Frugality isa choice, a mindset, and a lifestyle rather than a negative experience.
Living a frugal life is about being mindful of money management, so you don’t have to struggle to make ends meet, be in debt, or be broke if done properly.
You don’t have to live extremely frugal.
Simply apply some of the hacks in the post and make minor tweaks to your financial planning; you can see significant life changes.
Does Frugality Equal Cheap?
Although many people have this misconception, frugality is NOT cheap.
Being cheap is to choose the lowest-priced stuff regardless of the quality and needs.
On the contrary, frugal people value quality and are willing to pay for great value items after assessing their desires and needs.
Is Frugal Living Worth It?
If you ask me, giving up things that don’t add value to your life to live more sustainably is worth all the effort.
That said, if you choose a frugal living lifestyle, something has to go to make room for the new lifestyle.
You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs.
Benefits Of Living A Frugal Life
Before we jump into the top frugal hacks, let’s have a look at the major benefits of being frugal first.
- Choose quality over price: Frugal people will choose quality products that bring value to their life instead of poor quality items that don’t last long.
- Have less financial stress: Life will treat you better when you control your personal finance. For example, you can choose your dream job or refuse to do things you don’t enjoy.
- Enjoy financial freedom: You can speed up the process of achieving financial freedom and early retirement by making wise financial decisions.
Top Tips On How To Be Frugal – Best Frugal Living Tips
Here are the top frugal living tips to get you started with the new lifestyle.
1. Budget, Budget, And Budget
How you budget and manage your money directly affect your quality of living.
It is no fun when you are tight with money.
One of the best ways to live frugally is to create an effective budget and stick to it.
However, it doesn’t mean you can’t spoil yourself with fancy clothes or a pair of handmade shoes occasionally.
Having a budget in mind would make you prioritize what really matters to you for your long-term financial goals.
2. Stop Buying Things You Don’t Need
“One penny may seem to you a very insignificant thing, but it is the small seed from which fortunes spring.” – Orison Swett Marden
Don’t buy things simply because you want to impress other people. They would not take care of you when you are short of money or in debt.
Also, just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you should buy it.
I can’t remember how many times I have bought something spontaneously. 🤦🏻♀️ These are not my proudest moments.
Before making a purchase, you can ask yourself the following questions to help inhibit impulse buying and reduce waste.
- Do I really need it?
- What is the main reason for buying it?
- Do I have something similar to the item I want to buy?
- How often will I use it if after purchasing it?
- Can I rent it instead?
3. Do Price Matching
Pricing matching is a policy/program agreed by merchants that the price of the same item could match a competitor’s lower price.
For instance, if you go to a retail store (that offers price matching) to buy a bottle of honey ($30). But you know another store offers a lower price ($21.9) for the same product.
You can show the proof of the product pricing from the competitor (such as the image and pricing on the official website) to get the same lower price ($21.9) when checking out.
Check with the store staff to see if they offer price matching.
4. Buy Secondhand Stuff
Some secondhand items such as vehicles and furniture are in pretty good condition at much lower prices.
You can shop around at your local thrift stores or online marketplaces to save a lot more money.
5. Return Items That You Don’t Use
Do you have some recent purchases that you don’t need or like anymore? Return them.
Many stores have a return & refund policy (return windows of 14-day, 30-day, or even 90-day).
Check the store policies and don’t exceed the time limits.
6. Double-Check Receipts When Shopping
Miscalculation happens when purchasing goods or services.
Always double-check the receipts before leaving to ensure you are not being overcharged.
You certainly don’t want to pay for something you haven’t bought.
Further reading: How To Save Money For Your Holiday Spending
7. Make A Meal Plan
Are you tired of thinking about what to cook every day? I am.
I recommend trying this 5 dollar meal plan. You will receive a weekly meal plan (inexpensive and healthy natural ingredients) and a shopping list for only $5 a month.
You don’t have to be a chef to cook delicious meals.
Don’t forget you can have a FREE 14-day trial. If you don’t like it, simply cancel it.
Not only could it be a lot cheaper to eat in, but you have complete control of what you put into your stomach.
