The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License,
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

Frugal Café Philosophy
Save more.
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Laugh often.
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If the News about the US Economy Is Getting You Down, Here's What You Can Do to Get a Grip

Originally posted December 5, 2008

Are you feeling more and more depressed about the economy? The bailouts? The instability of so many retailers and large companies? Your job security? How Christmas will be for your family this year? Do you want to cut back on your own consumption, be more frugal, save money for the future, but have no idea how to begin?

Take a deep breath. You can get through this, but not alone. If you and your family are struggling, it will take a consensus, a group effort, to make necessary changes in reviewing how you currently spend money and how you'll stop spending money. Think about all the ways you can reduce. Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose. Start making a plan on how you're going to accomplish this. How you're going to become more frugal. Cell phone? Dinners out? Unnecessary driving? Frequent stops at the gourmet coffee houses? Those things are nickel-and-diming your cash flow. Only you and your family can prune out all those extra expenses.

And laugh. Try to laugh a lot.

Laughter is key in keeping you from wearing down your immune system (worry can do more physical damage to you than you may realize) and getting sick, from losing your perspective, from forgetting what in life is truly important. It's most important when the going gets tough. Mind over matter is crucial. If you can block out the bad, that horrid stuff you have no control over, you can actually trick your mind into a state of harmony and peace. And laughter, for all the beta-endorphin chemicals that it triggers your brain to release into your system, will help you get a grip and become less stressed.

Fundamentally, it boils down to "Laughter good, worry bad." Whatever it takes, try to see the glass half full, laugh when you really would rather cry. Change what you can, but minimize the amount of worry you've been devoting to those things you have no influence over and can't change. It will make a tremendous difference in your overall well being. When you're stressed and overwhelmed by fear, you're unable to act effectively. At this time, you must be strong, primed, and ready to do what must be done to improve your family's financial situation.

Most importantly, limit the amount of time you spend watching the news or reading news sources on the Internet or newspapers. The relentless onslaught of reported doom and gloom is meant to achieve ratings, but you don't need daily reminders. Remember: embrace moderation. That includes how much time you spend watching CNN.


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