When people hear the word frugal, they often think of the other person as being miserly or obsessed with money. The truth is that you can be frugal and not think about money for most of the day.
Living frugally is not about being cheap or miserly – the idea is that you are going to live within your means whenever possible. People who are frugal still enjoy their lives, buy expensive items now and then, and go on vacations. They simply do those things within a set budget.
One of the advantages of being frugal is that you can easily pay down any debts that you may incur. Those who are in heavy debt may want to adopt a frugal lifestyle to pay back their loans.
Below are some tips on living frugally.
The first step to a frugal life is to have a proper budget for all the money you are earning and spending. Start by listing out the spending that you must do each month, such as your rent and utility bills.
Then you can think about your other spending, which includes essentials for the house, groceries, gas for your car, and medicine. When you have made it through all these expenses, you can look into any loans that you may owe.
Ensure there is room in your budget to pay back your loans through monthly installments, and also try to save at least $100 a week so that you are quickly adding money to your savings account.
Create a Meal Plan
Having a meal plan for your upcoming week is the best way to ensure that you are saving money when buying groceries. Figure out what you will be eating for each meal during the week, and then you will only buy the appropriate items at the store.
Such shopping ensures there is no waste, and even allows you to meal prep on Saturdays or Sundays for the rest of the week. Then you will be in good shape to eat during the weekdays, and you will not rely on buying takeout from a nearby restaurant or ordering delivery to your house.
While you may find that meal planning is boring, there is no rule that says you have to eat the same things every week. You can create a giant list of your favorite dishes and then rotate through that list in different weeks, ensuring you are always mixing up your lunches and dinners.
Borrow Only When the Terms are Good
Being frugal does not mean you should never borrow money, as you may sometimes need extra cash to pay off an unexpected expense. Maybe you have some medical bills or you needed to get your car repaired quickly.
Do not go for loans with bad terms, as those are only going to cause you headaches. Choose direct lender installment loans with instant approval, as such a loan is very easy to pay back. You can get lower interest rates on these loans, and you can pay them over time.
Coupon Whenever Possible
There is a misconception about couponing, as people believe that you are somehow lower class or lesser than others if you are using coupons. The truth is that it does not matter whether you are shopping for groceries or a new handbag – using discounts and coupons will save you money.
Couponing has never been easier, as you can easily download mobile apps for most stores where you can directly get access to special discounts and savings. If you ever get any manufacturer coupons, hold onto them and use them at your local store when you make your purchases.
Sell Unnecessary Belongings
If you are like most people who have a large apartment or a home, you probably have many belongings that you do not need. There are likely some furniture items, clothes, accessories and electronics that you do not use for most of the year.
Rather than having those items collecting dust, you could sell them online and make a good amount of money. Any older items that are not selling can be donated for a tax deduction, which will also save you money.
Live Frugally and Freely
Being frugal in your life does not mean you are constrained. Rather, a person who is frugal is going to have a lot more money, and they will not have as much debt.
If you have a lot of loans that you need to pay back, adopting a frugal lifestyle is the best way to take control of your finances. The above tips should help you with this goal.