You’ve recently become convinced that living a frugal lifestyle is the best way to build wealth.
You’re excited to start but aren’t sure how frugal to be. Will you need to shop for only generic brands or always chose the option that saves a few nickels and dimes? Fortunately, this isn’t the case.
Some of today’s wealthiest people treat themselves to nice things. But, to get to this level it took hard work and discipline. If you’re ready to adopt a frugal living lifestyle to live a happier life, keep reading.
Why Bother Living Frugally?
Living a frugal lifestyle isn’t easy.
So why go through the effort?
Living frugally allows you to pay off debt and retire faster. To do this you’d sometimes have to make short-term sacrifices. This is easier said than done.
It may mean canceling services you don’t need but want, like DVR or Netflix. Then, you’d use the extra $50-$100 to pay off debt faster.
People typically want better cars, better houses, and better lifestyles without much effort. This is a recipe for disaster. Having this mentality will cause you to go into debt and constantly stress about money.
Instead, living frugally would help you be more grateful.
Will you stop wanting better things? No, but frugality will help you spend your money intentionally. You’ll view each sacrifice as the possibility for something better.
Frugal Living Isn’t About Being Cheap
“You can afford anything but not everything” –Paula Pant
It’s about clearly understanding the money coming in and out of your account.
Once you do, you’ll make informed decisions with your money. Instead of randomly swiping your credit card, you’ll know if you can afford something with your budget.
The harsh truth is you’ll have to resist the temptation of buying a lot of things. You’ll have to say no to financing your dream car to invest more money. You’ll have to say no to buying the latest iPhone to pay off debt faster.
Living frugally will be challenging but also the best thing that’ll happen to your life. You’ll build financial security and live a happier life not worrying about money.
Benefits Of Frugal Living
Research shows average Americans carry about $8,000 in credit card debt. Owing a lot of debt will cause you stress. And this stress can trickle down to other parts of your life.
Because frugal living requires discipline, you’ll make fewer unnecessary purchases and carry less debt. Since you’ll have less debt you’ll be in a happier mood, not stressing about money.
What would happen if you lost your job tomorrow? How long could you live off your income?
If you’d hesitate to answer this question, you’re not alone. According to a survey from GoBankingRates, more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 saved up for an emergency. Living frugally will help you save money faster.
More important, living frugally allows you to have more control over your time. Even if you report to someone in your job, you’ll have confidence in knowing it’s your choice to be there. You’ll also be able to afford more vacations and pursue creative business ideas you may have.
Frugal Living Tips For Seniors
You’ll benefit from being frugal at any age, but as a senior, you’ll have more perks.
Most seniors are now at the point in their lives when they’re no longer working and have more time on their hands. This time can be used to travel more for cheap, leveraging off-peak deals.
For example, hotels offer discounts for showing up before evening rush hours. Airlines offer discounted tickets for choosing alternative dates.
Additionally, senior citizens can save money by cutting unnecessary insurance. For example, when you’re no longer working you can cancel disability insurance.
At some places, you’ll get discounts automatically because you’re a senior. Restaurants, clothing stores, and hotels offer these types of discounts. Most states also allow seniors 65+ to freeze their property taxes. Whether you’re a high-income earner or not, there are plenty of senior perks to choose from.
How Do You Live On A Frugal Budget?
Being frugal means you’ll have to pay off debt and save aggressively right?
Yes, but it’s not what you may think.
Being frugal involves you being creative and smart about spending money. It doesn’t mean living a cheap and miserable life. Having a frugal budget allows you to save and invest as much as possible while being happy.
But, how can you be happy while saving as much money as possible?
By having a clear purpose. You’re not living a frugal life by chance. You chose to live frugally to retire faster and travel more.
Think of your frugal budget as one that provides value to your life. You’d still save for your financial goals but also reward yourself along the way. For example, after hitting a saving goal, reward yourself with takeout at your favorite restaurant.
This way you’ll make progress toward your goals and not feel miserable along the way.
Can Being Frugal Make You Rich?
Frugal living is the only way to build true wealth.
Isn’t being rich and wealthy the same?
A rich person can earn more than someone who’s wealthy and still be financially worse off. When rich person loses their main source of income they’ll quickly gain a lot of debt. The wealthy have many streams of income and are better prepared if they’d lost part of their income.
