Who doesn’t want to learn how to save more on their daily expenses? Times are tough and even those with money may want to live frugally to ensure their money lasts.
If you’re planning for retirement, have a family and kids or even if you’re a college student looking to have a little more left over at the end of the week, here are 5 frugal living ideas you can begin using today.
5 Frugal Living Ideas:
1. Adjust your monthly food budget – How much do you spend on food? Chances are high that you’re spending more than you should be, even if you’re already trying to pinch pennies. The first step? Stop eating out. The food is overpriced and it’s usually not good for you anyway. If you love eating out, make it a special treat for only once a week or once a month.
Another good tip is to reduce the amount of pre-processed foods you buy. These foods are expensive and they don’t have as many nutrients as fresh foods, meaning you get hungry again end up eating more. Some other ways to save on your monthly food budget are to use coupons and to save your leftovers. So many families throw perfectly good food in the trash. That’s like throwing your money away!
2. Pool your resources – When you reach out to those around you and begin to share your resources, you can really save some money. Create a trade or barter group to get rid of extra and buy things at a cheaper rate. Carpool with other families to save gas and keep your car running longer. Get in close with other parents and work together to handle the costs and responsibilities of raising kids. A nice set of hand me downs can work wonders when money is tight.
3. Commit to a “no-cost” entertainment schedule – We spend money all the time on entertainment. Going to the movies costs nearly fifty bucks for an average couple with tickets, popcorn, drinks, candy. You get the idea. Want to attend a concert? Chances are you will spend some serious cash there too. If you really want to drop your spending, commit to a no-cost entertainment lifestyle for a time.
Spend a month only doing things that are free or very low cost. Take a walk, go swimming, play some basketball or camp out for the weekend. These are only a small handful of ideas that you can add to with a little thought.
4. Reduce, reuse and recycle– By practicing the 3 R’s, you’re helping the environment and your bank account at the same time. You should start with reducing any bills, obligations or purchases you don’t have to make. You can also reduce clutter in your home and sell it on a site such as Craigslist or trade it for things you need, avoiding having to buy new.
You should also try to find ways to reuse things whenever possible. There are different degrees of what is “acceptable” when it comes to reusing and really only you can decide what works for you. Look at your own life and habits and examine some ways that you can reuse things and save money.
Finally, recycle when you can and accept recycled items. If you must buy new, consider buying products made from recycled materials. You complete the circle.
5. Avoid long term commitments and contracts– Many people get sucked in by “good deals” that offer you something for free in exchange for a long term commitment or contract. The perfect example would be cell phone plans. This is tricky because it may seem like a good idea up front. In the long run, you’re paying more whether you need it or not and if you try to get out of the contract, you’ll be hit with big penalties.
Are there any other important things that you do to help save in your everyday life? Are there any tips you would add to these frugal living ideas?
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