What is the meaning of frugal living? Simply put, it’s about limiting one’s spending and making simple financial lifestyle adjustments. This way, you can reach your financial goals and set money aside for various things in the future without hurting yourself in the present.
It can seem like saving money involves stashing away large amounts sums at a time. As good as that sounds, it’s the little changes in our spending habits that have the enormous impact on our finances. A quarter here and a dime there adds up in the long run. Whether it’s the $5 coffees or $20 restaurant bills, eventually you will start to notice the drain on your bank account or increase in credit card usage. It’s time to start living a more frugal lifestyle to help you save money.
Below are some useful tips on how to change your financial habits and start living frugally. Implementing a few of these into your daily routine will have you reach financial freedom in no time.
Eat at Home
Eating out often is an inefficient method of spending money. It can feel time-consuming to cook, but after a while, doing so will spare your bank account. By knowing what you want to cook in advance, you can calculate the cost of ingredients and items. It’s always best to plan your meals for the week and use vacuum seal to keep your cooked food fresh. When is comes to frugal living, keeping track of what you don’t spend is as helpful as knowing what you do.
Practice Self Care
Letting physical or mental issues eat away at you for days or weeks at a time will only cause costlier problems. Think of your body like a car. Rusted pieces are harder to fix and will most likely require replacing. When you have issues examined earlier in age, there will not be much hardship to pay for later. Treat yourself as well as you’d treat your vehicle. Get checked up sooner than later.
Stop Impulse Buying
We all are guilty of doing it. You find something that peaks your interest and then you buy it. There are entire marketing strategies focused on spontaneous purchasing. Whenever you’re in line waiting for the cash register to open up, the candy and magazines are tempting you. Those are not placed there by coincidence. (See Also: Financial Freedom, What is it Exactly?)
Curb and end the impulse to buy at the moment. It’s much better to think about it before spending your money. It will save you a lot of “why did I buy that?” hours later. Frugal living helps you convert from a remorseful buyer to rejoiceful saver.
Grow Your Own Food
You don’t need to have an entire farm set up in your backyard. Growing tomatoes, a patch of carrots, and planting potatoes can be enough. The money you are not spending on eating out is money that’s saved to ease some of your financial burdens.
Make Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergent is expensive. It never seems to last as long as you’d like and it would appear as the price gets higher every year. Instead of shelling out for overpriced liquid, you can make your own. Not only will it save you money, but it’s also easier to do than you think.
Pay Off Your Debt
This may seem a little redundant. If you’re saving to get rid of debt, why would you clear debt in order to save? In this case of living frugally, focus on credit so that you don’t start accruing more debt. It can be tempting to buy something you can’t technically afford at the time by putting it on a credit card but just don’t do it. Even if the interest rate is low, you’re still paying more for what you bought than what it was actually worth. (See Also: 4 Steps for Managing Your Financial Ambitions)
Water is free (99% of the time). Any other drink, no matter how healthy it appears, is going to cost you much more. Plus, other beverages may affect your health negatively in the long-term. Soda and fruit juices are filled with concentrated sugars, beer packs on the pounds, and coffee has its benefits but not when they’re overpriced and filled with flavored shots.
Use Less Product
Have you ever put too much toothpaste on your brush? Squeezed out too much hair gel or hand lotion? Filled your hand with shampoo when you meant to get a little? We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, it costs us.
While living frugally, do your best to use less. People tend to overcompensate and think they need more of something that they actually do. Whenever you go to scoop, squeeze, dip, or wipe, try to use half of what you think you need. This will prolong what you’ve already bought so you don’t have to make a trip back to the store more than you need to.
Think On It
When you want to buy something at the moment, walk away. Whether you’re online or shopping at the mall, take some time to think it over. You’ll be surprised how even an hour can change your mind and keep you from making a purchasing blunder. (See Also: Building A Positive Mindset Around Money)
Take Public Transit
Insurance and car payments every month are a major expense. Once you factor in gas and the inevitability of repairs, is owning your own vehicle really worth it? A bus pass is a set cost every month that’s easy to calculate while carpooling cuts down on expenses and emissions.
Thrift and consignment stores continue to pop up in cities and towns alike. Buying second-hand clothes, decor items, and furniture will save you tons in a short amount of time. Not everything you own has to be shiny and brand new. Affordability doesn’t have to mean cheap or ugly as long as you take the time to find what you like. If the cost is right, it will always be worth your time.
Examine Your Bills
Companies are not prone to making mistakes. We don’t want to admit it because no one wants to risk being stuck on the phone for hours only to have nothing resolved. Unfortunately, if there’s a problem you’re not addressing with your internet or phone bill, that’s money flushed down the toilet. Take some time to look over your bills when you get them. The sooner you find an issue the sooner you can address it and start saving money.(See Also: 15 Simple Ways to Manage Expenses and Save Money)