The reality is most wealthy people are frugal. Author, Thomas Stanley, interviewed hundreds of wealthy people and discovered most lived frugally. This is shocking to most who believe the wealthy buy expensive cars, mansions, and much more.
It’s true, many wealthy people still buy expensive things. But, they’re still frugal in other areas of their lives.
Frugal Living Blogs To Help You Stay Motivated
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”–Jim Rohn
Frugal living isn’t easy.
This is the reason most choose to indulge in fancy toys and delay reaching their financial goals. Because frugal living is a tough journey you’ll need motivation along the way. The people you surround yourself with will have a huge influence on your success.
Sometimes, the people near you aren’t much help in building better financial habits. An alternative is to fill your mind with the right thoughts. Here are some blogs that’ll help you do that:
Mr.MM covers interesting topics such as DIY solar panels and cutting your grocery bill in half. If you’re someone who loves thorough articles, you’ll be a fan of Mr.MM.
The main goal at Penny Hoarder is for you to transform your finances and feel less stressed. There’s no shortage of topics to explore here. Topics include making money, debt, saving, retirement, and much more.
Frugal Living Tips
By now you know many of the benefits frugality brings.
You also know some of the challenges.
And, with so many tactics how do you know which ones to choose?
You apply the ones with the most impact. Pareto’s law states that about 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of the causes. Like Pareto’s law, you’ll focus on the frugal living tactics bringing you the most impact.
Below is a list of some of the most effective frugal living tips you can try to reach your financial goals faster. Master one frugal tip at a time and watch your financial future soar.
Frugal Living Tip #1: Focus On Your Health
Without your health you have nothing.
When you’re healthy it’s easy to neglect your health, by eating poorly and not exercising.
The sad reality is your health will decline at some point in your life. When it does you’ll end up spending more money to take care of yourself. By taking care of yourself now, you’ll feel better and spend less money on medical expenses in the future.
Data shows health spending is increasing, but you can avoid some of these costs.
Here are some key ways to stay healthy:
- Go to the gym 2–4 times per week
- Eat healthy foods 3. Get 8 hours of sleep daily
- Visit your doctor for routine check-ups
Extra frugal living resources: Cut medical expenses
Frugal Living Tip #2: Buy High-Quality Food
Not being frugal with your food is being frugal.
When it comes to buying food, still seek out the best deals, but don’t always buy the cheaper alternatives. The better the quality of food you eat, the healthier you’ll be. The problem is organic food can get expensive.
So what can you do?
Find the best deals for food that lasts a long time. With the money, you save here stock up on healthier alternatives.
Here are some rules to follow when you’re shopping:
- Only buy what’s on your grocery list
- Set a budget and stick to it
Frugal Living Tip #3: Seek Free Stuff
What better way to be frugal than to get free things?
Many companies offer free samples. Samples such as food, products, and services.
Why would anyone be crazy enough to offer anything for free?
Charities do free giveaways to the needy. Other companies do so to attract new customers.
While some things aren’t entirely free, it often beats paying the full retail price for them.
Extra frugal living resources:
Frugal Living Tip #4: Make A Budget Around Your Lifestyle
One of the best ways to live frugally is with your budget.
A budget can help you reach your financial goals, and give every dollar a job. This is when the magic happens. You’ll cut unnecessary expenses and gain confidence after you reach your financial goals.
To create your budget analyze your spending with tools like Personal Capital. Then, list all your monthly expenses and budget for them. Use your leftover money to fund your different financial goals.
Extra frugal living resources:
Frugal Living Tip #5: Eat Out Less Often
It’s tempting to go during your lunch break and eat delicious food.
The problem is spending $15 daily can add up to over $300 in monthly expenses. An alternative is to pack your lunch. Doing so can help you save over $1500+ annually.
Aside from saving money, you’ll eat healthier since you’ll prepare your food.
Frugal Living Tip #6: Maintain Your Vehicle Properly
Keeping up with your car’s maintenance will save you money in the long run.
Take, for example, a simple oil change, costing about $120 annually. You may believe skipping an oil change is saving you money, but an engine repair can cost you anywhere from $1,000 – $5,000.
Car washes can also make an impact. Prices range from $200-$1,000. If you don’t wash your car often, your paint has a greater chance of getting rusted. Since you’ll be using a budget, budget for your car’s maintenance to save money in the long run.
