Now that you have come across this blog must be that you find saving some bucks interesting. There is no harm in saving some bucks but at what cost are you saving some bucks. Are you hurting your dear ones? There is a difference between a frugal lifestyle and a cheapskate lifestyle. Cheapskate living is something like not buying clothes even if they have holes in them, frugal living means buying cheap t-shirts at a clearance sale or a heavy discount.
So there is no rule or path which you follow and become a cheapskate. You are born a cheapskate. I suggest being frugal instead. Frugal living helps you to spend less and use the difference for other debts and you can also invest/save for the future. The less you spend the less you need to earn. There is a very well known saying that “no matter what you earn it’s never enough”. Human wants are unlimited they arise as we earn.
You have many options when you live a frugal lifestyle.
Here are some tips which will help you live a frugal lifestyle.
Now you must be wondering what is it to buy with coupons. There are many items that we frequently buy. Our monthly shopping list is one of them. Start looking for coupons when you buy next time. These can be found in newspapers, sale fliers, online coupon websites. Many local stores offer exclusive loyalty cards. These cards are used to gather loyalty points every time you shop. These points can further be used to get additional discounts. There are many companies which offer additional discounts when they launch a new product on the market. They come with stickers like introductory offer get 30% off or buy a multi-grain bread and get an apple grape jelly sachet free.
Eat Everything in the Pantry
We often buy in advance for future purposes. We should make a habit of using everything in our pantry and then buy what we need. Preparing food with ingredients we already have. We can prep meals for the future by making batches of our recipe and freezing it for our further use.
Not many people are familiar with the term freeby. Many companies offer free samples to acquire customer feedback. You can also arrange a SWAP event amongst your friends and family to get things for free.
Many families in the USA have a habit of traveling in their car. Every family member has its car, and there is nothing wrong with having your vehicle but when you are traveling to the same place one should try traveling together. This saves a lot of fuel and also bring togetherness amongst family. Car is the most expensive item we own, if possible we should buy only one car.
Living in a Smaller House
Just because you can buy a bigger house doesn’t mean that you have to buy a bigger house only. You should purchase your house according to the size of your family. For example: If It’s just the two of you, you don’t need to buy a bungalow a 2-bed room flat is sufficient according to your needs. We often buy according to the stuff we have. We don’t even use that stuff It’s probably just lying around.
Look for Refurbished or Pre-owned Items
I don’t force you to buy used items but many websites provide unboxed refurbished or pre-owned items. These items run on heavy discounts and are just like new. For example, I was looking for earphones the other day and came across these sony headphones which were unboxed that’s it and were running on a 70 percent discount. You can always ask your friends, and family if you need something. The other day I was looking for a small led for my apartment, I visited my mother the other day she just bought a brand new 49 inches led tv and her old led tv was just lying around. I just saved near $200 that day. Its always better to ask before buying.
Rent rather than own
Renting is just so profitable rather than owning. Many people debate on this that owning is more beneficial as you have something to hold, you have that sense of security that the landlord won’t kick you the other day. The amount of interest we pay on a mortgage, the cost of maintenance and insurance is often more costly than renting. If we rent, save and then invest the rest we end up gaining more profit in the long run. Now it’s not a fixed criterion, there can be a chance where you get a steal deal at a property. You should never miss an opportunity like this. Now renting is not limited till the house you can also rent your furniture, led, washing machine, sofa and many items like this. You travel a lot to cities because of office work you can’t shift every other month. It’s better to rent rather than shifting and paying a huge chunk of money to movers and packers.
Eating out less
We never care about the money we spend on our food. An average American household spends $3000 average at restaurants in a year. Eating restaurant food causes various health problems. Treatment of these problems also cost a huge hole in our pocket. It’s much cheaper to cook your food instead of it from a restaurant.
Stop buying products just because they are running at a discount. Always purchase soundly, buy whatever you need not whatever is on offer. Stop using credit cards or pay later schemes I know some of you might think I’m getting way too far with this. Whenever we buy via credit cards we tend to purchase more as compared to cash or debit cards. I prefer paying by cash at many times this makes me aware of what I have. I purchase just what I need not everything that is on the sale section.
