The word frugal is often viewed in an unfairly negative light. People associate it with others who are cheap, not generous and generally live in a sparse and empty way. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A frugal lifestyle is far from sacrificing your quality of life, it is a chance to add more value and only spend on those things that really matter to you. Frugality doesn’t mean giving up your favourite food or luxuries, it means not overspending in stupid areas and maximising your income. Below are some of the most effective ways of increasing your frugality and boosting your bank balance, allowing for more of those treats and extra things you enjoy.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Creating and sticking to a budget is the linchpin of a frugal lifestyle. It is fundamental to achieving financial success and while few people find budgeting fun, many find it rewarding. You can set priorities within your budget (once you’ve sorted to the necessities) and ruthlessly cut out areas where you see definite overspending or unnecessary cash leaking from your account – do you really need to be subscribed to three different streaming services for example?
Meal planning is one of the most laborious and time-consuming tasks for many households but the cash you save makes the slog feel worth it. Planning as many meals as possible means you have less excuse for endless takeaways and you can even avoid buying lunch at work when it’s ready-made from ingredients at home. You can save money every single day as you eat what has been planned and only shop for the essentials you need in line with your plan.
Sell Things You Don’t Need
The stuff we hang onto with no good reason can quickly pile up. Old clothes, books, DVDs and many more items can be quickly swapped for cash using online selling platforms or services where you simply scan barcodes, box your goods up and off they go. If you have more valuable collectibles which you’re happy to see the back of, consider contacting an auction house.
Second-hand doesn’t have to mean cheap or bad quality. Second-hand goods are like new in many instances now and so if you have the chance to buy second hand, definitely consider it. You can save a huge amount on lightly used items and the quality of good on online marketplaces is often really surprising and the savings can be huge.
Repurpose and Upcycle
If you’re crafty, good with DIY or have a flair for fashion then you can transform existing homeware and clothes into something new and exciting. What’s more, anything you create will be 100% unique and you’ll save on the cost of buying new. Organising your clothes properly and considering whether old furniture can be redesigned and repurposed, rather than thrown out and replaced.
Keep an Eye on Utilities
Utilities bills are one of the highest expenses for all households. There are ways of cutting your bills from considering solar panels to fixing drips around the home which can bring down water bills each year. Switching devices fully off rather than leaving them on standby can result in considerable savings every year. You can also cut your heating costs by looking into your home’s insulation. Some of these solutions may be initially expensive but they lead to long-term savings.
Frugal living means you have cash available for special occasions, holidays or whatever really matters to you. You reduce the cost of day to day living to benefit your overall quality of life.