Tips for living a frugal lifestyle are rather simple to follow provided you have patience and a willingness to pay attention to what you are doing 100% of the time. Living a frugal lifestyle has many advantages such as ensuring you have an emergency fund, keeping you within your financial means and giving you piece of mind that you will have everything that you need.
There is no need to go without while learning to live frugally. Living frugally simply means that you learn how to save and spend wisely. You also learn how to be more self reliant.
While it is rather exhausting at first to live frugally, after a while it becomes a habit. There are times when you won’t realize that you are doing it. Examining each area of your life individually will help you to recognize areas where your expenses can be reduced and a savings no matter how small seen. The most important thing in living a frugal lifestyle is to remember that you have to continue living and not stop everything in an effort to save or you won’t be living.
Reducing the amount spent on bills each month is a major part of living frugally. Simple things like going to a budget billing system for your utilities so you know how much the bill is going to be each month will help you to live a more frugal lifestyle. Once you have all of the bills under control and your budget set you are ready to truly become frugal.
Tracking expenses will help to live frugally as well. All you need is a tiny notebook to write everything down in and the willingness to get receipts from all of your purchases. The tiny notebook is so you can write down those expenses that you don’t often get receipts for such as gas purchases you paid cash for and forgot to ask. When you get home copy them into a ledger and you begin to get an accurate picture of what you are seeing.
Get a piggy bank or simply clean out an old drink bottle and put all of your change in it at the end of the day. When you don’t’ spend your change you’re living frugally through savings. Not all of it has to go but there is no need to carry all of your change around. When the jar gets full roll the change in it and put it into a savings account that you do not touch.
Clothes shopping can be done rather frugally rather simply. Take a look around your local thrift stores or consignment shops to find clothes for under $5 and up to $20 an item; some will still have the tags on them. While not everything will be this cheap you will find that there are often name brand clothing items to be found at less than half of the original sales price. Thrift stores and consignment shops aren’t the only options for frugal purchases on clothes either.
Planning trips to the grocery store in advance will go a long way in living frugally. The Sunday paper often has the sales ads for various stores and there are weekly circulars that are delivered to your mailbox each week. Utilize these to compare the prices and find out where you should be shopping this week. These are also great sources for finding coupons on food and household items that many of us use on a regular basis.
Get the scissors and clip those coupons on the items you use frequently. Filing them by the expiration date will help to ensure that you use them before they expire. There are also sources online for printing out your own coupons such as Coolsavings.com. You go through and check the coupons you need that week and print them out three to a page right on your computer. As long as you print them so the bar code scans the stores will take them. Match the coupons to the sales and save even more hopefully ending up spending less than the generic and store brands.
Once you have your shopping under control it’s time to do some work yourself. Planting a garden is one way to cut those grocery bills and live more frugally than even shopping thrift stores and double coupon days. Remember you can either can or freeze items out of the garden to eat during the winter months when you can’t grow them. When stocking the freezer with either meat items you have found on sale or items out of your garden remember to keep the oldest items on top to ensure they are used first.
Living frugally also means that you have to find new uses for items around your home instead of buying new when ever you find a need for something. There are thousands of ways to increase the amount of frugal living that is done although some things are taking it to the extreme. Boundaries must be put on frugal living just like anything else.