Living a frugal lifestyle does not have to be drab and boring. The act of simple living and buying things at little to no cost can be quite fulfilling. Besides that, living within (or even below) your means saves you a ton of money!
Choosing to live this way has by far been one of the smartest decisions I have ever made, particularly because I am striving for a life free of financial debt. Now don’t get me wrong, I do consider myself to be frugal, but it may not look like it to some. I still travel, a shop, and I dine out with friends.
But wait, frugal people are cheap and don’t spend their money! Well, my friend, being frugal does not mean you ostracize yourself from the world and save every penny until you eliminate all of your debt.
That’s why you’ve got to set up a budget and monitor your spending.
So, if you want to get out of debt, you going to have to start living life down the frugal highway; which means that taking on frugal habits in is a must.
Here is a list of things that frugal people simply won’t do, which saves them a ton of money:
Go on Shopping Sprees
Frugal people do not go on shopping sprees. Period.
Yes, shopping can be very therapeutic, but dropping hundreds of dollars at your favorite retail store once payday rolls around is only exciting for a season. I’ve certainly been at a point in my life where I believed that every paycheck meant for a long-awaited trip to the mall. Don’t do this!
Impulse buying is one thing to steer clear from if you want to start living a frugal lifestyle.
Buy at Retail Price
Buying the latest and greatest gadget can be somewhat tiresome. Which is why I hardly ever buy anything at retail price.
Instead, look for the items that are on sale. There’s a reason for this. It likely means that there is a bigger and better version of it out there somewhere.
Sticking to sale items has stretched my dollar that I actually end up with more funds in my monthly “fun money” budget. Which is fantastic 🙂 More money for me!
Hire Out for Help
Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of frugal people who do not have the capability to repair things or do certain tasks around the house themselves. Eventually, they hire out for help. But for the able-bodied individual, I say stick to doing the DIY projects yourself.
I won’t hire a house cleaner, a gardener, or anyone to come and fix things around my house (so grateful for a super handy husband). It’s a huge waste of our money!
If you’re able to do all of these things on your own without damaging your house (we don’t want that happening), you’re getting ahead!
Judge the Thrift Stores
When I was younger, I distinctly remember feeling embarrassed when stepping foot into the local thrift store. It was called The Purple Heart.
Looking back now, being introduced to the thrift store at such a young age has likely contributed to my extreme frugal ways.
Fast forward a decade and a half later, I look forward to going to the thrift stores and scope out the greatest deals laying on the shelves. Frugal people absolutely live for these deals.
Who knows, if you give it a shot you may even be able to flip something for profit. #Sidehustle.
Quit Side Hustling
Speaking of side hustling, every day I am looking for new ways to make an extra buck or two. Since I made the transition from a full-time career to part-time work, being on the lookout for opportunities to make extra cash is ongoing.
Flipping items or selling old belongings are all ways to make some extra cash. Currently, I have a side hustle that has the potential to bring in a couple hundred bucks a month (depending on the pace that I go).
This side hustle money isn’t only for the fun of it either. It goes straight toward my remaining debt. Using up all of my side hustle money while still in debt makes absolutely no sense to me. So until we are financially free, that’s where these funds will go.
Never quit looking for the opportunity to make more money!
Travel on Credit
Yes, I have a credit card. Yes, I am on a debt free journey. Yes, I am frugal.
I know I speak of Dave Ramsey often, so clearlyI know that he and his “true” fans don’t approve of credit card use. In fact, I’ve noticed within social media networks that there are some Dave fans who want absolutely no connection with fellow debt free journeyers who use credit cards. This is silly behavior if you ask me.
Anywho…I pay off my credit card off once, sometimes twice a month. I never ever carry a balance on it into the next month. It’s how I avoid paying on interest. *I am responsible*
With that said, charging a vacation to my credit card that I cannot pay off within 15-30 days never happens. J and I budget for our vacations, earn the perks after charging it to our credit card and pay it off almost immediately.
Traveling on credit means racking up more debt…frugal people don’t like debt.
Shop at High-End Grocery Stores
I don’t know what it is about high-end grocery stores, but they give me a feeling of importance and power. Every time I go (only for an item or two), I always want to leave with a bottle of sparkling water, fancy cheese, and a cut of fresh meat from the deli counter. It never happens. Ha.
Well, recently, I’ve chosen to switch the location from where I normally do my grocery shopping to a popular discount supermarket chain called Aldi.
Although I won’t buy certain things at this discount supermarket (like my poultry, beef, fish, or coffee creamer), I will buy everything else there. After comparing separate grocery shopping trips and buying almost identical items, I’ve proven that we save nearly 50% on our grocery shopping budget each week.
Definitely worth it, and definitely a place for the frugal minded person.
Dine Out Everyday (or even every month)
Dining out can burn a hole in your pocket if you do not budget for it. You’re in some serious trouble if you dine out every day, three times a day for that matter.
This is why I don’t dine out on the daily…or even monthly. Heck, I don’t even budget for dining out because I know I would blow those budgeted funds in a heart beat (food is literally my life…I love it so much).
Whenever we do dine out, it gets deducted from each of our monthly $40 “fun money” budgets. So, in order to save that cash, I make my food at home. Crockpots are extremely useful these days!
Hoard on Junk Food
If there is one thing that I’ve learned since living a frugal lifestyle, that would be how easy it is to start living a much healthier lifestyle.
Buying your typical pack of cookies, tubs of ice cream, and boxes of cereal just don’t fall within our grocery budget. So, we bypass all of that.
Hoarding on junk food is an absolute no-no in my household, 95% of the time. And trust me, it never goes unnoticed. I’ve had visitors make comments that we “don’t have anything to eat”.
Uhm, excuse me? Yes, we do. Help yourself to an apple or some carrots 🙂
Buy Coffee Every. Single. Day.
Gourmet coffee goes for nearly $5 a cup (the smallest size to give you a clearer picture). I just can’t justify spending that much money on my beloved coffee every single day.
Let’s do some math: as I mentioned above, the average cup of gourmet coffee costs around $5 a cup. If you drink coffee Monday through Friday, that comes out to be about $1,200 spent on coffee per year!!
More, if you buy a yummy doughnut to along go with each purchase.
This is why I take the frugal route. I buy a tub of coffee grounds and brew my coffee right in the comfort of my own home.
Pay for a Gym Membership
I am not as active as I used to be (since becoming a mom. I know, lame excuse), but I still won’t pay for a gym membership to get me back into the groove. Reason being, because I likely won’t go and I actually have a decent amount of exercise equipment in my home.
Gym memberships can cost you around $40 a month. And if you are employed, you are probably eligible for a monthly discount if you go 12 times a month. If you this dedicated you can actually get a pretty good.
I’ve taken advantage of this promotion, and let me tell ya, there’s a lot of pressure when you’re nearing the end of the month and have only gone to the gym 7 times.
I say skip the gym. Work out at home.
So, the next time you are out and ready to make a decision that could impact your finances in a negative way, think first. Frugal living does not have to be a chore, tiresome, or depressing. It can actually be very rewarding in the end.
You just have to be patient enough.
What are some other frugal ways you find that help you get ahead financially?
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