sale. We haven’t bought anything besides food that wasn’t absolutely necessary, and we have saved money. I thought I would feel good about that, but all I feel is deprived and poor. My husband feels the same. How do people live a frugal life style without feeling this way?” –Charlene H.
I think you are feeling deprived and “poor” because you are trying to be too frugal. I wrote about this at length in Being Sensible about Frugality.
“One of the first things most people discover when they try to live a frugal lifestyle is that extreme frugality is almost impossible to live with long term. It’s a lot like dieting. You can cut back on what you eat in a sensible way that you can live with happily for the rest of your life, or you can go on an unhealthy starvation diet that will make you miserable and is impossible to maintain. Some people try to save money by cutting so much out of their life that they end up feeling very deprived… the reason, I think, why some people get so burned out… they try too hard and deny themselves too much… almost guaranteeing that they will end up feeling impoverished and very dissatisfied with their new lifestyle.”
You can read the rest of the post here.