Since I started working back when I was 16, spending my hard-earned money was always a non-issue. Saving it was easy and I just focused on working. While I wasn't a money hoarder, no store can ever claim me as their "favorite and loyal customer" either. LOL
Now that I have a family, patience in stretching any little money we had was definitely a battle I didn't want to lose.
I use PATIENCE in deciding everything, even our needs. I prioritize then purchase. For example, clothes and shoes are not for others' approval, they are for comfort and modesty. It's clearance or nothing. My children are not allowed to have a say in what they wear until they are about 12.
I have RE-TRAINED my thinking to ask two more questions for things that catch my eye. If I cannot find two extra reasons to buy something, I put it back.
I ALWAYS weigh my options. What do I need or want it for in my life?
I only say YES to items or services that provide major impact in our little budget.
I opt for SAVINGS over immediate gratification so most of what we own are FREE or Clearance items.
With a little restraint and ingenuity, I have adapted my food and household budget to what we can afford, to enjoy both what we need and want. I've tried to live like a budget-less gourmet, but always ended up with a pauper's pantry.
Patience has served us well; often only exercising a bit of restraint before finding our "wants" marked down to an incredible deal!