Frugal Living Tip #7: Befriend Your Local Library
Reading is one of the best investments you can make while saving money.
It shaves off your entertainment costs. The more you read, the less time you’ll spend on entertainment. Most libraries offer free library cards for a minimal cost.
You’ll save money on books since you’ll be able to rent most of them in your library. Nowadays, you also have the option to rent digital books from the comfort of your home.
The average American spends about $3,000 annually on entertainment. You’ll shave this cost if you spend more time in the library or at home reading.
Extra frugal living resources: Access online books from your library
Frugal Living Tip #8: Use Coupons
Don’t pay for anything at full price.
Today, you have more ways to save than ever, but you’ll need the right coupons. A quick search online for “top online coupons” will do the trick in helping you get started.
But, online coupons aren’t the only you can save. You can also get cashback for your groceries, restaurants, and miscellaneous purchases.
Here are some of the best cashback apps:
- Dosh (best cashback for all types of purchases)
- Ibotta (best cashback for groceries)
- Ebates (best cashback for online purchases)
Frugal Living Tip #9: DIY
Time is money.
Yet, sometimes you can enjoy doing things you’re good at while saving money. For example, if you’re a car fanatic, you’d probably enjoy changing the oil of your car. On average, companies charge $30-$70 for an oil change.
Depending on the type of oil you’re using, you’ll change your car’s oil anywhere from 2–4 times. This means you’ll save anywhere from $60 – $280 per year. If you ever run out of something make it a habit to find a cheaper alternative.
This won’t always work, but you’ll train yourself to be handy. Eventually, this habit alone will save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Extra frugal living resources: Advanced DIY projects
Frugal Living Tip #10: Buy Only Things You Need
In a perfect world, everyone would only buy the things they’d need.
The reality is most people buy out of impulse and without a budget. This causes them to go further into debt or accumulate a lot of extra items. Your solution to this problem is using the 30-day rule.
The next time you’re about to buy a high-ticket item wait 30 days. If after 30 days you still want to buy this item do so. Doing this will give you enough time to stop buying out of impulse and budget for expensive items.
Extra frugal living resources:
Frugal Living Tip #11: Keep Only What You Need
Many times we keep things we don’t need.
But, being a hoarder is costing you time and money. Declutter expert, Tracy McCubbin says emotional problems are the root cause. The best way to start decluttering your home is to view it as a tool.
Your home should help you cook, work, and sleep efficiently among other things. Having this perspective will help you notice areas where your home is falling short. Don’t plan to declutter your entire home in one weekend.
Instead, spend a few minutes cleaning one part of your room and slowly transition to bigger parts. To avoid building clutter, pick one day a week to clean your house.
Extra frugal living resources: Minimalist Lifestyle Hacks
Frugal Living Tip #12: Trim Your Expenses
If you aren’t negotiating your monthly expenses you’re overpaying.
You can negotiate your bill solo or hire someone else to do it for you. The only catch with letting a company negotiate your bills is they’d take a part of your savings. Not taking all your savings isn’t ideal, but it’s better than taking nothing.
Review your bank account statement for the last 60 days and jot down your monthly expenses. Categorize them from most expensive to least expensive. Starting with your most expensive bills, call to negotiate or let someone else do it for you.
Extra frugal living resources: Cable alternatives
Frugal Living Tip #13: Start A Side Hustle
Frugal living is great.
You save money and feel happier.
The problem is frugality alone won’t help you reach financial success–at least not any time soon. Instead of slowly saving money to build wealth, grow your income with a side hustle.
A side hustle gives you an opportunity to create your ideal job if you’re unhappy with your current one. Even if you’re happy, having an extra income will bring better financial security.
Be prepared to put in a lot of hard work because building a side hustle is the same as building a business. First, decide what type of side hustle you’d like to start. Then, follow people who are where you’d like to be.
Most important, be patient because building a successful side hustle can sometimes take years.
Extra frugal living resources:
Live Frugally And Be Financially Well Off
Imagine living life on your terms.
You’re confident about your retirement and rarely feel stressed about money. The best part is you didn’t deprive yourself of living your ideal lifestyle.
Wouldn’t this be great?
This can be your reality if you adopt a frugal living lifestyle. Master one frugal habit, then work on mastering another.
Success doesn’t come easy. But, if this means living your dream life, isn’t this worth the sacrifice?