Frugal living is a lifestyle choice. Consider it more like a person’s spending behavior adjustment. Everyone wants to save money, but do we put in enough effort to make this happen?
Once in awhile denying yourself your favorite Latte at Starbucks or putting off a road trip won’t make much of a difference. After getting haunted constantly by the thought of being broke, I decided to try living frugally. I must say it was difficult at first but once you make it a habit you start spending more logically. Frugal living simply means being intentional with your money and prioritizing your spending. It enables a person to make wiser financial choices.
So, in this post, I will be sharing with you some things that I have learned over the years of living frugally.
Following are some money-saving tips I’ve been practicing to live a frugal yet balanced lifestyle:
#1 GO GENERIC THE FIRST STEP IN FRUGAL LIVING
I learned to stock my pantry with numerous generic store brand staples will save me a lot of money on pantry supplies like pasta, cereals, flour, spices, herbs, frozen meat, etc. Ditching branded items is a very cost-effective idea. The quality is more or less the same, and they serve the same purpose. This saved me so much money.
A frugal person will happily save on fancy meals and designer clothes and put their money to better use. The frugal life helps you create a perfect balance between savings and expenses.
Interested in making extra money? Read more about at 10 best ideas to make money online
#2 PUBLIC TRANSPORT
It’s a no-brainer. When you start living frugally, you realize how expensive taking an Uber is. I started saving money immediately just by skipping the fancy cab service. You can even opt for a bicycle instead and get in a bit of exercise done too. Win-Win!. The city where I live, there are ride sharing bikes available at very discounted prices like $2.65 per hour or so. But if you buy an annual pass; it costs just $39.99 for unlimited bikes for 12 months, which is a great deal.
#3 WISER EATING OPTIONS
Pack a lunch whenever you go out instead of spending hundreds of dollars on expensive and unhealthy food from restaurants and cafés.
Avoid expensive meats and vegetables, opt for farmer’s market.
Simplify your diet, make the entire meal pep process less complicated.
Oatmeal and variation of lentils are cheap and healthy. There should be an occasional indulgence, but resist the urge of regularly dabbling into expensive.
#4 MORNING MOJO
If you are like me, a cup of tea or coffee might be something you start your day with. In our fast-paced life, most of us think that grabbing a to-go cup of coffee is something that we have to get. Well for most of us that is not something we have to do, it’s just a choice we make.
I ditched Starbucks and stocked my pantry with its prepacked instant coffee. Which I buy in bulk from Costco so I can save even more. So, now I enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee every morning just the way I like. This was one of the easiest choices I made in my frugal living.
I had even gone extreme about 3 months ago when I completely ditched any coffee or tea drinks and instead started drinking hot water and pretending it as my tea. I did it for another reason not being frugal; but to detox my inner system which I will write about sometime in future.
#5 BULK BUYING IN FRUGAL LIVING
Store your pantry with essentials in bulk, that way you get discounts and you manage to save up on spending more on 1 item every time you need it. Rationing your requirements is very important. I once bought 3 sets of battery packs of 24 batteries each; which is probably not a good idea as they phased out before I could use them. So, something to keep in mind to be mindful with what to buy too in bulk 😀
Renting is better than owning. It is much better if you rent a place that’d suffice your needs or find a place with roommates so you can have a little bit of more luxury at somewhat the same price. Buying a house makes sense if it can be paid off. I have done some in-depth analysis on this which you must checkout here.
We do not need designer clothes. A branded shirt will serve the same purpose as the unbranded shirt. So, stop blowing all that money on a branded piece of clothing and rather buy three shirts for the same amount at a local shop or a thrift store.
You might like to read my tips on saving tons of money doing nothing.
Most of us use a smartphone for the basic purpose of calling, texting, online streaming, and other internet services. You do not need the latest $1000 phone to do that, there are many cheaper options available. Apple launches a new iPhone every 1.5 – 2 years. We really don’t need a new phone every 2 years if really handled carefully. This alone can save a good amount of cash considering a family of 4.
