Frugal living is not just a remedy when you tend to overspend every time you have a little extra, it can also become a lifestyle is you really think about it.
A lifestyle where you make smart money decisions to benefit you and your family in the long run.
Does this sound like you?
You just got your paycheck and decided to spend it cautiously this time, unlike the previous month where you were just inches away from being broke.
You paid the bills, treated yourself, spend some more here and there, did some outings with some friends and then at the end of the month you look at your bank account and you find,
Account Balance: $10 (which is staring right back at you!).
NOOOO, Not again!
Seems a bit familiar?
The worst part is that you don’t even know where the money went? It’s just…gone!
Does it something have to do with spending some for yourself?
Of course not, there’s nothing bad about treating yourself once in a while for all the hard work you’ve done? Not at all! It is the habit of “more frequent & expensive spending” that will make you broke.
And you won’t even see it coming!
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Living frugally has given me a sense of making smart money decisions in every aspect of life. Minimalism, decluttering, budgeting, etc are just a part of my daily routine now!
Frugal living has opened my eyes to see the sheer joy” the less” can bring.
And now one of the most important things to clarify,
What is frugal living?
Frugal living can be simply put as–Curating your spending habits such that you make “Smart Money Decisions”. It means knowing where your priorities in life lay, and opting to spend your money on those things – and being happy regardless of the rest.
Frugal living means being sensible with your money so that you can afford the things that you know are important, and that bring real value to your life.
When you think of frugal living like this, it’s pretty easy to see why so many people have trained themselves how to be frugal and live a more intentional life.
But for most, the idea of frugality only stikes when they notice some financial distress in their life.
The other times are just as important as this one, developing a healthy frugal and minimalist lifestyle goes a long way and can help you reach your idea of financial freedom.
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Frugal Living 101: 45 Frugal Living Tips That Will Change Your Life
1: Be Aware Of Your Spendings
Sometimes, the easiest way to start living more frugally is simply to bring some awareness to your actions, especially when it comes to spending. Any random unaware spending doesn’t help, no matter how small they are.
Since you’re here, reading this post, you have already cleared your first hurdle. Any time you’re about to make a random & unplanned purchase, just pause and ask yourself,” Do I really need it?”.
At times, just a little hesitation is enough to talk yourself out of an impulse purchase.
2: Set a Budget and Track it
Management thinker, Peter Drucker once quoted ” If you can Measure it, you can Improve it”. That holds true for most aspects of our lives.
And when it comes to personal finances, a Budget tracks your spending like nothing else.
Frugal living is all about being smart with your income and spending, and that starts with knowing how to budget your money correctly. To create a budget that works for you, you need to be able to track:
- Your Income
- Monthly bills
- The amount you’re willing to save
- Every other expense
Spend a month or two just tracking these things, getting a first feel for the figures. From there, it should be fairly obvious where all the money goes and what needs to change.
Get the FREE budget Tracker printable that you can use every month to track your budget.
3: Make Decluttering a Habit
Minimalism and frugal living go hand-in-hand. You can’t be super smart with your money and then spend it on the things whenever you please.
Money just comes and just gone the same way, and again you’re at level zero!
And in the end, your entire life will be cluttered with stuff.
Try to make a habit out of decluttering your entire home at least once a quarter.
For you, it may be your garage that ends up messy over and over and cluttered or your kitchen or your wardrobe. Or it might be your entire home! Getting out of this mindset can be crippling at first, but once you get the hang of it, things just get easy over time.
And once you realize the overflowing closet situation ever time you open it, or no space to walk in your own garage, you’ll vow to never hoard again!
Decluttering stuff might sound like a lot of work, first, you have to choose what to get rid of and then how to get rid of that stuff. “decluttr” and Poshmark might just come handy in this situation where you can sell your unwanted stuff online and make money from it.
Sounds like a win-win to me!
Sign up for decluttr
4: Cook Meals At Home More Often
When you really sit and count how many time you chose to NOT cook and order in, the amount can really shake you!
