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Monday, February 22, 2010

Because of the Blog- Motivation

Today I was at my friend's house, and while our kids were playing together, I pulled out my sewing scissors and a length of fabric and started cutting.
"What are you doing?" she asked me.
"Preparing a costume for Lee. I need a costume for him for next week. We have a costume party to attend."
"You're nuts. Why not just buy a costume and be done with it?" She was incredulous that I would actually take the time to do something as "tedious" as make a costume from scratch when I could just buy one.

Aside for saving money, as my homemade costumes are much cheaper than any store bought one, there's also this motivation in making Lee's costume from scratch: I want to have something to blog about. What type of frugal blogger would I be if I did the more expensive thing for the sake of convenience? Not to mention, I wouldn't have a "How to make your own costume from scratch" tutorial (coming soon!).

That's one thing I love about this blog. It gives me accountability. I am owning up to you, both my successes and my failures. It gives me motivation to do more, save more, and not just fall into a rut of complacency. I wrote here about my goal to conserve on utilities. Each time I finish a load of wash and see my dryer beckoning me, I tell myself firmly that I already announced my resolution to the world to line dry unless I have no other choice... and walk to my laundry rack and hang my clothes to dry. 
Sure, money is a good motivator, but in my opinion, an even greater motivator is pressure. Whether that pressure is self imposed or others imposed it, by feeling accountable for your actions to others, it makes you more likely to act as opposed to just contemplate. 

I've been trying hard to conserve resources. The accountability is what gave me the push. When I picked up my mail today, I looked at our water bill and saw that it was 1/6th of the cost of our past water bills. This is even after a price hike because we live in a droughty area. I'm very proud of myself for cutting back so much on our water bill. This is even with washing our cloth diapers at home. Now, if only we could get our electricity bill down. Our most recent one arrived and its amount is more than I wished it would have been. (Heating in our home is electric, and the winter necessitated some heating. But even so.)

By having a blog, I have a written record of what I'm doing. A log book of sorts. By penning my thoughts and my progress, I find I get further with my goals than if I just had ideas floating around my head, but nothing concrete.

How do you motivate yourself to be frugal? What keeps you motivated to make the extra work to save? Do you find that sharing your progress with others helps you keep on target?

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