Many misunderstand frugality as stinginess. But living a frugal life does not necessarily mean living stingily. A frugal life means being prudent in saving money, by being economical and not wasteful. Today, many people live a lavish life and spend money beyond their means.
Many billionaires like Warren Buffet etc., have been living a frugal life and is one of the biggest givers to charity. Living a frugal life can help you to smartly and wisely save money. There are many frugal ways to save money.
Today, we will look at some of the ways on how to be frugal and save money.
Always make a budget and adhere to it.
It is important to have a budget which takes care of all your necessary expenses and savings. Try to stick to the budget and avoid falling into the temptation of impulsive shopping. If you need anything, wait for 20 to 30 days to mull over it and if you still feel the need for it, you can go ahead and buy it. Many a time it is an impulsive urge and once the moment passes, people don’t really need those things.
Repair and reuse instead of replace.
Due to an increase in income and financial capacity, many people try to replace existing things by buying new things. We may have many old things like clothes, shoes, washing machines, kitchen items etc., which can be easily repaired and reused. Just because these items have been lying unused for a few years, does not mean that you throw them away and buy new ones. This is one of the most important decisions that will help you save money in long run.
Avoid using a credit card and pay with cash.
It is important to understand that paying by cash will always help you stay in budget. Whenever you are paying cash, you realise the amount of money spent, which acts as a trigger to hold you back from any other impulsive shopping.
Many people pay by credit card and are unable to comprehend the amount of money spent, till they receive the credit card statement.
Make meal plans and a grocery list in advance.
Food forms a major part of your budget.
Some of the things that can help you save money are:
- Make weekly meal plans in advance.
- Buy food items on the day when there is a sale. Today in many malls and grocery stores, there are days in the week wherein you get great discounts, e.g. supersaver wednesday at Hypercity, Big Bazar etc.
- Buy food items in bulk by availing great discounts. Many times you will get great offers such as, buy one get one free. Check out for these discounts and deals.
- Having set daily meal plans will avoid eating out frequently, leading to great savings.
Find out ways in your budget to save money.
There is always scope to save money from your household budgets.
Here is a list of some of the ways, by which you can save money from your household expenses.
- Avoid doing expensive things and look out for budget options. For e.g. avoid expensive club memberships and go jogging in the park for your daily exercise.
- Carry your lunch to office and avoid eating out.
- If you have a small garden in your backyard, grow some organic vegetables and herbs for your daily use.
- Use public transport to travel. In case you use the car, avoid high traffic time inorder to save fuel and time.
- Do your own housecleaning instead of outsourcing it.
- If you are an avid reader, try to buy second hand books or used books on amazon, at a cheaper cost.
- Always keep loose change in the money box and you will be surprised to find out how much you have saved at the end of the month.
- If you are a movie fan, then go for the early morning weekday shows which are the cheapest.
- Save energy by switching off the lights and fans when not in use, using the washing machine only when it is fully loaded, watching less TV, less internet usage etc. Install CFL and LED lights in your home.
- Give homemade birthday gifts like healthy jars of oats, spices, muesli and nuts layered nicely, home baked cookies, herbs mixed in olive oil etc. These gifts save money and are loved by most people.
Teach your family the value of money.
It is important to teach your children the value of money. They need to know how they can smartly save money by living frugally. Give them ideas for frugal living and explain to them ways in which savings can be easily done. Remember, it is a family effort which goes a long way in saving for a good financial future.
Avoid spending too much money on children’s entertainment.
Children need your time and attention. Avoid taking them to play video games, to play zones, to expensive games parlours. Instead take them to a nearby beach, park, zoo and have a nice day out. Children will enjoy this outing and it will be easy on your pocket too.
Help others and volunteer.
As you are focussed on saving money, help others around you also to save money. For e.g., volunteer to babysit for a new mother so that she can take some time off, do some grocery shopping for an elderly neighbour, help somebody who is setting up their home etc. These are your labour gifts which will be of much more value and will give you a lot of satisfaction and at the same time also help others save money.
Keep a proper account of all your debts.
It is important to keep yourself reminded about your debts and try to pay them off as soon as possible. Any debt, whether it is home loan, car loan, student loan etc., try to pay it off as soon as possible, in order to avoid paying huge interest for a long period of time.
Try to do the household maintenance yourself.
There are many things that break down and need maintenance. These maintenance costs are high. You can learn some new easy skills, which can help you in fixing small things in your home.
These are some great frugal living ideas which can help you save money. These ideas are simple, easy to adopt and implement in your day to day lives. Frugal living will help you save for a better financial future.
Please read our earlier article Cooking on a budget.
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