Bringing Lunch at Work
My co-workers go out daily on lunch and spend near about $10-15 daily. I simply make my lunch at my place which costs me around $1-3. This habit has helped me save around $3000 a year. This helps me maintain a healthy diet as well. I am not tempted to all junk foods served at cafes nearby.
Now staying healthy is not that difficult as we think. Eating healthy food and some exercise can save you tons of money as you don’t have to frequently visit doctors, eat medicines for a lifetime. Nearly 66 % of American adults are on prescription medicines.
Using Public Gyms
Now to stay healthy you don’t need to buy those expensive gym memberships. You can achieve fitness at your local public gyms which are generally situated in parks and are free for the general public. If you are dedicated to staying fit no barrier can stop you. Just by exercising 30 minutes a day you can maintain a good physique.
Using Public Library
It’s good to be a reader but buying these expensive books can be expensive. By paying a minimal amount you can become a member of any nearby public library. Becoming a member gives you access to issue these books and carry them at your place for a week. Nowadays the library also has a huge collection of DVDs.
Carpool or Taking Public Transport
Now you have to travel out of the city but instead of taking your car and wasting so much fuel. You can always look for carpool, bus ride or even travel by train. These modes of transport are very cheap and save a huge amount of money. You can always a friend if he/she is traveling to the city you are visiting. There are many carpooling apps by which you can join someone who is riding there. Many people ignore these and spend a large amount of money just on traveling.
In this modern world, we have stopped traveling on foot which has severely affected our health. Earlier people used to travel for miles without any problem. Start walking to your nearest grocery store. Stop using bikes and cars every there and how. Just by this approach, you save a lot of gas and also burn calories along.
Now, most people have different outfits for different occasions. People don’t wear the same tuxedo they wore at a friend’s wedding. Now adopting this approach is not easy and everyone can’t achieve it. Shift to solid colors and plain jeans. This will save tons of your time choosing what to wear. Solid colors nearly match with everything. Buy when you need, not to increase the variety of clothes. I have two winter jackets one is for extreme cold and the other is for casual traveling. I have a rule I don’t throw my clothes until I can use them. To some, this might be a cheap approach but it’s not.
Eat your leftovers
Now eating leftovers can not be everyone’s favorite. Cook according to your eating habits. If there is still any food left you can consume it for the next meal.
Now cable has become a necessity for many of us but is it worth it. We have become lousy sitting on the couch and watching Idiot Box. It saves around $700 a year plus it gives me the opportunity of reading more and become more social.
Now shopping is something which lures us into our trap but there is an easy escape. I usually make a list of whatever I need before going to the supermarket. I pick up what I need and leave the supermarket. Many times we go with a vague idea of what all we need and purchase more than what we needed. This adds up our expenses and ends up overspending.
Instead of hiring you should learn how to do it. This approach makes you more independent. Hiring a plumber to fix your tap, sink or any leakage can cost around $150-250. Yes, that is a heck of money. Hiring a carpenter to fix your fences can cost around $200-300. You can save all this money by watching free youtube tutorials on How to fix your fence at home. DIY is not just limited to this. Whenever I am invited to a friend’s birthday party instead of buying an overpriced gift I give them a Creative gift and guess what my gifts stand out and is appreciated the most. Creative gift ideas are made with utmost love and the person understands the value of your efforts. This helps you save hefty loads of cash.
Living on a Budget
Yes I know sometimes we have to go over the budget but some smart planning can help us get over this mess. I usually make a 30-day list which consists of what all I want. Making this helps me set apart that amount of money which is not available anymore as I have stored for the month use. This list helps me make my monthly expenditure list. I have added benefit of saving money as I can’t purchase over the budget.
This list is never-ending and there are plenty of ways of frugal living. We don’t expect you guys to become a cheapskate but adopting a frugal lifestyle is a healthy and long term approach. Do share your frugal life hacks which you use in your daily life.