Frugal living is often taken with a grain of salt. Frugal living does not mean; living without electricity or buying the lowest priced item in store. Frugal living does not mean cheap. Cheap could look like; buying the lowest priced item without consideration of quality. Frugal living means being very intentional with your spending and assigning a purpose to each coin earned.
If you are tired of having your life dictated by money, frugal living might be for you. Frugal living creates a life for you today that will help achieve your financial goals in the future. The best part; it is completely customisable. LJ and I use some of these methods. The rest are methods that people in our lives use.
Before you begin
Before we dive onto the list, here are some pointers on how to begin this journey.
- Try out the different tips and see how they work for you
- It is okay to have some tips not work for you. For example; you might find that cutting back on eating out is easy but turning down a vacation is not AND THAT IS OKAY!
- If you absolutely hate one tip, toss it! Try something else.
- Do not overload yourself. Pick one thing and when you get the hang of it, add another.
- Be kind to yourself.
Benefits of frugal living
While there are a ton of benefits to frugal living, the biggest one is ultimately making your financial goals a reality. Some other benefits include;
- Early retirement
- Happier life (due to reduced financial stress)
- Higher net worth
How to start living a frugal lifestyle
While this is not always fun (just ask Es), budgeting allows you to create a clear financial picture for your money. Budgeting allows you to also splurge within your means. For example; if you would like to take a holiday somewhere – you might want to start saving up early and including it in your budget. LJ and I always wanted to start a blog but we knew it would need a considerable investment and creating a budget helped us make our dream a reality.
2. Create a shopping list on the go
LJ and I have a shared note on our notes app for monthly shopping. As things run out, we write them on the list. At the end of the month – our list is complete. This leads to our next tip;
3. Reduce impulsive shopping
Yes! Those late night trips to the grocery store can really add up. Having a shopping list is crucial to reduce the number of trips that you make to the store.
4. Plan your meals
When LJ and I tried meal planning, we were surprised at how much free time we had for each other and how much money we started saving. We no longer wanted to eat out as we had plenty of food in the house. PS: This is also a super fun date idea.
5. Cook in bulk
Simply put; boiling an egg a day is more costly than boiling a ton of eggs and storing them for later. Its the little things that add up.
6. Buy in bulk
Are there meals you enjoy cooking? Items you use a lot? Buying these items in bulk can save you a ton of money in the long run. It will also reduce the trips you make to the grocery store. As well, try to buy items while they are in season.
7. Pantry shopping
Before you head out for your routine shopping trip, get creative and make meals from items in your pantry! Hello, Banana bread! Supercook is a really great app for this. You simply input the ingredients you have and the app creates a meal based on the items already in your pantry.
8. Grow vegetables at home
Growing items such as herbs and tomatoes is a super fun thing to do at home that also frees up some money. AeroGarden Harvest have an indoor garden with LED light that lets you grow vegetables inside your home.
on reducing your spending
9. Sign up for store memberships
While earning a few points might not seem so much, they really come in handy. LJ and I always make sushi with supermarket points. The perk is we do not have to spend money on the ingredients.
10. Buy used
Take a trip to your local thrift store or browse through Facebook Marketplace for pre-loved items. Sometimes you might even get lucky and find an item brand new.
11. Buy a car you can afford
It might seem obvious at first but before spending your hard earned money on a car, check out the maintenance cost of the car. If it is within your budget, it is a good deal.
Some purchases have room for negotiation. Now take this with a grain of salt, we do not mean that you should try and undercut the seller. If you are shopping for your home and will be buying many items from a specific store, try and negotiate where you can. They might throw in offers such as free delivery and installation of each item.
13. Buy high quality
When buying items such as clothes, we like to think of our items using the cost per wear/use logic.
For example buying a shoe for $10 that you will only wear 20 times before it needs replacing means the cost per use is 10/20 = $0.5 per use. While buying a shoe for $50 that you will wear 200 times before it needs replacing means the cost per wear is 50/200 = 0.25 per use. The $50 shoe is a better investment.
14. Review your subscriptions
Set aside some time to browse through every subscription plan that you have. Are you spending more time on Netflix? It might be time to cut that cable subscription.
15. Pay off your debt and avoid it altogether
Once you clear of that debt, you will never want to go back. Plus the fees are incredibly high. Spend money that you have.
If you use a credit card, you don’t want to be rich.Mark Cuban
16. Travel off-season
Besides having super great off-season deals, places tend to be less crowded. LJ and I like travelling for the holidays after the holiday season is over.
17. Purge and sell
Go through your items and have a look at items you do not need. You might not have enough money saved up for that new fridge you have been wanting but selling the one you have might put you within your budget.
18. Time your purchases
Unless the item you want is urgent, chances are that in can wait. Stores often have mid-year, clearance or even black friday sales! If it can wait, it should. Call the store ahead and ask about upcoming sales.
19. Plan your gifts
Shopping last minute for gifts will cost you more money. Create a list of items you want to gift and start buying them early. Take advantage of seasons such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
20. Pay yourself first
One way to ensure you are investing each time is to automate your savings and investments. Another thing to consider is automating your bills too. This will curb your need to overspend. The ultimate goal is that whatever money is left in your current account is yours to spend however you deem fit.
Remember to make small changes at a time. Are there any tips that we missed? Which tips are you going to try? Let us know! We hope that you have found something here that will lead you closer to your financial freedom.
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