Has your budget gotten too tight for comfort? Cutting expenses and living on less may feel overwhelming, but some simple, frugal tips can help you painlessly trim the budget and save money.
Frugal Tips for Saving Money
Here is a look at some top tips that frugal people often use to live comfortably on less.
- Never pay full price.
- Watch the cost of convenience.
- Waste less.
- Use less.
- Practice self-sufficiency.
- Buy in bulk.
- Make things last.
Keep reading for details on each to determine which ones will work the best for you.
1. Never Pay Full Price
Try to avoid paying full price whenever possible. The internet has made it easy to find used goods in excellent condition, whether you need clothing, furniture, electronics or other items. When buying used isn’t an option, search for coupons, discounts and sales before buying.
2. Watch the Cost of Convenience
Convenience items have become so commonplace that you may not always realize what you’re paying for. Paying full price for some convenience food items may cost significantly more than preparing food from scratch. How much extra do you pay for your streaming services to avoid commercials?
If paying for convenience isn’t helping you save or make money in other ways, consider cutting the expense.
3. Waste Less
Disposable products, another form of convenience, often get tossed in the trash without considering the cost. Replace some of those disposables with reusable alternatives, such as trading paper napkins for cloth.
Also, consider how much food you buy and then waste. Food waste is often a result of overbuying or improper food storage, which are easy problems to correct.
4. Use Less
Have you ever thought about whether you use more shampoo, toothpaste or dish detergent than necessary? What about electricity, water or gas? Finding ways to use less can help you save in almost every area of your budget.
5. Practice Self-Sufficiency
Before paying for a repair or service, determine if it is something you can do yourself. Perhaps you don’t want to change your car oil, but you may be able to replace the air filter or wiper blades. Cooking is also a form of self-sufficiency and a skill that can save you a lot of money.
6. Buy In Bulk
Just remember to do the math before making a bulk purchase. That bigger box isn’t always the best buy.
7. Make Things Last
Many things will last much longer with regular care and maintenance. If you’re a homeowner, neglecting your air conditioner or furnace can lead to a costly repair or replacement. From clothing to carpeting to cars, the longer you can make something last, the more you may save.
How To Start Living Frugally
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of frugality and what it means to live frugally, you may have questions and even misconceptions. The following will give you a clearer picture of what it means to live frugally.
How Do Frugal People Live?
Frugal people don’t live differently than anyone else. They’re simply skilled at finding ways to live on less while still enjoying many of life’s luxuries.
What Kind of Behavior Makes You Frugal?
Frugal people often live within their means and are proactive with their spending. They look for ways to save on most purchases. They take steps to get as much use as possible out of things before replacing them — many practice self-sufficiency.
How To Be Frugal: For Beginners
If you’re a frugal beginner, start by reducing your expenses slowly. If you drastically cut all spending to the bone, you likely won’t stick with it. You might find the transition easier if you start by trimming your necessary expenses — electricity, auto insurance, household supplies — and then focus on discretionary expenditures, such as hobbies and entertainment.
Saving Money When You’re Already Frugal
If you’ve already adopted a frugal lifestyle, you’ve likely cut back on most expenses. So how can you save money when you’re already frugal? If you do enough searching, you’re sure to find small ways to save a few more bucks here and there, but at some point, you’ll be down to a bare-bones budget. A better option may be to generate additional income, such as with a side gig or by finding a better-paying job rather than trying to save more money.
You may be looking to develop some frugal habits to alleviate a tight budget, but trying to implement too many frugal tips all at once may feel too restrictive. Pick a few and ease into your frugal lifestyle. Stick with them, and they’ll eventually become habits that can help you save money regardless of your financial situation.
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- SoFi. 2022. "Does Buying in Bulk Save Money?"