Frugal living is all about downsizing your spending to save money. You have to cut back on the unnecessary and make cheaper substitutions whenever you can. This way you can focus your finances on the essential priorities and the things that matter to you the most.
The discipline of frugal living makes you stretch the money you have—so, you have to be aware of where your money is heading, and you’ll have to be very deliberate about how you spend it.
The Benefits of Frugal Living
Cutting back expenses on unnecessary things is one surefire way of saving money. And having more money means having more control of your finances…And even more freedom!
For example, frugality can lead to a larger emergency fund. And it can enable you to achieve broader goals like going on a dream trip or finally upgrading your car. In addition, frugal living also helps you purchase the longer-lasting, but maybe a bit more expensive appliances and equipment that you need.
Ideally, it can also enable you to be more supportive of your family, friends, the locals in your community, and the other people in the world. It allows you to be more helpful and to be able to share what you have with those in need.
In short, frugal living can…
- Save you money
- Support your life goals
- Help others
Are You Interested in Living Frugally?
Ok, you wouldn’t be here reading this if you weren’t, so let’s get right to it.
Before you dive into frugal living, here are some things you need to know and do.
Learn to Budget
You’ll need to create a budget that you’ll be able to stick to. For many, this may not sound fun or good, but budgeting is crucial to frugal living and very helpful in staying financially stable.
You’ll have to prioritize your expenses. Splurging can be okay—it’s not a bad thing to want to do something nice for yourself, but you should first account for it in your budget, instead of spending money with reckless abandon.
Pay off your debts and acquire the essentials first, before you start spoiling yourself. Keep an eye on your transactions. It helps you be more mindful of your spending habits.
Make an account of your future needs and emergency funds, essential needs and rent payments, savings and investments, and the money you’ve put aside for your wish lists and entertainment, according to your budget plan. Also account for your income and earnings for each month.
There are different ways to budget, so it’s okay if you find that one strategy does not work well for you. Consider your mistakes and the areas you liked or disliked. Then, account for them in the next budget planning. Budgeting can be hard, but it gets easier once you get the hang of it each month.
Be Resourceful in Acquiring Meals and Food
Instead of going out or ordering take-out food, plan your meals (also known as meal prepping).
Take a look inside your refrigerator and pantry. See what’s there for ready for use. Keep it simple or be creative, just use the kitchen and cook your planned meals—being this organized in the kitchen will certainly save you money.
Then, if you’re craving for fast food or a dinner out, account for it in your meal plan. Also, something to consider in your meal plan is cooking in bulk, and having the leftovers for dinner.
Take advantage of sales and coupons at the supermarkets to buy at a lower cost. And compare prices from other stores. Another way to save money on groceries is by growing your own food. Consider planting a garden of vegetables and herbs—you might even be surprised by how much better they taste!
Take a good look around your place and get rid of any clutter things you don’t use anymore. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean excessively throwing away all your things! Consider your items carefully, and then sell the items you’ve decided that you can live without. Put them up for sale online or have a garage sale.
Wait Before Buying
Be patient in purchasing new items. Look first for used items—just make sure they still have some life left in them! There are great bargains in thrift shops for home furnishing.
And before buying an item, assess first whether it’s better to rent or borrow that item from someone instead. Do you really need a new shop vacuum or do you just need one for a small job around the house? Ask yourself these kind of questions.
Waiting could also help with impulse buying. Make a list where you’ll put down all the non-essential things you happen to come across and desire to own. Add a date on the object you wrote down. Come back to the list after one month. Most of the time, the desire to buy that specific thing has been curbed after the thirty days are up. This is called the 30-day list.
Another reason to wait is that sometimes a family member or friend may throw away an item that you exactly need. Don’t be afraid to ask around to see what people are getting rid of…You might get lucky! Just don’t start guilt-tripping people over selling you’re their household items!
Re-use what you can. And find ways to find freebies. Instead of buying more books or a movie ticket to watch a film, go to your local library where there are lots of books for you to read and checkout. Most libraries also offer films for you to rent—or even try free resources online like IMDB’s streaming channel!
Frugal living is a great way to save money and invest it in something better. Make your dreams are a reality by having sufficient funds set aside through frugal living today.
Image by Andrey_Popov