Related post: How To Reduce Your Grocery Spending
8. Check Out Promotional Activities – Discounts, Coupons, And Special Offers
Many merchants have promotional activities to boost purchases from time to time.
Keep an eye on discounts, coupons, and special offers. You might only save a couple of dollars for each purchase, but these savings do add up.
For example, these two popular money-saving sites could save you lots of money.
If you are a regular shopper on Amazon, you can’t miss out on Amazon Coupons. Get discounts when checking out.
Ibotta is a mobile app site that offers coupons and cashback, especially for your weekly grocery shopping – one of the best ways to save money easily.
Don’t miss out if you enjoy earning real cashback when shopping online.
9. Declutter Like A Pro
Don’t just throw away your belongings; instead, go through all your stuff and sell the itemsyou no longer use online (eBay and Facebook Marketplace).
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
You will be surprised that many people would pay for your used items (such as electronic devices, clothes, and bags).
You can organize your unwanted items with three sections:
Used goods: You seldom use or simply don’t want/need them anymore.
Brand new items: You have never used them before.
Broken stuff: Try to sell the good parts or fix them before selling.
Consider adding more value to your items (such as furniture makeovers) if you want a good price.
10. Use Amazon Subscribe & Save
You can save money on everyday essentials by using the recurrent delivery option.
I like it because you can
- save up to 15%
- have FREE shipping
- enjoy NO fees
- manage it easily (get a reminder before each shipment, skip or cancel anytime)
- save time and money
You can sit back and relax when Amazon does all the heavy lifting for your daily purchases.
11. Reduce Your Housing Costs
As for property owners, you can consider renting out your spare rooms to earn extra money.
Besides, stable weekly/monthly rent can help if you have a mortgage.
If you are a tenant, compare rents on flat renting sites to find an affordable living place.
12. Lower YourUtility Bills
It is not uncommon to ignore these bills when they are included in your rent.
However, when you have to pay for them, you will be shocked at how expensive they are.
Here are some frugal tips I use to save money on utilities.
- Turn off the air-conditioner/heater when not in use or get alternatives (fans/winter clothes).
- Use natural light if available.
- Unplug electronics when leaving the room.
- Use energy-saving light bulbs.
- Only run full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Hang dry your clothes.
- Be mindful of water usage.
- Use less hot water when showering.
13. Do More Exercise – Healthy Frugal Living Tips
Apart from healthy eating, regular exercise could reduce the chances of getting sick, in other words, lower medical bills.
You don’t need a premium gym membership to be in shape. Instead, invest in some workout equipment to exercise at home or in the nearby parks.
Think about all the commuting time to the gym and the yearly membership (hundreds/thousands of dollars) you have spent; the amount of time and money could go to other profitable investments.
14. Have Emergency Funds
It is suggested to have three to six months of your monthly salary (the more, the better) for your emergency fund, so you don’t have to go broke or into debt, if something happens.
15. Plan Your Retirement Savings
Apart from the pension plans supported by the government and your company, you can also start saving for the future even in your early 20s, so you don’t have to deal with financial stress after retirement.
16. Get Insurance
Insurance is a great way to manage risks and reduce potential losses.
Insurance could occupy a big part of your income, so it is vital to shop around and choose the best insurance plans within your budget.
17. Take Advantage Of The Library
“The more you learn, the more you earn.” – Warren Buffett
Visiting the library is a traditional frugal activity. It is great for single moms, couples, families, and seniors.
Not only can you find a vast collection of books, but you can access journals, magazines, movies, digital data, and internet access.
Most importantly, they are FREEresources to feed your mind.
Some modern libraries even have children’s areas, Food & Drink sections, and conference rooms for your convenience.
Make sure to check it out.
18. Diversify Your Streams Of Income
You need to have money to save money when living frugally.
Having multiple streams of income can change your financial situation dramatically.
Apart from your day job, there are so many online money-making opportunities.
19. Cancel Subscriptions And Memberships Or Purchase Sharing Plans
Are you members of many programs that you haven’t used for a long time or don’t even remember that you have signed up?
