The Frugal Minimalist: 9 Tips To Saving Money by Living With Less

A woman calculates her expenses while standing in the kitchen
fizkes /

In an era where excess is often the norm, adopting a minimalist approach to your finances can be not just refreshing, but financially rewarding. Caught between the allure of the newest gadgets and the pursuit of fiscal stability, many are discovering that less can indeed be more. Minimalism offers a solution, a way to live with less but enjoy life more fully.

Frugal Living vs Minimalism: What’s the Difference?

While both frugal living and minimalism aim to simplify life and manage financial resources wisely, they differ in a few ways.

  • Frugal living focuses primarily on saving money and reducing expenses. It’s a budget-conscious lifestyle.
  • Minimalism is about reducing life to only the essentials. It’s a design principle that applies to lifestyle choices, favoring experiences and personal growth over the accumulation of things.

Frugality asks, “Can I afford this?” while minimalism asks, “Do I need this?” A frugal person may delight in a bargain, but a minimalist assesses the utility and necessity of every purchase, regardless of the price. Integrating both can lead to a life rich in experiences, with a robust bank account to match.

9 Tips To Saving Money by Living With Less

Embarking on a journey of frugality and minimalism doesn’t mean giving up on life’s joys — it’s about choosing to live with less. Here’s a look at nine tips that blend the art of minimal living with the sensibility of frugal habits:

  1. Embrace the one-in, one-out rule
  2. Unsubscribe and unplug
  3. The 30-day purchase rule
  4. Master the art of DIY
  5. Focus on experiences, not possessions
  6. Quality over quantity
  7. Go green to save green
  8. Simplify your space
  9. Regular financial check-ins
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Tip 1: Embrace the One-In, One-Out Rule

Minimalism isn’t about deprivation — it’s about finding balance. The one-in, one-out rule means for every new item you bring into your life, remove one. This practice curbs impulsive shopping and keeps your space uncluttered and your expenses in check.

Tip 2: Unsubscribe and Unplug

In the digital world, many are bombarded with targeted ads and newsletters that fuel shopping desires. Take control by unsubscribing from marketing emails and unplugging from social media platforms that often promote comparison and unnecessary spending.

Tip 3: The 30-Day Purchase Rule

To lessen your impulse buying, you should stand by the 30-day rule for all non-essential purchases. If you still think the item is necessary after 30 days, it’s likely a worthwhile investment. Often, you’ll forget about it, which just goes to show it wasn’t that important.

Tip 4: Master the Art of DIY

There’s a hidden craftsman in all of us. Embrace DIY for home repairs, cooking and even gifts. YouTube and community workshops are goldmines for learning new skills that can turn into serious savings.

Tip 5: Focus on Experiences, Not Possessions

The joy from new possessions fades quickly, but memories last a lifetime. Invest in experiences like concerts, classes and travel. These can enrich your life rather than things that will just gather dust.

Tip 6: Quality Over Quantity

Buying for life doesn’t mean buying cheap, it means buying well. Invest in fewer, higher-quality items that will last. It’s more sustainable for the planet and your wallet.

Tip 7: Go Green To Save Green

Eco-friendly isn’t just good for the Earth, it’s good for your bank account. Save on utilities by conserving water and electricity, and cut transportation costs by walking, biking or using public transport.

Make Your Money Work for You

Tip 8: Simplify Your Space

Your environment reflects your mind. A cluttered space often leads to a cluttered mind and wallet. Simplify your living space, which will not only save you money on home decor but also give you a sense of peace and order.

Tip 9: Regular Financial Check-Ins

Track your spending, review your savings and set financial goals regularly. This habit ensures you’re making conscious spending decisions and are on track to reach your financial milestones.

Final Take

Adopting a minimalist mindset doesn’t happen overnight. With these steps, you’ll find that living with less not only saves money but can make room for more experiences and ultimately, a more fulfilling life. The journey towards minimalism and frugality is personal — as you pare down your possessions and focus on what adds true value to your life, you’ll notice a shift in your financial health and personal well-being. Remember, minimalism isn’t about having less for the sake of less — it’s about making more room for what truly matters.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding frugal and minimalist lifestyles.
  • What is a frugal lifestyle?
    • A frugal lifestyle is a conscious choice to prioritize spending on what truly matters and cutting back on non-essential expenses. It's about being resourceful, making the most of each dollar and finding happiness in simplicity rather than extravagance.
  • Do minimalists save money?
    • Minimalists often save money as a natural consequence of their lifestyle. By focusing on what they need rather than what they want, they reduce their spending, avoid debt and prioritize savings and investments over material possessions.
  • Can minimalists be rich?
    • Absolutely, minimalists can be rich — not just in terms of financial wealth but also in quality of life. Minimalism can lead to substantial savings and investments over time. By reducing the desire for constant consumption, minimalists can accumulate wealth in a more meaningful and intentional way.
Make Your Money Work for You

Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.


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