Does frugal living mean depriving yourself of all the life pleasures, to make sure you can spare a couple of pennies here and there? That and much more is about to be answered here, so read it thoroughly. Not in the slightest degree. Frugal living isn’t about penance and hardship; it’s tied in with living in a more organized manner so that you can afford the lifestyle you have always desired.
Frugal living is just being deliberate with your cash. That implies prioritizing the essential things and spending on them and not wasting your valuable savings on things that aren’t significant enough.
One real-life example of this is in my wardrobe. I only buy minimal store clothes. Saving a couple of dollars on my clothing means I can spare more for my fun trips. I couldn’t care less about my jeans’ brand name, but I do think about my annual trips to Italy.
Today I am going to take you through how frugal living has completely changed my life. Not only has it permitted me to get out of debt and spare an immense lump of cash, but I was able to do enough savings to build an online business and travel the world with my family.
Another misconception that I want to address here is that Frugal and cheap are often labeled the same and used interchangeably. On the contrary, they are not the same.
A cheap individual would purchase the least expensive version of the thing they require, and it would presumably break on them. The frugal person would joyfully get a good deal on stuff like fancy meals and designer labels, so their annual family vacation trip is not compromised. So basically, frugal living means balance living.
Another example of how to be frugal without being cheap is the point at which you go out for supper. A frugal person would decide to simply have a meal rather than first opting for a starter, and drink table water rather than wine and save enough to still give a generous tip. However, a cheap individual would hold back on the tip.
I hope I was convincing enough to make you want to adopt frugal living. And if that’s the case, let’s dive right in- and find out what the frugal lifestyle actually means? I’ve enlisted a few tips for that very purpose. By following these few frugal tips, I’ve gone from spendaholic to saver, and life is more comfortable than it has ever been.
I have applied almost all of these tips in my day to day life, and it has given me so much freedom that I highly doubt myself going back to a non-frugal lifestyle.
36 Best Frugal Living Tips
1. Start off by creating a monthly budget
One pro-tip for doing so is doing budget backward. You have to focus on keeping your expenses minimal. A budget that meets your lifestyle can go a long way at saving you some cash. I would also suggest adding a fun category in your budget as well because you definitely don’t want your next friends outing to blow away your savings portion.
2. Repay your debts fast
Increasing your debt payments can prove quite beneficial in the long run as it will save you the interest money. You don’t want to pay back your loans twice than what there with 0 interest. You have to try doing this for frugal living in the future.
3. Find a way to earn extra money
As cliché as it may sound, the best way to save money is to expand your source of income. If you believe you are already living a frugal lifestyle and still can’t make any savings, you have to find a way to earn extra money. Nowadays, there are endless possibilities for that, you can always explore different types of online businesses as well.
4. Use Gift cards
Frugal living means avoiding any unnecessary spending, and that includes expensive gifts as well. Always try to pay for the gifts using your gift cards that you might have earned from the online surveys etc.
5. Make a special budget for holidays
A frugal person lives ahead of his time. You must plan for every significant happening in your life beforehand. For example, if you know the holidays in December are going to be a little tough on the pocket, you must start making a budget for that in May / June.
6. Avail maximum cashback
Try and avail of all the promotional apps and trends which offer payback service. These few dollars combined over the course of a year, become a considerable amount.
7. Add an emergency fund to your budget
You never know when one of your household gadgets is going to crash. Or when are you going to face any medical emergency in your family? So, you must be prepared for that and have enough funds exclusively for that purpose to take care of it.
8. Say no to more debts
Avoiding debt where possible, is one of the best advice that anyone can give you. If you have a properly planned budget and lifestyle, you won’t need any loans or debts. If you want to use some items once or twice, try borrowing instead of buying.
9. Downsize the home
Living in an extra-large house can be comforting but also be quite heavy on the pocket as well. Downsizing your home to a smaller apartment is going to save you a lot of money every month. Big spaces have big expenses.
10. Only keep minimal possessions
A frugal lifestyle demands simplicity in your everyday life. For that, you must sell all of your (not-so) essential possessions. Not only would it earn you some cash, but it would also save you their maintenance cost.
11. Planning your meal
If you want to save your time and your money, you must plan your meal. Simply consider what you already have in your kitchen and what more do you need for your meals. That way, you won’t be buying anything that is not required.
12. Cook Double-batch
Cooking your meals in bulk and freezing it can save you a lot of time and money.
13. Don’t let a hot oven go wasted
My favorite tip on the list, don’t let a hot oven go wasted!
If you have used the oven to cook some roasted dinner and are now done, but the oven is hot, you can prepare some muffins, and who does not love muffins!!
14. Learn coffee making at home
Learning how to make good coffee can be challenging at the beginning, but slowly you’ll master the art. You definitely don’t want to waste $5 on each coffee cup every day. Buy yourself a home espresso machine and stop spending that $5 per day. Trust me, give it some practice, you can quickly learn this.
