Often, the word frugal is associated with negativity. Although a frugal life seems like a lot of sacrifices, it doesn’t have to be. Living a frugal life should add value to your life.
So, What’s a Frugal Lifestyle?
This is where you get deliberate with your spending habits. You tend to prioritize things that matter most and cut back on items or things that don’t matter.
Frugality doesn’t mean forgoing basics needs to save more. It doesn’t mean missing an adventurous vacation or missing a night out party. Frugality means creating an approach where you choose when to live largely and when to become stingy.
And frugality doesn’t mean living a low, cheap, and confusing life. Being frugal is assessing your goals and desire and choosing to spend less. For instance, you may decide to cut your budget but still go for quality things.
Is Frugal Lifestyle Worth It?
Frugality has tons of sacrifices, but they add up to larger benefits in the end. It might not be an easy lifestyle, but definitely possible.
Benefits of Frugality
Are you wondering what frugal living can do to you? Glad you asked. Here are fabulous things it can do for you.
When the paint on your wall fades, you might think of contacting a professional painter. Well, you can guess how much you’re going to spend. But you can get creative and paint your walls.
Painting is a simple task that needs no skills. Get to local hardware and rent some painting tools. Designate your entire weekend to give your room a new face. You’d be surprised how much you’ll save.
You’ll also not miss out on the satisfaction and joy that comes from working with your hands.
When you live a frugal life, you continuously think of ways to circumvent buying things.
Every frugal decision and strategy works as an environmental boon. You’ll not waste food, drive less, buy few or no items, using AC sparingly, and turning off appliances to save on bills.
Instead of buying vegetables, you can have a kitchen garden to save you on grocery costs. Growing food creates a conducive, pollution-free environment.
You’ll meet more people through donating, lending, sharing, and giving your time and stuff. By helping your friends and getting assistance in return, you’ll be able to build genuine friendships and relationships.
More Savings, More Investments
This is the most obvious benefit of frugality. Living a frugal lifestyle means you’ll have more money to save and invest.
Being a savvy saver prevents you from leading your family from financial struggles. Live within your means, and you won’t get stressed over things you don’t need.
Ability to Ride out of Financial Crisis
When you’re living beyond your means, you cannot ride out of financial crisis or storms. Life happens, and an unexpected financial situation might hit you. And if you don’t have an emergency kitty, you’ll get into a terrible situation.
And this is not just about economic storms like a crashed stock market. It can be closing your business, losing your job, or medical struggles.
8 Tips to Live a Frugal Life
If you have never attempted frugality, it may seem quite a challenge at first. But don’t shy from making some changes that can give you financial freedom. And as you try various frugal strategies, remember there are no one-size-fits-all tricks.
Create and Stick to Your Budget
Creating a budget helps you get in control of your finances. It’s an excellent way of saving money for your financial goal. First, you need to determine your income and track your spending. This way, you can categorize your expenditures and make necessary adjustments.
List the fixed expenses such as a mortgage, business loan, rent, water, and electricity bills. You can figure out what to cut down. For instance, you can downsize your home to cut on rent and utility bills.
List your short and long-term goals and identify your priorities. Use the fixed expenses for accuracy in knowing what you need.
Once you document your spending and income, you can see where you use your money most. Can you reduce coffee intake from a restaurant? What about skipping a movie night and watching it at home?
You can let your buddies know that you won’t be joining them daily for evening drinks. Minimize your alcohol intake as well, and if you must take it, do it once a month.
Bike or Walk When You Can
Instead of using Uber to work daily, you can walk or bike. Alternatively, you can use public means, and you’ll be surprised how much you can save.
Walking or biking to the job station will save you some bucks and keeps you fit—talk of a double win. Walking to the workplace is an excellent way to meditate and boost your mental wellbeing.
Purchase a Car You Can Afford
Buying a car is a significant investment. It’s critically important to purchase a vehicle you can afford. First, you need to know the total loan and other inputs. Use the car calculator to determine the principal amount and interest rates.
Experts suggest that your car expenditures should not exceed 10% of your income. Don’t allow the bells and whistles of gleaming cars to overcome your logic. Remember, you’re frugal, and saving is your primary goal.
Buy Preloved Items
Buying used items is inexpensive than the new alternative. Some things are more than 90% cheaper than new items. Used items don’t require new resources, and they don’t generate pollution.
The production of products pumps a considerable amount of pollution into the air- including carbon emission, chemicals, and pesticides. For instance, a mid-sized car leads to the emission of 30,000 pounds of CO2 into the environment.
Having debts is a way of life, but sometimes it can be overwhelming such that bankruptcy becomes the only solution. This can have severe effects on your credit score. So it’s better to seek other alternatives before filing bankruptcy.
But if you eventually have to file Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, choose a reputable firm such as Leinart Law to help you navigate financial challenges. You can rebuild your credit score once the process is complete.
Paying off your debts is one way you can avoid being bankrupt. Debt leaves you with less money to spend on things you want. It also leads to stress, which in turn leads to serious health issues.
Evaluate your budget, and you can out some things like satellite TV, cable, cell phones, and Landline. How about using your skills and hobbies to earn extra coins? You can also work part-time or overtime to increase your income.
Another alternative is to ask creditors for help. They would rather get a small amount of money than no money at all. Express your financial challenges and your willingness to pay debt if they can help you ease the financial burden.
Recently, there is a great push for downsizing. Homeowners and renters realize that living large doesn’t necessarily mean living a happy and better life. Downsizing helps you stop wasting money on appliances, furniture, and electronics.
Downsizing also means cutting utility bills almost to half. You can use saved money for other projects. A smaller house is easy and fast to clean to ensure you don’t waste time. It minimizes your daily chores and maintenance activities.
Downsizing opens a new chapter in life. It teaches you how to be frugal but live a comfortable life. You only need to buy a few pieces of furniture and be creative with space.
Mix dynamic colors to draw attention to your decoration.
Being frugal doesn’t mean you miss vacations. It means traveling frugally and still have an adventurous trip. First, learn to travel during the off-season.
Traveling off-season means being able to book accommodation at reduced rates. You can get fantastic package deals from hotels that are struggling to fill their rooms. If you want to avoid crowded squares and long lines, then traveling off-season is ideal.
Opt to visit a place with a fully furnished kitchen to avoid eating out. Cooking helps you choose ingredients and the amount of food to eat.
With fewer tourists and less drowsy workers, you can take time to explore the locals. Sometimes visiting parks is free when the season is low.
Buy in Bulk
Bulk buying minimizes cost per unit, which reduces the total cost. Bulk buying reduces packaging and food waste. It also eliminates single-use and fancy packaging plastics, which are harmful to the environment.
When you buy goods in bulk, you’ll make a few trips to the market. This means reduced transport miles and fuel consumption.
The Bottom Line
Frugality needs a bit of sacrifice and discipline. However, think of it positively where you can unleash your creativity and put money under your control. Try out these few frugal lifestyle strategies and find what works best for you.
This article is originally on Arrest Your Debt.