Frugal people view money differently for a number of reasons. Some have developed habits of frugality after living through tough financial times. Others follow frugal habits learned from their parents, grandparents, or other people close to them. And still others learn habits of frugality from the simple realization that money managed well provides freedom. The good news is that frugality can be learned – it’s not just some innate gift that people are born with.
Times have changed, but frugal people still work to stretch their money as well as they can. They have a different way of thinking than the typical spender.
Here are ten habits of frugal people. How many of these habits do you practice?
1. They Are Cost Conscious
Frugal people work hard at spending their money consciously.
This includes techniques such as:
- Knowing the prices of things they buy regularly, whether by memorization or by keeping a list
- Keeping an eye out for sales on things they use regularly or know they will need in the near future
- Being willing to buy an item used instead of new if it makes sense
Frugal people work to stay cost conscious by thinking carefully before they buy. For instance, if they need a household item such as a ladder, could they find one on Craigslist for cheaper than they would by purchasing new? Can they wait until an item is on sale before they buy it? Can they borrow the item from a friend or relative if it’s something they’ll only need to use once?
Being cost-conscious means thinking carefully before laying down your cash for something, whether it’s a necessity or not. It involves learning to almost subconsciously ask yourself before every purchase whether or not there is a way you can get the item or experience you are about to spend money on for less.
Cost-conscious people work to spend money smarter instead of just for the sake of saving.
2. They Tell Themselves “No” Often
People who are successful at being frugal have learned the art of discipline. In other words, they’ve learned how to tell themselves “no”.
In today’s instant gratification society that can be a tough habit to pin down. Many people have become used to following their desires up with instant purchases. Online shopping conveniences mean you don’t have that extra time to get in the car and drive to the store as you are considering purchasing that new TV you want. You just add the TV to your online shopping cart, check out and it’s on its way.
The lack of work needed to buy stuff and spend money these days has lulled many people into a lack of discipline when it comes to spending. Frugal people work hard to exercise and practice that discipline, though. They take the time to think about their purchases and whether or not those purchases are the best use of their money.
Telling yourself “no” about purchases that don’t truly bring value to your life might not be easy at first, but over time it will become a habit you’ll likely learn to embrace if you are willing to practice it.
3. They Will Sacrifice Quality – When it Makes Sense
Some people confuse being frugal with being cheap. The truth is there is a major difference between the two. Cheap people sacrifice quality at every turn. Frugal people know when to sacrifice quality and know when it’s better to spend more.
Learning the difference might take some trial and error on your part, but with a little experimentation, you can learn what items are worth buying for less and what items are worth spending more on.
4. They Value Their Money Down to the Penny
Frugal people understand that every penny counts.
Start taking your spare coins and dollars and saving them for a financial goal such as saving for a vacation or using them to put toward early debt payoff. I’ll bet you’ll save more than you thought you would.
5. They Save Their Money Consistently – and Save First
Having a consistent savings plan is highly important to many frugal people. They believe firmly in developing a habit of saving money. For many frugal gurus, this usually means having an automatic transfer made into their savings account each and every payday. In other words, treat your savings just as you would any other bill.
Another part of saving money that is important to frugal people is paying themselves first. That means they put money into savings (and leave it there) before they pay anything else – including their rent or mortgage.
By learning to develop a habit of paying yourself first and paying yourself every payday without fail, you get used to learning to live on your post-savings income.
This “set it and forget it” attitude will help you spend less and grow your savings almost effortlessly, and before you know it you’ll have a nice-sized pile of cash with which to cover emergencies or pay cash for an important purchase.
6. They Work to Make Things Last By Repairing Before Buying
Frugal people are great at working to make things last as long as they can before they spend the money to replace them. Learning to repair things or make due even if they’re not perfect will help you save money.
Many times, things break and can be repaired, or don’t necessarily need to be repaired. It’s tough to go against the grain sometimes: many other families would just replace the faucet. But frugal people don’t let appearance dictate how they spend; instead, they live with imperfect stuff for the sake of reaching their financial goals.
7. They Take Advantage of Community Resources
In many communities, there are a plethora of community resources that make for free entertainment or help in other ways. Frugal people keep abreast of these resources and how they can utilize them in order to save money. Here is a shortlist of some of the free resources communities have.
Your local public library likely has a large selection of books you can read (either for education or entertainment purposes), movies you can rent, or social events you can attend. Taking advantage of these resources can save bundles of cash.
Many cities and towns show free movies, put on free concerts or other free shows, and put together other free events in the name of unity and fun. The best part about many of these events is that they are FREE.
Check out your local community paper or city website to see what types of free entertainment your city offers.
8. They Keep Long Term Money Goals in Mind
Another habit of frugal people is that they keep their long-term money goals at the forefront of their minds. Staying aware of long-term money goals means less temptation to spend. It’s well known that keeping on track with long-term money goals can be tough.
One way frugal people help stay aware of their long-term goals is to use visualization. Some people create a poster board that represents their financial dreams and goals. Other people keep a list in their wallet of what they’ll do when they reach debt freedom or financial independence. And still, other people use mentors and accountability partners to help keep them strong when they’re tempted to spend on something that isn’t in line with their goals.
If you haven’t done so already, make a list of your short, medium, and long-term financial goals and how you can modify your budget to reach them. Investing your money may help it grow faster, which means you can reach your goals faster.
9. They Seek Out Frugal Fun
Fun doesn’t have to be costly, and frugal people are often geniuses at finding free or frugal fun.
Here are some ideas for fun frugal activities:
- Spend the day at the beach
- Plan a hiking, biking or walking excursion
- Call some loved ones and plan a BBQ
- Have a weekly or monthly game night at your house
- See an outdoor concert, movie or other event
- Go ice skating at a local park that has an ice rink
- Go camping, fishing or both!
The possibilities for free and inexpensive fun are everywhere. Sit down with loved ones and make a list of things you can do for fun that don’t cost a lot (or anything) and use the list to plan your weekly entertainment schedule.
10. They Consistently Practice Self-Development
One of the other habits of frugal people is that they are continually practicing self-development in order to excel both personally and professionally.
Many people who are good with money read non-fiction nearly every day, exercise every day, practice self-education on topics that are important to them, and practice living a life of integrity. In other words, they consistently practice improving themselves.
Are any of the habits listed above habits that you do practice or could practice on a regular basis? And more importantly, are the habits worth it?
I suppose the answer to that question depends on the individual person, but in order to help you answer that question for yourself, you should probably ask yourself a few other questions, such as:
Am I currently spending in a way that is hindering me from living the life I want to live?
Do I have unmet financial goals that could change my life if I reached them?
Would I be unhappy if I was in the same money situation five years from now that I’m in today?
If the answer to any of those questions is “yes”, adopting the habits of frugal people in order to find more money to save and invest toward your goals can help you go from “financially so-so” to “financially great”.
Article Credit: https://wellkeptwallet.com/habits-of-frugal-people/