Now it is time to clean them up.
These paid accounts can eat up your savings slowly and quietly.
Make sure to go through all your subscriptions and memberships and cancel some for good.
Alternatively, you can switch some to sharing plans so you can enjoy the programs at a cheaper deal.
20. Get Out Of Debt
Debt is a killer to your future financial success.
Find out what debt you owe and pay off your debt as fast as possible.
Related: Should I Pay Off Debt Or Save?
Once you get rid of debt, never fall into the trap again.
21. Be Careful With Credit Cards
Having one or two credit cards is not uncommon for most people.
However, don’t get trapped into credit card debt. It is easy to overspend using these plastic cards if not mindful.
Never spend more than you can afford, as it is not wise for your long-term financial goals.
22. Do It Yourself – DIY
Instead of hiring professionals or buying stuff, you can do SOME work yourself.
Depending on your skills and time, you can save a bunch of cash by doing some work yourself.
- wash your car
- make your yummy coffee at home ☕️ (for coffee lovers)
- make a meaningful and unique gift for your beloved ones
- clean your house/apartment
- give yourself a flawless manicure at home 💅🏻
Don’t know how to do these?
No worries. Feel free to check out YouTube for step-by-step tutorials and Pinterest for inspiration.
You have no idea how creative you could be if you haven’t tried it.
However, if something is too complicated, don’t hesitate to call the experts for help.
23. Prepare Your Vacation Ahead
Frugal living doesn’t take away the chances of traveling.
Some people can spend a fortune on one holiday if not careful.
You can easily save hundreds of dollars while traveling using the following tips.
- Plan your travel budget and don’t go over your budget.
- Research the destinations so you don’t get ripped off. However, don’t go crazy; your time is more valuable than money.
- Travel in the off-season so you can get cheaper travel packages and don’t have to queue forever for your favorite activities.
- Book everything online (such as deeply discounted flight tickets, hotels, car rentals, and entertainment activities) to get a better deal. Plus, preparation could help avoid unexpected disappointment (such as overpriced tickets).
- Buy snacks, drinks, and food at local supermarkets and book your living place with a kitchen so you can cook.
24. Have Fun And Frugal Activities
There are lots of fun and frugal activities you can enjoy with your better half, families and friends.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time. The important thing is who you are with and how you spend quality time together.
Here are some great frugal ideas.
- Watch movies or play board/video games at home.
- Go hiking to get some fresh air and recharge yourself.
- Have fun at your local beach.
- Go camping and have a picnic in the natural park.
25. Learn New Skills Online At No/Low Cost
Education doesn’t have to be expensive if you have stable internet access.
You can easily pick up some practicalonline courses to empower yourself for FREE.
Besides, many quality online courses are hugely discounted compared to traditional classes.
For example, you don’t have to spend a fortune learning a foreign language as many free/low-cost online resources are waiting for you to explore.
26. Embrace Delayed Gratification & Enjoy Frugal Living
Would you rather live frugally for a couple of years to save money faster and have the life you want? Or would you prefer to have financial stress after retirement?
Instant gratification is undoubtedly enjoyable, but it disappears in a flash and doesn’t give you financial freedom.
On the other hand, delayed gratification is a practical skill that helps you achieve financial independence faster.
Life is not just about finance management; that is why you want to take care of it earlier than later, so you can have enough money, time, and freedom for more important things in life.
Final Thoughts On Frugal Living Tips
Frugal living doesn’t mean being stingy to yourself and others around you or sacrificing your current lifestyle.
It is about careful spending, financial planning, and simple living.
It is the core foundation of sustainable living and financial independence.🤑
In order to enjoy frugal living, it is necessary to know how to spend, save, and invest your money so you can make well-informed decisions (such as on food, time, and money) that genuinely matter to you.
There are many ways to live frugally, and you can simply use some of the best frugal living tips to make changes to your financial life.
Go at your own pace because you know what is best for you. 💕
My readers: Which frugal living tips 💰 do you find most useful? Do you have other frugal living tips you would like to share? Let me know in the comments.
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