15. Use cold water for washing clothes
If you want your clothes to last longer, then wash your clothes with cold water. It will preserve the dyes and won’t shrink your clothes either so you don’t have to spend racks on new clothes.
16. Line dry over electric Dryer
If you don’t own an electric dryer, you don’t need one. Line drying is an essential way of saving money and living frugally. You don’t have to spend money on the electricity or dryer sheets by switching to line drying.
If you have a backyard, use that; if you have a garage, use that.
17. Pantry shopping
Frugal meals can be tricky for those who are not regular in the kitchen. You don’t want to be extra creative in cooking if you are trying to live a frugal lifestyle. You should prefer using whatever you already have and buy whatever is missing for your frugal meal.
18. Store Brand items
I went about it because every time I went out shopping, I substituted one brand item with the store brand. This has helped me reduce my daily life spending to minimal.
19. Used items over brand new
Buying brand new items can be a little heavy on the pocket. Instead, if you’ll opt for already used things that are in a relatively good condition and can do the job for you- that will save you a lot of money. You can also try borrowing from a friend if you want to use it once or twice.
20. Homemade cleaners over brand cleaners
One has a lot of margin for savings in cleaning products. Frugal living means being adaptive and creative, if you’ll make a cleaning product at home, that will save you a lot of money.
21. LED bulbs over traditional bulbs or tube lights
You don’t have to replace all your bulbs to LED bulbs straight away. You can simply replace the ones who stop working with new LED bulbs. LED lamps are quite efficient when it comes to power consumption.
22. Breastfeed your kids (p.s. Only For Moms)
If the mother is healthy enough, then you should always ask for breastfeeding your newborn. Not only is it budget efficient, but it is also way more beneficial for the kid’s growth.
23. Don’t over-buy baby toys and stuff
Babies don’t need that much, so don’t let the baby stores fool you. Only go in when you know precisely what you are looking for and only buy that and come back. Prepare a list of minimalist things that your baby needs and stick to that.
24. Hand-me-down Clothes
Generally, kids are not very particular about new clothing. You should buy new undergarments and shoes, etc. However, except for that, the hand-me-downs of elder siblings do the job quite nicely.
Kids really don’t need new clothing. The only things we buy new for our kids are underwear and shoes (although I do purchase used shoes if I find quality items in the thrift store).
25. Talking money to your kids
Learning to live a frugal life at a young age is the best time to do so. If I had adopted this living at a young age, I would not have been facing debts. Money management is the most important thing that parents should teach their kids.
26. Frugal hobbies for families
Having fun with your family does not mean spending extra on a fancy meal at an expensive restaurant. Free fun activities can also be enjoyable and frugal.
27. Get rid of your second car
If you feel like managing your life without a second car, do that. The maintenance cost of a vehicle and the fuel cost makes it tough to afford all of that.
28. Revive your bike-days
Cycling is useful in so many ways. It is good for physical health, it is suitable for mental health, and what’s more? It is ideal for financial health. Cycling benefits are numerous, so I suggest you resume your cycling journey once again.
29. Use of Public Library
The most underrated tip on this list is using the public library. From borrowing books to access newspapers, magazines, online course materials, and much more, libraries greatly help in student life.
30. Toy Library
Generally, you won’t have enough money or space to buy all the toys that you want your kids to have, that is why toy libraries are quite useful.
31. Adapting frugal hobbies & activities
Some several hobbies and activities can make your day a lot more productive and meaningful and save you a lot of money. Hobbies like gardening, online blogging, baking, etc. are seen to have quite a positive impact on one’s mental health as well.
32. Replicate cheap double glazing
Replicating the double glazing on the cheap can result in a lower electric bill. For cold countries like Germany, the dry and warm bedroom is nothing short of a blessing and that too in such a budget efficient way.
33. Cutting out cable connection
Cutting the cable won’t just save me around $700 annually, but it would also allow me to adopt healthy and productive hobbies like book reading, blog writing, etc.
34. Say no to smoking
It may sound close to impossible, but trust many of us have managed to pull it off. Smoking cigarettes is an expensive task in itself, and when that is topped up with the associated costs (like a beer or a soda), it is an excellent waste of money. Also, in the longer run, it is going to have healthier benefits.
35. Use plain water
Coffees and beers etc. add a lot of calories to our body, and on top of that, they are quite heavy on the pocket.
36. Train yourself
Hiring an expert for a smaller problem is obviously going to be a lot expensive. So you should instead try doing stuff yourself. It might take some extra time and effort, but not only would you be learning a skill but also saving a lot of money.
Why should you live frugally? Firstly, because it will allow you to spend much less than what you earn. Then you can use the difference to do some savings, pay off your pending debts, or even invest in some extra earning prospects. No one is stopping you from doing all 3 as well. Or all three.
Secondly, when you learn the art of frugal living and know how to manage in less. Then there are plenty of options for you, from taking early retirements to plan your favorite trips more often.