While in college, for the first time I had the freedom to order food online whenever I wanted. It took me a while to understand that the same freedom was burning a hole in my pocket.
Listen I get it, sometimes its easier to say “What should we order for dinner?” rather than “What should I make today?” because you’re tired, feeling lazy or just not in the mood.
But it is just a matter of time when this “one-time thing” might turn into “3-5 times a week” thing
Not only frequent outside food is expensive, but it’s also not healthy too.
Get into the habit of cooking as many of your meals from scratch as possible, even if you just start with one meal a day.
5: Find Some Inexpensive Hobbies
Who said that to enjoy a fun activity or have a hobby that you actually like should be expensive? Ther are actually plenty of things you can do or try (if you haven’t already) to fill your time.
- Painting with kids or by self
- Running a Blog
- Gardening/Growing your own vegetables
- Practicing Yoga
- DIYing your home
- Jogging with friends
- Packing and going for a little picnic in the park
- Camping with family
- Organizing a scavenger hunt
- Swimming in the sea
These are just a few examples. You can get a little creative at what suits you best. So rather than sitting at home binging Netflix, you can opt for these activities with little to no spending involved.
6: Shop Sensibly
If you want to be a pro at spending your money, the first and foremost thing you need to do is know how much an item is before purchasing compared to all its alternatives.
Because it is not a wise choice to buy the product with higher prices with the same utility as the others, right?
Moreover, A truly frugal person is NOT a Brand enthusiast.
They don’t just go around and buy something just because “Its Branded”. They carefully select their products according to their needs at low prices.
What will change to your savings if I tell you that you can avail discounts every single time you buy something online? Even if there is not any sale or discount season going on, you will be able to get items at a much-reduced price.
Ebates – Ebates is my go-to discount destination, you can cashback on all purchases you make online, ALL PURCHASES! All you have to do is sign up for ebates and through the link, go to your favorite shopping websites (eg: Amazon) from Ebates before you shop.
The service is 100% FREE and legit and you should definitely try it. Now you know a hack to get items online for much lower prices, make sure to make the best use of it.
7: Pay Attention To How Much You Waste
Just being a little more cautious & intentional about the way you use products around your house can be a huge lesson on how to be frugal.
How often do you find yourself throwing out food that has gone past its expiry date? Or buy something that you use once and just put it in a corner just to never use it again?
Even with other products, if you take note of how much of something you use (like, for example, toothpaste or shampoo) you might realize how much money is wasted through excess.
How To Be Frugal With Your Food:
8. Don’t Cook your meals in bulk
Meal planning is one thing but cooking in bulks just increases the chances that some portions of food will go bad before consuming. So cook often and in moderate amounts.
9. Buy certain food items in bulk
Things like jams, pasta, rice which are non-perishables should be bought in bulks. Buying in bulk when you can is great way to help you save money and stocking up your household at the same time.
10. Don’t throw away leftovers
If you think certain foods can be stored in the fridge without going bad even you don’t feel like eating is a good decision. You might now feel like eating it now but you will later. So don’t throw the leftovers, store them.
You can save a lot of extra money this way!
11. Take packed lunches instead of buying out
Whether you have a 9 to 5 gig of you go out of the house for any other work, it is sensible to take your packed-at-home lunch with you. If you eat every time you go to work, it is going to cause a huge problem for both: Your pocket and your health.
Little by little, it all adds up!
12. Designate a monthly food budget
Just like an “Everything Budget”, try to track and maintain a food budget every month. Having this kind of budget will shift your mindset to not waste food, eating out as less as possible and so on.
Using apps like Mint or Yolt to track your spending is a great way to get an estimate of how much you are spending on food each month.
13. Reduce your meat & dairy intake
Meat and dairy items are amongst the expensive food items you can buy at any supermarket. If you can cut those out of your grocery list, it can cause a huge impact.
There are several myths that daily dairy and meat consumption will keep your bones strong and build muscles, which are not true. For more reference, check out a documentary on Netflix called “What The Health”.
How To Be Frugal With Your Health:
14. Quit your vices
A pretty obvious one, but if you smoke or drink a lot– quit…like NOW!
