Having control over your spending gives you control over your finances and also helps keep some cash aside for paying off your debts. Now, most people are familiar with the concept of budgeting, but frugality is slowly becoming popular as a way of managing financial difficulties.
The term “frugal” is not always treated as a good word because people think it means that you have to deprive yourself of the “good life” by pinching pennies. Notice that we have put the word good life in quotes because if living the good life means being deep in debt, it is probably not a good life after all.
Frugal living isn’t necessarily mean living a lessened quality of life. It is about making choices that are mindful and give you the opportunity to save money. When you save some extra money, you can allocate it to debt repayment. Really, cutting back on the number of times you dine out so you can save for a down payment for a house should be the bigger picture you’re focusing on.
10 Ways You Can Be More Frugal
In order to live frugally, you must keep things simple financially and spend less than you actually earn. Remember that debt comes when you are living beyond your means and spending more than you have. A good combination of rationalizing and cutting down on your expenses will go a long way in helping you become more frugal. Continue reading below to learn about some specific ideas we have for you.
1. Stop Using Your Car
This may not be feasible in all states, but if you live in a place where you can access public transportation or the train system, you should opt for that instead. You will be surprised at just how much you will be saving on parking, gas and car maintenance. In addition, you can choose to bike or walk places when the weather is nice as well.
2. Carpool To Work
If you do not live where you can access public transportation, you could consider sharing a ride to and from work with your co-workers. This way, you get to share the cost of gas, which will go a long way in helping you save some money. Further, this option is better for the environment.
3. Keep Your Car Tires Properly Inflated
Did you know that keeping your tires inflated to the optimal PSI improves the gas consumption on each mile by at least 1%? Well, it’s true. Keeping your tires properly inflated will help you cut down on the amount you typically spend on gas.
4. Reduce Your Electricity Use
When trying to be frugal, you must learn to keep it simple. Ensure that you constantly switch off the lights in rooms that you are not using. In addition, you should unplug items that you are not using. Especially when it comes to the kitchen, make sure that you unplug toasters, coffee makers, etc. when they are not in use. Another way you can save on the cost of electricity is to adjust your thermostat by bumping it down to a cooler temperature when its winter, and bumping it up when it is summertime.
5. Get Rid Of Unnecessary Subscriptions
If you are always watching movies on your laptop, do you really need to have cable? Having a TV that connects to your Wi-Fi, will save you a great deal of money on cable bills. People are watching television less and less, and this is a great way to save some money.
While you’re at it, cancel your magazine and newspaper subscriptions as well. When was the last time you actually flipped through a magazine? And do you even read the newspaper anymore? Especially when you can access the information online for free, it does not make sense to pay for a subscription.
6. Quit Bad Habits
We can all agree that smoking and drinking are not good habits as they are only detrimental to your health. If you are spending a lot of your money on cigarettes and alcohol, then you need to re-evaluate whether you need these in your life anymore. Most people find that the money they spend on alcohol is almost similar to the amount of money they spend on rent. This is just wrong. If you find yourself in this situation, maybe it’s about time you started being more frugal and more healthy.
7. Fewer Nights Out
Going out was probably pretty cool when you were in your 20s and when you were still in college. However, in your mid-thirties, this is not as cool anymore. Spending all night in a club will only cause you to use money that could have been saving. A night out here and there certainly doesn’t hurt. However, perhaps you don’t need to be spending money in clubs every weekend.
8. Cut Out Some Luxuries
Luxuries such as going to the movies or eating dinner out should really be cut back when you are trying to save money. You could limit your movie going to once a month. Also when you know you are going to watch a movie, eat at home before going; this is because popcorn, candies, and nachos are pretty expensive at the theater.
9. Buy In Bulk
Everybody knows that when you buy things in bulk you actually spend less than if you were buying items one by one. So, if you want to be extremely frugal, next time you go shopping, buy toilet paper, sugar, and other products in bulk. This was you can save money and go to the grocery store less often.
10. Take Smart Vacations
We are not saying that you should totally live a boring life. Of course, you can still be frugal and enjoy your life. However, the key to vacationing frugally is to ensure that you travel during the off-season. Do not go during the holidays as the prices are bound to be very high. Further, instead of predetermining your destination, you can follow the deals. See what locations are offering great deals and then plan your vacation around that.
Being extremely frugal doesn’t mean that you should deny yourself the good things in life. It simply means that you should be extra careful about how much you spend and ensure that every decision that has to do with money is made after careful consideration.