1. FRUGALITY ISN’T ABOUT DEPRIVATION
Many of us turn to frugality as a way to reign in our spending to combat debt, overcome a job loss, or to finally save up for that emergency fund.
Frugality is a lifestyle, not an austerity program- if you make too many changes too quickly or completely suck the friendly out of “budget friendly” you’re going to burn out and rebound. I save for my children’s future but they don’t go without now.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN GIFTS INSTEAD OF BUYING
If you want to save money while also giving generously, creating your own homemade gifts is one way to accomplish both goals. You can make food mixes, candles, fresh baked bread or cake, soap, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively.
These make spectacular gifts for others because they involve your personal touch – something you can’t buy from a shop and quite often they’re consumable, meaning they don’t wind up filling someone’s closet with junk. Even better, include a personal handwritten note with the gift.
3. SCHEDULE IN GUILTY PLEASURES
If all you can afford to treat yourself with is one dinner out a month or hiring a cleaning lady once in awhile, but it will make you feel jubilant- do it. Make room in your budget for something worth saving for that’s a wee bit smaller than your biggest goal.
4. BUY QUALITY APPLIANCES THAT WILL LAST
It’s worth the time to do a bit of research when you buy a new appliance. A reliable, energy-efficient washer and dryer might cost you quite a bit now, but if it continually saves you energy and lasts for 15 years instead of five, you’ll save significant money in the long run.
5. FIND RESOURCES AND BARTER FOR HELP
Some cutbacks will feel great – if you weren’t using that TV in another bedroom, selling it will feel freeing. Other times, cutbacks might cause a problem but being prepared by pooling resources will reduce hassle and prevent burnout.
6. STOP COLLECTING AND START SELLING
Don’t collect items of questionable value. And if you want to recoup some of the money you’ve already spent on collectible items, you can start selling them now and use those funds for any number of worthy financial goals.
There was a time when people thought their collections would bring them riches. Beanie Babies were a big fad at one time – I had alot of them! Now you can find those items on resale sites like Craigslist and at garage sales for a fraction of their initial cost, leaving many people who sunk thousands of pounds into their investments wondering what happened. Although in saying this I have found this beanie baby on ebay thats worth thousands which is pretty insane.
7. GOOD PLANNING TRUMPS ALL ELSE
Poor planning will be your frugal undoing. This applies to meals, travel, gifts and unanticipated expenses. Many people focus on the budget itself, but creating good meal plans at the beginning of the month can be key to saving the most time and money.
Stock up on your essentials – meat, pasta, canned goods and snacks while they’re on sale and filter them into the plan to capitalize on sales and avoid any weeknight hunger pains that could coax you into ordering takeout when you’re tired and out of food.
Having an emergency fund is also key if ever possible. You can’t always plan every trip or a new phone if one busts – life happens and you may not be able to get the best deal in a pinch.
The key to living frugally is being prepared.
8. DO A PRICE COMPARISON
Most of us get in a routine of shopping at the same grocery store, and we may not even realize that we’re not getting the best deal. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to find the cheapest store around. Just keep track of the 20 or so things you buy most often, then shop for these items at a variety of stores. Eventually, one store will come out on top for your purchases – just make that one your regular shopping destination and you’ll automatically save money.
9. TRY OWN BRANDS
Instead of just picking up the ordinary brand of an item you buy, try out the store brand or generic version of the item. You’ll save a few pence now, but perhaps you’ll also likely discover that the store brand is just as good as the name brand, often, the only difference between the two is the marketing. Once you’re on board the generic train, you could find your regular shopping bill getting smaller and smaller
10. FIND LOCAL EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY
Most communities have a lot of free occasions. If you want to stay abreast of everything going on nearby, check out your town’s website or stop by the local library (or just check on your social media) and ask how you can get ahold of a listing of upcoming community events.
You can often get free meals, free entertainment, and free things just by paying attention plus even better, you’ll get in touch with what’s going on around you.