Part One: Tips for Living Frugally and Living Life to the Max
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While some may think that living frugally means depriving yourself of the things you love and eating beans on toast for dinner every night, adopting a frugal lifestyle does not need to mean following this limited lifestyle.
Instead, you can make sensible changes in your life that can still allow you to enjoy the things that you love and help you to save money! This article will guide you through some tips and tricks to give you the know-how so that you can apply to your everyday lifestyle and reap the money-saving benefits!
Table of Contents
What does living frugally mean?
Frugal living, in a nutshell, means to take intentional steps to spend less money on unnecessary items and instead investing in important things.
Frugal living is a way of life, and there are people that take frugal living to the extreme and live without watching TV or having hot showers, but ultimately you can still save money by making small life changes.
Anyone can incorporate money saving tips into their lifestyle regardless of how much money you have and eventually, these small changes will make a difference in your savings and prevent you from wasting money and getting into debt.
Getting on top of your Finances
The success to living a frugal lifestyle starts with organising your finances and figuring out where you are spending money unnecessarily and how you could save money.
A good tip of how to approach your finances is to buy a budget diary which allows you to itemise what you have purchased and see how much money you are spending each week/month and where you could save money.
Colour coding your expenses into categories such as direct debits, food and travel costs allows you to see at a glance your monthly fees such as the bills that you have pending and, for example, how often you are spending money eating out.
Knowing how much money you have coming in and going out of your account each month will allow you to approximate what disposable income you will have to play around with so you won’t need to worry about missing out on going with your friends for dinner as you will have already slotted this in to your budget diary.
Frugal living tip -
Many people accumulate a lot of debt and often feel out of control in figuring out how to begin paying off debt. However, that is not to say that if you are in debt, you cannot live a frugal life.
Knowing exactly how much debt you owe and to who allows you to make the necessary steps to start paying it off and saving money each month will help you to be able to achieve this and become debt free.
Setting up a savings account is another good way of managing your finances and allows you to start saving up towards a particular goal whether that is a new car, a holiday or for early retirement.
If you set aside a small amount of money each month and put it into your savings account, it will over time accumulate. Having savings allows you to have an emergency fund should you need it and it also gives you extra money to go towards your disposable income.
Everyday Tips for How to Save Money
After organising your finances the next step to living frugally is to start implementing everyday changes into your life. As the saying goes from great elms, little acorns grow and by making a series of small changes and new adopting new habits you will over time save a lot of money which will allow you to invest this saved money into something more meaningful.
Most of us can identify with wasting a fair amount of money on food and drink. Something as simple as spending money on a coffee en route to work every day is a small luxury costing around $4.
But you don’t have to do away with these little enjoyments as there are ways around spending this additional money. Investing in a travel mug that keeps your coffee warm will allow you to make your coffee in the mornings at home. Also make a packed lunch instead of buying lunch to help you save those $’s.
Meal planning is quickly becoming more and more popular as it allows you to sit down and itemise exactly what you need to eat every day versus what you want to eat, stopping you from spending money unnecessarily on food items that you do not need. Batch cooking also allows you to make meals in bulk which is perfect if you are cooking for a family.
lovefoodhatewaste.com is an excellent site to discover recipe ideas on how to use leftovers and make food last.
Freezing batch cooking will also ensure that you have food at the ready should you not have anything in the fridge.Ordering food online removes the temptation that occurs when you go to the shops and will also help you save money on petrol as delivery slots are as cheap as $3.
Another easy tip for how to save money on food is to switch from buying branded goods to purchasing own brands. Very often the quality of the product does not decrease, and it also skims off a good chunk of money to allow you to buy a treat at the end of your shop such as your favourite branded ice cream.
Travel costs slowly eat away your cash each month, but there are ways to minimise spending and take advantage of good deals.
Reducing your journeys can help save both petrol and public transport costs.
For example, in Melbourne, public transport could only cost you approx $8 a day for a round trip to and from the city, and any public transport within the CBD is free.
Walking or cycling to work or the train station lowers carbon emissions and saves you money on the bus and petrol costs
Cheap Daytrips/Nights Out
It’s still possible to have fun while living frugally whether that be during the day or night. Museums, art galleries and parks are excellent examples of day trips that are free.
In the summer it can be fun to make up a picnic and go to a park and in the winter, enclosed botanical gardens and art galleries make excellent options. Libraries are unique places to spend a day too. It costs nothing to read newspapers, use the library laptops and rent books and DVDs which makes for cheap entertainment.
Websites such as “Groupon”offer money-saving deals on a range of different things from discounted meals to spa experiences
If you are looking for something to do with friends while still living a frugal lifestyle, many restaurants provide discounted menus throughout the week such as pre-theatre menus. Also, most bars offer ‘happy hour’ which can mean discounted drinks or two for the price of one.
Meeting friends and taking advantage of these deals makes for a cheap yet fun night out and if you’re looking for some entertainment, many pubs offer trivia which cost as little as $5 to partake in.
Many students find that the first time that their student loan drops into their account and they have to pay off rent and buy food that they don’t have enough money left over to enjoy themselves.
However, making a conscious effort to save money as a student will help you in the future. It can be beneficial to put aside a small amount of your student loan into a savings account that over time will build up interest.
Tips such as buying a student cookbook and taking advantage of student deals can help you to save extra money and will allow you to develop good habits for later in life.
Read on for long term Frugal Tips to Save Money here…
There are multiple ways to save money and as this article has shown it is more than possible to live frugally while still living your life to the max!
Saving cash will in the long term set you up for a better future as you will be in a better financial position to spend money on the things that you want without worrying about wasting it.
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