When it comes to living frugally, many people assume that means not spending money on anything that isn’t necessary – i.e. dining out, hobbies, date nights, or even spending money during the holidays. However, frugal living doesn’t have to equate to a lack of fun and enjoyment – it just means you’re changing the way you spend and save, and taking necessary to make conscious financial decisions, which can range from something as simple as saving coupons to buying or renting a home. Taking the steps with regards to a frugal lifestyle can be a game changer for many individuals and families.
If you’re interested in learning about some of the necessary steps to take to achieve a frugal lifestyle, here are a few of them:
- Create or revamp your intended budget. If you already have a budget outlined that you’d like to revise, you’re already a step ahead. If you have yet to create a budget, this is where you need to start in order to maintain a frugal lifestyle. Write down your current expenses (or better yet, create a spreadsheet) and review them, and make determinations as to what you can comfortably cut out.
- Avoid the temptation of takeout. Currently in many parts of the country, including California’s Bay Area, it’s not necessarily easy to dine at restaurants. However, most places offer delivery or curbside pickup, which can be an easy temptation, especially with apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats. You’ll save a lot of money cooking at home, especially if you know how to shop smart and plan meals. Which leads us to…
- Embrace coupons and mailers. Odds are, you receive “junk mail” in the form of mailers from grocery stores and retail outlets. Don’t throw these away just yet – they contain information on sales and in many cases, coupons you can clip and save for when you need them (pending expiration dates). Not only can you save money by doing this, but it can also help you plan out weekly meals based on what’s on sale.
- Consider downsizing. If you’re renting your home, ask yourself how much you’re paying in rent and utilities. If it’s feasible for you to downsize your living space to save money, it’s something you should consider, and it can save you a lot of money in the long run.
- Remember: You get what you pay for. Sometimes, buying the less expensive item can cost you more money in the long run. When you’re shopping for something you need – for instance, a pair of winter boots – don’t necessarily skimp on what you choose, as inexpensive items from off-brand labels can fall apart or deteriorate faster than something from a reputable brand made with quality materials. You may find that the more expensive item will last you for years, whereas you may have to replace a less expensive item in a shorter time span.