During a time when many Americans are struggling, Roth concedes that cutting back isn’t the only way to improve your situation. Finding ways to supplement your income is also key. “You have to find ways to increase your earning ability. That might mean taking a job that you wouldn’t normally take. Go to a community college. Find ways to improve your marketability,” he suggests.
The current economic climate has made frugality trendy, but Roth hopes the new money-saving practices will last. “I think it will be a danger if people go back to their old spending habits once the economy goes back to normal. It’s important for them to maintain the habits they established during the recession. If they can live large on a small budget going forward, live frugally even while the economy is booming, they’ll be able to save more for the future—and the next time a recession rolls around, they’ll be better prepared.”
LIVING THE FRUGAL LIFE
These tips will help you get started:
–Determine what’s important and then spend less on things that don’t matter as much.
–Make frugality fun. If your goal is to spend less on gas, try riding your bike to work.
–Use what you already have. Instead of buying coffee in the morning, brew your own and take it along in a travel mug.
–Find ways to supplement your income. If you have items sitting in your attic, hold a yard sale. Stash the extra cash in a rainy day fund.
This article originally appeared in the November 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.