Living on a shoestring budget – How To Live a More Frugal Lifestyle

By | March 7, 2017

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It’s easy to say that you want to save more money. It’s harder to actually implement that. Living a frugal life calls for a lifestyle change. You have more options with a frugal lifestyle. … far more.

There are plenty of reasons to live a more frugal lifestyle.

You might be saving up for a big vacation or new car. Me, I’m saving to demolish my house and build two new ones. Maybe you want to reject consumerism and trim your budget.

I’m new to this frugal lifestyle, and I have to say I’ve surprised myself how easy it’s been. You see, I’ve never been a cheapskate. I am also a shopaholic, so I thought it would be really hard for me to stop spending so much. But, no. It has come easily. All I needed was absolute conviction to my SMART goal and to bring the family along for the ride.

Conviction to your goal or lifestyle choice is like a knot in your stomach. Like something gnawing at the back of your skull. It’s there all the time. You can feel it, see it, dream about it. It envelops you, adds another layer to your life, subsumes you.

But, not everyone can find that conviction to spending less and living with less.

Here are some tips to help you ease into the frugal life.

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Simple Ways to Slash Your Budget ‎

  • Using an online coupon service is an excellent way to help your family save money and live a more frugal lifestyle
  • Read up on personal finance
  • Avoid other fees
  • Cut the cable
  • Trade and borrow with friends
  • Use the library

Travelling on a budget

  • If you’re married, share a car with your wife
  • Pay auto insurance annually, instead of every six months. There’s usually a nice discount if you do this.
  • Carpool.
  • Don’t speed. You use more gas when you do and you risk getting a costly ticket.
  • Plan trips where you have friends and family.
  • Always negotiate for hotel rooms.
  • When flying, bring your own snacks.

Buying on a frugal budget

  • Buy your basic clothing at a thrift store.
  • Buy staples in bulk
  • Don’t enroll in your bank’s overdraft protection program
  • Foster a DIY mentality

It’s surprising how easy it is to make little changes throughout the different areas of your life. You will be amazed to see how fast these small changes can add up and leave you with extra money in your pockets and in the bank. And you also might be surprised to find out how fun being frugal is–really! It becomes like a game where you’re always trying to figure out ways to cut costs.

Frugally take care of yourself

  • The healthier you are, the less likely it is that you’ll have to make visits to the doctor and spend money on medications
  • Exercise and eating right are simple things you can do to stay healthy and reduce medical costs
  • Take care of your teeth. Dental corrections like fillings and root canals can cost an arm and a leg. Invest three minutes of your day, morning and night, to proper dental hygiene
  • Stop smoking
  • Ditch the gym membership and create a DIY Gym

Eat WellFrugality with shopping and food

  • Shop with a list
  • Cut back on packaged food – buy fresh
  • Cut back on convenience foods
  • Learn how to make cheap meals yourself
  • Make leftover friendly food
  • Brown bag your lunch
  • Make your own coffee
  • Drink more water
  • Limit going out to eat to one time a week or less
  • Eating out is fun, but far more expensive than eating at home.
  • If you explain to your friends and family that you’re trying to live a more frugal lifestyle, they’ll be less likely to pressure you into one more round of drinks.
  • Grow your own vegetables
  • Buy store brands
  • Have a weekly menu

Spending less on services

  • Feed your mind online
  • Keep an eye on subscription services
  • Rethink your hobbies
  • Use free tools and software for all your computing needs
  • Refill ink cartridges instead of buying new ones
  • Change your own oil
  • Print in draft mode. It uses less ink
  • If you have a cell phone, get rid of your land line

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Being frugal when you need to buy something big

  • When you buy new computers or printers, keep the old cables
  • Buy refurbished
  • Buy quality
  • Have a 30 day waiting period for big purchases
  • Use cash
  • Learn to haggle
  • Buy your car used

Keeping your frugal purchases for longer

  • Buy quality
  • Regularly clean the coils on the back of your refrigerator
  • Keep your freezer full

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Be frugal with your power usage

  • Whenever you leave a device plugged into a wall socket, it continues to constantly draw a small amount of energy. All those plugged in appliances can take a toll on your electric bill
  • Put on a sweater or open up a window
  • Turn off the lights
  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs
  • Plant shade trees
  • Install aerating, low-flow faucets and shower heads to limit your water usage
  • Lower the Water Heating Temperature

Save money with frugal Gifts

  • Make your own gifts
  • Offer to give a service, like mowing someone’s lawn each week for the entire summer instead of buying them a gift.
  • You can put together a coupon book for someone like your wife, with coupons redeemable for things like “one free back rub”.

Doing things on the cheap

  • Board games
  • Matinee and Dollar movies
  • Free cultural events and lectures that are open to the public

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If you want to start to live frugally, you’ll best get there slowly and methodically — as unglamorous as it sounds. But in this slow-and-steady approach, it’s easy to lose sight of the ball. Remember that you decided to start living frugally for a reason, and that reason is attached to a goal. If you stick to living frugally in a manageable way and track your progress, you’ll reach those goals — and then some.

Your frugal lifestyle is just that — a lifestyle, not a passing fancy.

In my post about “10 Ways to Dig Yourself Out of Debt“, I touched briefly on this subject. But I never really set frugality as a goal for myself until this year. This is my year for ridding all of my debt and embarking on a BIG project next year when the debt is gone.

The better you get at being frugal, the more fun it is and the more motivated you are.

 

Living On A Dime – Save Money And Get Out Of Debt
Learn Easy Frugal Living Techniques To Live Better For Less
Including How To Save Money, Get Out Of Debt , Create A Budget,
And Make The Most Of What You Have!

Check out the masses of ideas for frugal living at Living on a Dime!

Living On A Dime

I hope you’ve found some ideas above,
and I hope that this post has spurred
you into action to living frugally.

Making Plans and Setting Goals for Your Brightest Future

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