It’s easy to want to embrace a frugal lifestyle, but following through on tips is easier said than done! Despite their best intentions, millions fail to follow even the most essential information and guidelines for being frugal. Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to reveal all the frugal tips people constantly ignore.
1. Spend Where It Makes Sense
Being frugal doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend money at all — it’s about prioritizing the purchases that really matter.
“People often forget that it’s okay to spend money you have on things that matter to you,” explains one man. “I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of how many pennies I can pinch. It’s a miserable place to be. Save where it makes sense, spend where it makes sense.”
2. Don’t Be House-Poor
For most people, buying a home will be the single largest purchase of their lives. Therefore, potential homebuyers must do their due diligence, familiarize themselves with the mortgage process, and otherwise ensure they will not become “house-poor.” Owing more money than your home is worth is one of the worst financial situations you can find yourself in.
3. Using Credit Cards Is Okay
When appropriately used, paying with credit is the most financially savvy move in a frugal person’s repertoire!
“Yeah, we know people who refuse to use credit cards,” says one woman. “But they’re missing out on free money, plus the convenience, plus the other benefits — like price protection.”
4. Live Below Your Means
Living below your means is Personal Finance 101. Although many people believe they follow this rule of thumb, the reality is that millions of men and women consistently spend more than they have monthly. It’s a slippery slope; living above your means is usually a precursor to more serious financial peril.
5. Practice Delayed Gratification
Sometimes, it’s best to wait a few hours — or days — before making a large impulse purchase. Practicing delayed gratification gives you enough time to consider if you genuinely need the item in question. Feel free to pull the trigger if you still want it after a few days.
6. Don’t Compete With Others
I know more than anyone that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the purchases and status symbols of our friends, family, and neighbors. However, putting yourself in the mindset of frugality will help you fight the urge to compete with others. Countless people don’t follow this advice — and their bank accounts suffer.
7. Utilize Free Activities
News flash, everyone: you don’t need to spend a dime to participate in a fun activity. For many frugal people, it’s all about where to look!
“I keep a list of all our entertainment activities along with the cost and a fun factor and found there isn’t a huge correlation between cost and fun,” said one user. “There’s a ton of stuff in our area, like free concerts in the park, college events, museum passes at the library, free days at the museums, and naturalist activities at the regional parks that have been just as much fun for us as expensive plays and dinners out.”
8. Remember That Small Things Add Up
While small purchases of a few dollars or more don’t seem like they make a dent in your wallet, the opposite is true. Always remember: Small purchases add up in a big way. For most people, this realization comes when they attempt to pay bills and realize there’s no money left!
9. It’s Fine To Throw Things Out
Being frugal does not mean “upcycle or reuse anything and everything.” Sometimes, throwing something out is the path that should be taken.
“If you don’t have an immediate use for that empty pickle jar, toss it in the recycle bin,” explains one woman. “Don’t hold onto stuff ‘just in case’ you’ll find a use for it, or you’ll end up with a house full of junk you don’t use.”
10. Have a Yard Sale
Many people acknowledge that having a yard sale is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to make money and clear your home of things you don’t need. However, many people believe having a yard sale is “too much work” and never take the simple steps necessary to have one. Not only are they leaving money on the table, but they’re embracing a cluttered lifestyle — the opposite of being frugal!
11. Learn to Bake
“People are far less willing to learn baking than to learn cooking,” one user laments. People often overestimate how much work baking takes, but learning a few simple baking tricks can save you a ton of money in the long run — and as a bonus, your house will always smell like fresh-baked bread or cookies!