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An example of this can be saving on the day-to-day stuff like takeaways and using the saving for a holiday, a vehicle or simply getting yourself free from debt. It can also be a great way to start building an emergency fund.
In practicing frugality, you’ll embrace a new attitude to money and spending that can increase the cash available to you for saving or whatever your heart desires. This often leaves you feeling more secure and in control which also reduces the anxiety of living from pay check to pay check.
To start living more frugally you need to create plans and make smart money choices. A frugal person cuts unnecessary spending to focus on what delivers value to them and their family. Building solid money habits and strategizing spending is easier than you’d think and the brilliant thing about the frugal lifestyle is its as flexible as you want it to be.
If you want to save money and you think frugal living might be the way forward, but you don’t know where to start, here are my top 3 frugal living money saving mantras to get you started.
1. Create a Budget
Creating a Budget is a good place to start. Check out our previous article Budgeting for Beginners in 4 Simple Steps or download our free budget planner below. When you’re trying to save, or want to adopt the frugal lifestyle, it allows you to see what you’re spending your money on and where you may need to, or have the room to, cut back. It’s a proactive visual tool that keeps you on track with your finances and helps you in live within your means.
Planning and noting your spending in black and white can be totally empowering. It works as a guide and gives you the opportunity to send your money where you want it to go, when used effectively you’ll never be left wondering where your cash went.
If you already work with a budget but its frequently blown, it enables you to see the areas of your spending that may require a little adjustment and allows you to cut costs in the areas that aren’t so important to you.
An effective budget plan is often the first step in understanding your finances and encourages solid and positive spending habits. It helps you in identifying and prioritising essential spending, such as your food, mortgage or rent, household bills, clothes, and transport costs. Then once these are sorted and paid for a budget can focus your mind on what comes next and what matters to you the most. This is often the fun stuff like holidays, hobbies or even saving or investing for the future.
2. Live Within Your Means
It’s important to approach your spending in a realistic way. Once the essentials are paid for and your emergency fund or saving buffer is catered for, it’s time to figure out what’s important to you and your loved ones.
Usually people that choose to live frugally spend consciously so have a good awareness of self and what makes them happy. They don’t waste time or blow their budget trying to keep up with Joneses or some random person on social media.
This is where you discover the hidden bonus of living frugally because it not only helps you save money, but it can also improve your life. It leads you to focus on yourself, encouraging authenticity. Hopefully you’ll build the life you really want at a pace you can afford without chaining yourself to a life of debt.
If you’re part of a couple or family, its often essential to have regular discussion to make sure everyone’s happy with whatever’s planned. It’s always easier to achieve an objective when everyone’s pulling in the same direction. When every objective is achieved its important to celebrate joint accomplishment, even if it’s just a group pat on the back or high five, sounds corny but it does feel good to say thanks and well done!
3. Shop Smart & Avoid Debt
We live in a world that that normalizes and almost encourages debt. But unless you’re investing in a necessary large ticket item or your loan is interest free don’t borrow money to buy stuff you can’t afford or don’t need, it doesn’t make sense.
Frugal people don’t like going into debt because they know that purchasing an item on credit costs more than buying it outright (interest is expensive!). It’s not that frugal people hate spending money, they hate wasting it on interest for a loan or credit card.
Obviously, it’s not always realistic to save for a car, and a mortgage is usually essential when purchasing a house. But even in these areas of spending, frugal people never go over the top, they only purchase what they can afford or need.
Do you really need a car with the biggest engine or the most sought after badge? Do you want to have to maintain a four bedroomed house when there’s only two of you? Its hard work and its costly.
If you already have a loan, or you’re in a jam and have exhausted all other avenues of support and credit is the only option, then follow these simple rules. Pay the bill off in its entirety if possible. If that’s not an option, always try to pay the instalment on time to avoid costly late payment fees. For more ways to save read our previous post How to Cut The Cost of Your Debt.
If you want, and you can ditch the debt mindset, postpone any purchase until you have the money to pay in full. This is easier to achieve if you define your savings goals as part of your budget plan, use your budget plan to figure out how much you can afford to save, and how long it will take to reach your goal.
If you’d like to find out more then you’re in luck. We’ve scoured the internet for some really great reads. If you’re a bookworm, then The Big Book of Frugal Living by Kathy Stanton is a great place to start your frugal living journey. Follow the links below to get either Kindle Unlimited FREE for 3 Months or an Audible FREE 30 day trial.
Alternatively check out “How to Be Frugal – Your Start Guide” over at practicalfrugality.com for some really great ideas.
Good Luck and thanks for reading.
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