The word frugal is often misconstrued as a negative one. However, although a frugal lifestyle can seem like a sacrifice in quality, it doesn’t have to be. Instead, you can choose to be frugal in ways that will add more value to your life.
What Does Frugal Living Mean?
Frugal living is the act of being very intentional with your spending. If done properly, you’ll be able to prioritize the things that matter to you most. You’ll prioritize spending money on those things that matter and cut back on spending in other areas. Luckily, frugality can mean very different things to different people. Frugality does not need to mean trading your favorite Lucky Charms cereal for the generic store brand. It does not need to mean living without napkins. And it does not need to mean forgoing adventurous vacations in favor of a staycation.
The best part about frugality is that you are able to create your own approach. You decide where you will live stingily and where you will live largely.
Does Frugal Mean Cheap?
Absolutely not! Frugality should not be confused with cheap. Cheap means going to the store to buy the lowest-priced item without a thought to quality. Frugal means assessing your desires and choosing to spend less money on the things that don’t really matter to you. For example, you may choose to spend less on clothes to fund your next vacation.
Is Frugal Living Worth It?
Yes! If you are tired of letting money control your life, then frugal living is worth it. However, it is critical to look at the positives. If you only look at the sacrifices that come along with frugal living, then you will have a difficult time staying on this path. Of course, you will have to give things up along the way. But these sacrifices on your journey can add up to larger benefits down the line.
Remember, you are choosing to be frugal in order to enjoy the things you prioritize. If you keep your priorities in mind, it may not be as difficult to live a frugal life!
Benefits of Frugal Living
First and foremost, a frugal life will allow you to build more financial freedom into your life by accelerating how quickly you achieve your financial goals. You can allow for a cause-and-effect reality to take hold. This basically means every time you choose to spend less money on something, you can put that money towards things that matter to you. The best part is that you get to decide what matters to you most.
Maybe you will put your newfound savings away for early retirement. Maybe you will put them aside to fund your dream of living on a sailboat. Or maybe you will allow the safety net of savings to allow you to pursue a job you thoroughly enjoy.
How To Start Living a Frugal Lifestyle
If you have never attempted to live this lifestyle, then it may seem difficult at first. That’s okay! Don’t be afraid to make some changes along the way. As you start to try out different frugal tips and tricks, remember that this is not a one size fits all strategy. Instead, you will need to try out different frugal living tips and see how they feel. You may find that giving up meals out is not a problem, but forgoing your favorite brand of shampoo is not going to be an option. Simply try new frugal tips and strategies out with an open mind. You will likely need to do some experimenting to find the balance that works best for you.
It is critical that you don’t overdo it. Although it is exciting to enthusiastically cut down your expenses without mercy, too many cutbacks could lead to a backfire. Instead of saving over the long term, you might experience burnout and forgo the savings altogether. A good way to start living frugally is to add new frugal tips and strategies slowly. Try them out to see how they feel. If you like a strategy, then keep it and add another. If you hate a strategy, then let it go and try something else. You may need to try many strategies before you truly find your frugal stride.
Here are some frugal living tips and strategies to help you get started on this new path!
1. Cook in Bulk
Cooking in bulk has completely changed my dinner routine. Now, I cook in bulk based on what’s on sale that week. I typically cook on Sunday afternoon and have enough to freeze several portions. During the week, I simply take those meals out of the freezer and heat them up. My budget and my waistline have thanked me.
How much could you save with a little bit of time in the kitchen? You might even find that you actually enjoy cooking when you don’t have to do it every single day.
2. Check Out The Library
A library is an amazing place full of free entertainment. Of course, they have a wide selection of books. However, most libraries also have extensive collections of movies, magazines, and more. If you haven’t signed up for a library card in your area, then please do. You might be able to sign up online, and you can access your local library’s selection of books (including audiobooks) via apps like Libby and Overdrive.
3. Evaluate Your Subscriptions
Are you guilty of having more subscriptions than you really need? Take the time to comb through your subscriptions and decide which ones are worth keeping. You might have more time to enjoy one or two of your subscriptions if you cancel the rest.
Living in a larger home has its perks. However, the costs of living in a bigger space can add up. Not only are you paying for more square footage but also the little costs that come along with it. Consider downsizing your living space to a more affordable living situation.
5. Try a Low-Buy or No-Spend Challenge
Sometimes it’s easier to stick to something if it’s in the form of a challenge. If you’re not sure where you’re money is going, why not try to do a low-buy or no spend year? If a whole year intimidates you, try a no-spend month to start with and go from there.
6. Buy in Bulk
Buying frequently used items in bulk, such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap, etc., is one of the frugal tips that can save you money on your grocery bill. The price per unit is usually lower when you buy in larger portions, and you can make fewer trips to the store too. Remember, if you purchase perishable food items in bulk to cook in bulk and freeze to prevent waste.
7. Fun For Free
Nothing makes a challenge easier than making it fun. One of the best frugal living tips is having fun for free. There are a ton of free fun things to do, such as going to the park, having a picnic, or having a bonfire are just free fun things to do.
8. Stop Impulse Buying
Impulse buying has never been easier, thanks to e-commerce. You can find anything and everything at the touch of a button, and before you know it, those late-night shopping sprees cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. Learning how to stop shopping is one of the most crucial frugal living tips to help you save money.
9. Determine What Thing You Can Do Without
Just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should. As you work on stretching your dollars, determine what things you can do without. Whether it’s temporary or permanent, this can really give you a boost by saving more money.
Leverage These Frugal Living Tips to Save More Money!
Living frugally doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. Make an effort to think of frugality as a way to fully enjoy what you care about in life. When you have your money under control, it can be easier to spend on things that matter. Try out a few frugal living tips at a time to find out which works best for you.
Article Credit: https://www.clevergirlfinance.com/blog/frugal-living/