You’ve never seen so many tools to help you save money. Do you really need that new fancy smartphone? Does that new TV have a built in DVD player? Is that new washing machine really worth the investment? Do you really need that new car? We spend a lot of money on things we don’t really need. If you want to save money, here’s how you can do it.
Of course, you want to live the best and most comfortable life possible. But if you take a look at the things that actually make your life more comfortable, what you find is that we tend to spend money on a lot of things that are not all that important. Many of the things that we buy are not what actually makes us happy and content. So, what can you do to live a more frugal life?
Frugal living is not for everyone but it can certainly save you money. From saving money on your utility bills to saving it by not buying unnecessary things to living in a cheaper apartment, there are plenty of ways to save money so that you can spend it on something you really want.
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Take a more frugal approach to life rather than scrimping and saving every penny you earn. The best part is that you can save money by making a few little adjustments.
Fortunately, you don’t have to become a hermit living in a cave to save money. Enjoy life to the fullest while cutting costs whenever possible. To live a more frugal life, I made these 5 simple modifications.
1. Don’t go overboard with your spending—make a budget.
Nothing is more frustrating than squandering your money on nonsense. Frugal people put their money where it counts, which includes cutting costs.
Make a budget to figure out where you’re going overboard. To categorize each spending, I made distinct line items for housing, food, entertainment, and savings. If I discover one category is above budget after totaling my monthly costs, I look into it. For example, due to my Starbucks addiction (oops! ), I went over budget on takeout last month.
More money can be saved by canceling or downgrading bills such as:
- Services that provide live streaming
- Subscriptions are available on a monthly basis.
- Service on the phone
- Memberships in a gym
Check your bills every month if you have them on autopay. When it works, autopay is fantastic, but it doesn’t always work. Because of an autopay error, my spouse once paid three months’ worth of utility bills at once. Check that your autopay is set to post on the correct day and for the correct amount.
2. Figure out how to have a good time for no money.
Going to the movies and dining in fancy restaurants are still two of my favorite pastimes. However, these outings easily cost me $50 each, which quickly adds up. Feel free to spoil yourself now and again, but if you want to develop thrifty habits, you must learn to enjoy yourself for free.
Everyone’s concept of “fun” is different, however I like to keep myself entertained for free by doing the following:
- Exploring the parks and walking trails in the area.
- Playing the same video games all the time.
- Using the library to borrow books and DVDs for free.
- At my residence, I’m hanging out with some buddies.
- Attending Meetup.com-organized local events.
- I’m helping out at a cat shelter.
You’ll need to engage your creativity, but you can have meaningful fun for pennies. This week, try a few free activities to determine which ones you enjoy the best.
3. Prepare meals at home
Home-cooked meals cost an average of $4.31 per meal, whereas takeout costs $20.37 per meal. That means you can save $15 every time you prepare a meal at home.
Food is really personal, but I’ve found that eating plant-based, whole-food meals has given me the best results. I consume a lot of cheap foods like beans, vegetables, and grains, but you may save money by buying less appealing cuts of meat.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with canned or frozen food, but convenience meals that have been prepped, diced, or cooked will almost certainly cost more. If you want to save the greatest money, try processing your own fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains.
By making a weekly meal plan before going grocery shopping, I’ve been able to save more money on food. This way, I only buy what I need, and I’m less likely to dine out because I have meals prepared at home.
I also became the oddball at work who brought her lunch. My employees and employers preferred to eat out every day, but I preferred to eat home-cooked lunches. I made an effort to prepare meals that would keep well as leftovers—no day-old sushi for me. Meals such as:
- Sandwiches or wraps served cold
- Boxes for bistro
…are all budget-friendly, work-friendly meals that will help you save even more money.
4. Make a few coupon clippings
I became caught up in the rabbit hole of extreme couponing, which saved me money but took up hours of my time each week. To save money, you don’t need to make couponing a side hustle.
If you get Red Plum (now Save) or other sales papers in the mail, make sure to clip appropriate coupons and save them safely. I keep coupons in an envelope that I keep in my purse for quick access. Use Coupon.com’s printable coupons instead if you can’t find any local coupon flyers.
Keep in mind that stores use coupons to get you in the door. Don’t let coupons persuade you to buy anything you weren’t planning on purchasing anyway. After all, a $0.50 discount on a $5 item still means you paid $4.50 more; adhere to your shopping list to get the most of your coupons.
5. Spend money on things that are important to you.
I don’t spend money on fine clothes because I am uninterested in them. Instead, I spend my money on vacations. Others, on the other hand, do the exact opposite, and that’s also fine! This is the beauty of frugality: you are the only one who can pick where your money makes the most money in your life.
Perhaps your spending is already modest and you’re living on a shoestring budget. Your money, on the other hand, isn’t working for you if you’re spending it on things that aren’t important to you, such as takeout meals.
The easiest approach to save money is to decide where you’ll spend more and where you’ll save money. Healthcare, for example, is a non-negotiable cost for me. Because my health is my first priority, I always pay for annual examinations and nutritious diet. On the other hand, because they aren’t as significant to me, I buy all of my birthday cards and party décor from Dollar Tree.
Rebalance your budget if it makes sense so you can spend your money more wisely. That means cutting my entertainment budget while raising my healthcare and food budgets in my instance. The idea is to create a budget that is tailored to how you wish to live your life.
Last but not least
The good news is that you don’t need to make all five of these adjustments right now. In fact, I would advise you to make one adjustment at a time. If you don’t, you risk feeling deprived, which can lead to a spending binge that undoes all of your hard work.
Instead, make one small modification at a time, observe how it goes, and tweak it to fit your lifestyle. Frugality comes in all shapes and sizes, so don’t be afraid to adapt these money-saving ideas to meet your lifestyle:
- Reduce your spending and avoid overspending.
- Enjoy yourself for no cost.
- Bring your own lunch and eat at home.
- Coupons should be clipped.
- Spend your money on the things that are important to you.
These thrifty behaviors will become ingrained in your everyday routine over time. To be honest, I’m amazed I’ve ever lived my life any other way. You’ll find more joy, have a healthier relationship with money, and achieve more of your life goals if you incorporate frugality into your lifestyle.
- 10 Ways to Save Money That Aren’t Expensive
- How to Start a Savings Plan and Save Money
- As a broke college student, here are 5 money-saving tips.
The article How To Live A Frugal Life first appeared on Minority Mindset.
My name is Len Lopes, and I am a 30-year old living in Vancouver, Canada. My blog is intended to share my knowledge of the world of travel, food, frugality and living cheaply. I have a passion for travel, and have spent most of my life exploring the world through my photography, but have recently started to branch out into other areas of life. My goal with this blog is to help others live more cheaply and frugally, as well as to share my experiences as a first time expat.. Read more about frugality and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I live the most frugal life?
The most frugal life is one where you spend less than what you make.
How can I become very frugal?
Frugality is a lifestyle that values thriftiness, resourcefulness, and self-discipline. It can be achieved through various methods such as living with less money, eating less food, or not spending too much on unnecessary items.
How can I be more frugal in 2021?
This is a difficult question to answer.
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