#9 BE DEBT FREE
Budgeting is a good way to save money but still carrying a burden of your debts won’t allow you to successfully transition into frugal living. Once you are free from all your debts including student loans, credit card bills, that money can be safely put into your savings. Start working on that right away.
This is super important to grow towards financial freedom.
#10 SAVING IS THE WAY TO BE
Set up an auto-debit facility from your checking account to your savings account. Every payday a certain amount, about $50 to $100 dollars are debited automatically from your checking account and transferred into your savings account. This can be a great long-term savings plan.
It can be even better to have a fixed percentage minimum 10% of your income saved automatically into some interest yielding account. This will ensure that with increase in your income every year, your savings will increase too automatically. Moreover, if you invest into say stock market through some good index funds yielding 7-9% a year, you can save serious amount of money by your retirement age.
I have done some analysis about how not to worry about your investments in stock market which you should checkout.
#11 USE COUPONS & FREEBIES
Believe me when I say, once you figure out how much you can save on daily expenses because of offers, freebies, and coupons, you’ll never shy away from using them. You can use these to save money at restaurants, salons, in stores, online purchases.
Related topics you might like to read:
- 7 Questions To Ask Before Buying Any Home Goods
- Top 10 Healthy Recipes For Dinner
- 7 Best Ideas to Motivate Yourself
- Best Retirement Planning – IRA Vs. 401k Vs. Roth IRA
#12 DIY PROJECTS
Buy it or make it? If we can make our own food, why not essential items like clothes, storage equipment, and more. Although heading to a store or turning to online shopping is convenient and time-saving, DIY (do-it-yourself) is usually cheaper. Free online tutorials and blogs can teach you practically anything you want.
#13 MULTIPLE SOURCES OF EARNINGS
Side Hussle. The most efficient way to start saving money is to increase your overall income. That way you save a little extra. An additional income helps to cushion your savings account and takes the strain off of you when money is tight. Working a little overtime, picking up an extra shift, freelancing jobs, small or part gigs, all great ways to add up your overall earning.
#14 CHOOSE CASHBACK
There are several offers that provide cashback offers with online payments and also at the departmental store cash registers. Just look for the right ones, buy only products and services that provide cashback offers.
You can register for ebates using my link and get instant $10 cashback. Read more about how ebates helps me get squeeze more & more cashback on all purchases.
#15 DECLUTTERING YOUR POSSESSIONS
Learning to live frugally comes with a very heavy setback for some. It meant living with less and making optimum use of whatever possessions you have. I decluttered my entire apartment and realized I had so unnecessary possessions I had no use for anymore. I donated most of them and put some up for sale on eBay.
#16 USE COLD WASH
Wash your own clothes in cold water, that will make your clothes last longer and will also save some electricity used to heat water.
#17 RECORD YOUR EXPENSES
Keep a track of every expense you make. Look for a free expense tracker app that will help you remain aware of how much and where you are spending.
#18 YEARLY SUBSCRIPTIONS
There are thousands of subscription services available for various products and services. Dipping into your savings for bi-yearly or yearly subscriptions once, is better than doubling your expense on a monthly basis as bulk pricing often comes with good discounts.
#19 BUDGETING IS THE PRIDE AND JOY IN FRUGAL LIVING
Put yourself on a budget. Calculate all the essential expenses, allot a separate but small budget for miscellaneous costs and make sure you stick to that plan throughout the month.
#20 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES
Eat before heading out for movies and save on unnecessarily spending on expensive popcorn and candy at the theatre. If you do go out for dinner, share a meal and split the bill with your friends.
#21 GROOMING AND LEISURE
It is okay to once in a while spend on yourself. Personal pampering like haircuts, manicure, facials are not exactly essentials but every few months you need to indulge in these expenses. But instead of spending hundreds of dollars at an expensive salon, visit a local salon or learn DIY tips to do these at home.
Let us know in the comments below if you liked our tips and do inform us of any personal tips you have tried.
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