If you’re not already a frugal person, maybe you want to be? If you don’t want to be a frugal person, you must just like to waste money and spend beyond your means-which is crazy, and most likely, not the case. Do you want to save money without feeling like you’re missing out on much? If yes, keep reading these frugal living ideas.
I’d like to quickly point out that there is a huge difference between being frugal and being cheap. You do not want to be the latter.
Table of Contents
What does it mean to be cheap?
Being cheap means that you will buy the lowest priced item every time, just because it is cheaper. No real thought or effort goes into it. You literally seek out the lowest prices and will accept cheap quality items because they have cheap price tags.
What is being frugal?
To be frugal means that while you are seeking out the best-priced deals, you are willing to pay more for a higher quality item or something that will save you money in the long run. Instead of simply choosing to buy the cheapest things, you are really researching and trying to get your money’s worth.
For example- you need to find a flea collar for your dog and all of the reviews claim that the $60 collar (the most expensive one) is the best quality.
A frugal person would buy this high-quality one and feel good knowing that they bought something that works whereas the cheap person would buy lower priced items that don’t work. Every time they don’t work, they have to go out and buy another product, continuing the cycle of spending unnecessary money.
Can you see how being frugal really pays off in the end?
The Benefits of Living Frugally
When you choose to be more frugal, you are setting yourself up for financial success. Your whole view of the world changes and everything is different. You are no longer the non-frugal persona that you were before because now you put yourself and your priorities first, and there is nothing wrong with that! When you choose to be more frugal, you can do anything.
Some examples can include:
- Pay off your debt.
- Save up enough money to retire comfortably or invest.
- Put yourself through college without incurring debt from loans.
- Save enough money to start your own business.
- Be able to travel the world.
- Volunteer time and help others who are truly in need.
Just because you’re frugal, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some higher-priced items now and then. Everyone has something that they will pay a higher price for, but not everything needs to be purchased for a high price. There are a lot of things you can easily trim from your budget or lifestyle that can save you a lot of money and living more frugally.
Here are a few more frugal living ideas
Accept a frugal lifestyle
Easier said than done, but it can be done! Remember what I said about the dog collar and being smart with your purchases? That’s basically all you have to do here. Just be mindful of your purchases. If you can buy something of high quality for cheaper than do it. If you don’t really need an item, don’t buy it. Simple small stuff like this really adds up to bigger savings in your pocket.
You can still have a fun and exciting life while being frugal. So don’t think for a single minute that you can’t go out to the bar with the girls, can’t take that trip to Disney World, or leave the house for a spa day somewhere fancy. You can do all of these things! You just have to be mindful of your budget, plan for them, and make sure that your necessary bills and adult responsibilities come first.
It might take you a little longer to save up for the amazing trip to a Deluxe Disney Resort in Hawaii, but won’t it feel so much better knowing that you paid for it with cash instead of placing it on a credit card or taking out a loan?
Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
Buying an expensive new car, or some other “fancy” things just because other people have it or will think that you are cool for owning it will get you nowhere. It will only add to your debt and cost you a fortune in interest, maintenance or other unexpected expenses that will eat away at your income until you have nothing left to live off of for the month except beans and rice.
Quit making excuses
A lot of people will choose to be “extra” and not frugal because of an excuse. They won’t stick to a budget plan because XYZ won’t work for them because of the REASON. This is a poor mindset to be in.
If you need more money every month, find a way to get it. Sell plasma, stuff from around the house, pick up a night job or some side hustles. Work opposite shifts as your spouse and get it done. A lot of people will make excuses that it’s too hard and difficult, and yes- it is. But making excuses will only delay your results.
Would you rather be uncomfortable for a few months, if it meant that you could have a lifetime full of lasting results or choose to spend a lifetime waiting for the results to happen slowly (if ever?) Don’t be crazy, a little sacrifice might be the perfect way to reach your financial goals.
Be happy with what you currently have
List out all of the things that you have. This can include everything from friends and family to a home or car. You don’t need the latest and greatest thing, and you have enough to survive. You’re already doing good! Think about it; you have already survived every “worst day of your life” up until now. So things aren’t nearly as bad as they may seem. There is always something to be thankful for.
