Let’s face it, we’ve been breaking our backs at work every day just so that we can afford a good lifestyle and fulfill the needs of our families. However, the cost of living isn’t going to lower any time soon, so we might as well start thinking about how we’re going to save more of our hard-earned money without missing out on having fun.
As an increased number of people are making thriftiness a way of life and bidding goodbye to their old consumerist selves, frugality is turning out to be the new normal. While some may be of the opinion that one can always take out a personal loan in case they run out of cash, we recommend that it is best to handle your finances in a way that fulfills your happiness, reduces unwanted expenditures and secures your future.
A lot of people think that being frugal amounts to living in poverty and giving up on having fun. This, however, is not true. The reality is that being frugal is being smart, since it helps you prioritize your spending and encourages innovation, creativity and critical thinking.
Mentioned below are a few tips that will help you get started on the path to frugality and give you ideas on how you can transform your lifestyle accordingly.
1. Use a Not-So-Smart Phone
We live in times when every aspect of our lives revolve around our smart phones, to the extent that we feel incomplete without it in our hands. Remember the times when smartphones didn’t exist and you did just fine dealing with life’s daily situations? By going for a regular phone, you will save money by cutting out that monthly data on your phone bill.
2. Use Public Transportation
If you use your car every day, then you probably always have gas expenses, maintenance costs, and parking passes eating into your income. One way to escape these costs is by using the local bus or subway. And if you must take your car, ask around to see if someone would like to share the ride and split the expenses. Do this and watch your bills plummet!
3. Travel Domestically
Everyone talks of traveling all over the world, but do not underestimate the beauty of the tourist destinations that are close to you. Take trips to nearby areas and you will save on hotel costs as well as learn something new about your region while you’re at it. Contrary to popular notion, it is possible to have a memorable time while traveling frugally.
4. Start Counting Coupons
You’ve probably come across TV shows and websites about extreme couponers and wondered what that’s all about! Well, it’s time to find out. All it takes is alertness, information and practice to ace the art of couponing. It’s worth the effort because at the end of it all, you save hundreds of dollars.
5. Make Your Gifts
Want to make your friends and family feel extra special and save money along the way? Then hand-make gifts instead of buying ready-made ones at gift shops. You can scout the Internet; it is flooded with DIY craft and gift ideas. You’re sure to find easy-to-follow tutorials to be able to create your own masterpieces from scratch!
6. Eat What You Grow
We’re not asking you to start a farm in your backyard, but you can surely grow herbs, lemons, tomatoes, and other vegetables at home! Apart from having healthy and fresh produce to choose from every day, you will also save a lot of cash by growing your own food.
7. Cook What You Eat
Want to take eating healthy and cost-cutting a step ahead? Cook your meals yourself instead of eating at restaurants or ordering takeout. Eating out can totally pinch your wallet, so cooking fresh meals at home can surely leave you feeling richer by several hundred dollars!
8. Vinegar, Anyone?
Did you know vinegar makes for a fantastic household cleaner? That’s right! It cleans almost anything, which means you need not shell out for those overpriced household cleaning products any more. Simply make a solution of vinegar and water and clean away with a piece of cloth.
9. Change Your Means of Entertainment
Are you sure you want to spend hundreds of dollars every month on shows that you can easily watch on the computer for much less or even for free? Not only are you spending all this money for nothing, you’re also wasting precious time that can be spent doing something productive and making money.
Also, do you need to watch every single movie that comes out every week? That doesn’t make practical sense. You could be selective and go for the ones that gather good reviews. On other nights, invite your friends over and play board or card games for a fun night in.
10. Use Internet at the Local Library
If you’re serious about making money, you may want to access the Internet from your local library instead of buying and paying for your own connection. Libraries are always open and librarians are helpful in answering all your questions.
11. Shop at Thrift Stores
Try shopping at the local thrift store if you haven’t already. You’ll be surprised at some of the amazing stuff you find there. Whether it is furniture or clothes, you’re sure to find some great things if you look hard enough. Go on sale days for even better money-saving deals.
12. Unplug Electronic Devices
This is the ultimate frugality tip. Did you know that your electronic appliances continue to consume power (even when they’re turned off) as long as they’re plugged into the socket? So unplug them, especially before you head for vacations or aren’t going to use them for a long time. This should trim your electric bills to a certain extent.
All said and done, frugal habits can prove to be a boon, especially for those who like to be careful with managing their money. Frugality can make a huge difference in the long term, which is why it helps to be prudent with your finances. Healthy practices such as the ones mentioned above, can greatly aid you in keeping track of your expenses, and keep your bank balance in good shape. Being thrifty is a great way to gain control of your hard-earned money.
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Author: Korie Cantor
Korie Cantor is a blogger with a great sense of food, health and lifestyle.