Not only is this one of the best decisions you could make for your health, but it will also save you a significant amount of money.
Same goes for drugs, gambling, giving expensive gifts, etc.
15. Drink more water and ditch all other alternatives
Stick to your H2O!
And when I say ditch the rest, I mean it. That also goes true for fruit juices (too much sugar).
Cut your spending on fizzy drinks and expensive takeout coffees and improve your health by drinking more water as a default instead of other beverages.
16. Switch your commuting ways
Do you always drive to work or any other places?
Consider walking or cycling whenever possible. If you cannot walk or cycle to your destination, try to opt for bus or Uber Pool.
You can make huge savings on fuel every month and it’s a great way of improving your fitness if you choose to walk or cycle.
How To Be Frugal With Your Gadgets & Technology:
17. Consider canceling your TV subscription
Since 2018 I’ve completely stopped watching TV. Rather I just watch youtube and Netflix. These days, Netflix and other services like Amazon Prime offer everything you need from a TV.
Consider canceling your expensive TV subscription the no one watches for one of these cheaper services instead is much cheaper (and if you get a shared account it’s more money in our pocket!).
I recommend signing up to Trim – a service that helps you to get rid of old subscriptions, negotiate bills you’re over-paying for, all automatically.
18. Don’t save your credit card details on your device
This is a trick I learned not too long ago, but if you don’t save your card details for autofill during online shopping, you might save a whole lot of money from impulse shopping.
Just adding an extra step in your purchase, may result in different outcomes. Just by not saving your card details will really make you question if you really need an item it or not.
19. Try to avail Cashbacks from previous purchases
Sounds sketchy but trust me, it is 100% legit! Paribus offers you a cashback if the item’s price at which you bought earlier has decreased or not. If it has decreased, then Paribus will automatically give you an instant cashback.
Sign up for Paribus
How To Practice Frugal Living Around The Home:
20. Always avoid late fees
Don’t wait last minute to pay your bills! Make sure you are on time for bills, utility providers and any all other services that you need to pay.
This is a really simple tip but people still often manage to screw this, simply staying organized and paying your bills on time will save you from paying out any more unnecessary money.
21. Switch utility providers every couple of years
You’ll often find utility providers have better deals for customers that are new, so it’s always worth looking around and getting some new offers.
A really great feature of Trim is that it will reach out to your utility/bill companies (on your behalf) to negotiate your terms.
It’s free to sign up to so I would highly recommend checking it out.
22. Use fewer household products
Try to be more aware of how much you are using household essentials like detergent, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, etc. And if your home has kids, check occasionally if they aren’t wasting anything. I used to waste as a kid…a lot!
Simply paying attention to how much you are using can be a great way of reducing waste
23. Carry your own Jute bag
These days, most retailers charge a fee if you’re getting a plastic bag to carry your stuff in an attempt to cut down on how many plastic consumers use. Don’t let then cut their money at the expense of yours and carry your own bags
24. Try DIY around the home
If you need to have some changes around the house, DIY. Opt to apply a lick of paint to your walls yourself rather than paying a painter.
DIY can be great fun and is a great way to stay frugal.
Frugal living tips for home & beauty
25. Shop in thrift/vintage stores
Hit thrift shops once a while. Thrift shopping has really grown in popularity with frugal people these days, and it’s a great way of finding quality clothes and home decor items for a fraction of the cost.
26. Only buy clothes if you need them
Don’t buy clothes out of a sudden urge for fashion fulfillment! Only buy something only if you need it or want to replace any damaged items.
27. Follow your washing instructions
To avoid unwanted shrinking or damaging of clothing items, just follow the washing instructions on your garments. It’s one of the worst feelings when you buy an item and end up shrinking it because you wash it on the wrong setting.
28. Don’t keep unnecessary items
We all have items all around the house that are too useless and are only there for sentimental reasons.
Be a little hard, and clear these items out of your wardrobe or garage. Donate them, recycle them, or sell them, but get them out. These items are unlikely to ever actually be used or worn and just there to clutter in your house.
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