You may think at some point that you’ve done a good job and deserve a treat. While there is nothing wrong with a small treat here and there, do not take it for granted. You don’t deserve everything, but you do deserve something.
That may sound a little harsh, but think of it more like this-
You may deserve a nice dinner, a cup of Starbucks, or a short (cash paid) trip to the beach. You do not deserve a new $40,000 car or something else that is completely frivolous. Buying a car because you need it is incredibly different from buying a car because you deserve it.
Just because someone else has something nice or puts themselves into debt to look cool, doesn’t mean that you should too.
Don’t confuse wants for needs
What you need and what you want are two different things. Remember that scene in the Disney Movie Princess And The Frog? Tiana says, “My daddy never did get what he wanted. But he had what he needed…. He never lost sight of what was really important. And neither will I!” Keep a Tiana mindset.
You don’t need:
- Pretty much everything else
One of the biggest things is to understand the wants and needs. Realize that sometimes needs can have us spending more money and turn into wants.
Take clothing, for example, you need to stay dressed when out in public, but you don’t need an $800 handbag, high heels that can reach the top of the Cinderella Castle or 50+ pairs of pants if you only wear 3.
Water can be as simple as a water bill (need) or can be as complicated as bottled water (want)
Food is a need to stay alive but a $1000 grocery bill per month for a single person is a bit extreme, even with the healthiest of diets and in a food desert. By limiting your grocery bill to meals and fewer snack foods and reducing your eating habits, you can save money on food.
Living with less stuff doesn’t mean that you’re missing out on anything. Frugal people love having less stuff everywhere. Not only does it means that they can save money by not buying so many things, but they can also keep a cleaner and more organized house.
One of the benefits of minimalism is the way that it changes your thoughts on money. By becoming more minimalistic with your possessions, you start to nitpick the things that you buy and become much more mindful over your expenses. You may even notice that you’re spending less money and saving more in your bank account at the end of the month.
When you realize that the less money you spend, the fewer items you need, you can build your emergency fund faster and reach retirement sooner.
Quit spending so much money on entertainment
There are a ton of cheap or free activities that can be done in this world. Everything from a road trip to a concert or a trip to Disney can be done frugally. Stop spending so much money on entertainment and find some ways to have fun that won’t cost you a fortune to do so.
Make a meal plan and stick with it
Groceries are one of the biggest recurring expenses in anyone’s house. If you can limit your groceries to just the main items on your meal plans, you can see huge monthly savings, this is one of the biggest frugal living ideas. There are so many different ways to meal plan and save money on food. One of the best ways is to look at store sales flyers and make your meal plan based on what foods are already on sale.
Another cool trick is to look at what foods are already inside of your home. Using foods that you already have in stock in your pantry and fridge or freezer can help you to stretch your food dollar because you do not need to buy as much to make meals.
This is also a great way to reduce food from being wasted.
This doesn’t mean that you have to eat beans and rice with every single meal or live off of ramen like a college student. You can still have good results with your food money by choosing to eat healthy, as long as you are flexible with sales cycles and produce seasons.
So don’t expect to add lobster or filet mignon to your meal plan and see any savings. Adding things like pork chops and chicken breasts can be a much more frugal option.
Be more mindful with your utilities
Remember to turn off your electricity when it’s not in use and to unplug vampire electronics. If you don’t want to go through every night and remember to unplug the tv only to plug it back in 8 hours later, opt for a surge protector cord from Amazon that can help you out much easier. Simply flip the off switch when not in use, and it will stop the electronic from pulling power.
You can also feel rest assured when lightning strikes outside. The surge protector will save your electronics from breaking during the power surge and save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars from needing to replace the items within your home.
If you’re smart, you already have renters insurance or homeowners insurance to help you in events like this, but wouldn’t it be a lot easier to save money from the start with a $15 gadget as opposed to making an insurance claim and having a long wait and risk raising your deductible?
Thinking ahead for moments like this can really help you in the long run!
Non Frugal people are perfectly content with living paycheck to paycheck and never advancing in their lives. You’re not like them, you’re different, and you have goals and dreams. You like to think ahead and foresee the issues before they happen so that you can do something about them here and now. Continue being a frugal person and reach those goals with savings to spare. Take that to the next level with these frugal living ideas.