What is the difference between thrifty living and frugal living? Frugal brings you down to the penny pincher level. You may remember that one friend who would split cost down to the penny, yes they are frugal, yet they somehow manage to be wealthier as well. I wonder why.
Frugal living does not have to be taking it too far as wearing T-shirts with holes in them. But buying new clothes is very rare indeed because there are still clothes that can be worn. A new pair of shoes are not bought till the soles are about to fall off.
Of course if you need professional wear, you need something decent and should not be wearing shirts with holes, that impacts career impression. However, there are other aspects in life that if you learn to be frugal you can save big bucks. I call it frugal living. When is it done?
Mainly, because you get to spend less, and when you spend less you get to keep more of what you earn. The money you have saved you can use to pay off credit cards, save it for a rainy day. And if you keep up with this lifestyle, you can retire early as well, because you don’t need a huge retirement fund to live on if you live frugally everyday. This of course is not for everyone, yet definitely is how some retirees get by.
Yet you have to enjoy life every once in a while right? You need that cocktail and vacation once in a while right?
Yes and you shall. Because of frugal living tips, you get to pay off your debt sooner and have a savings sooner. With the savings account you can make a travel fund account and you will notice how not buying coffee for a month gives you an extra hundred dollars in your travel fund account already.
So if you want to enjoy a great vacation on cash, frugal living for the meanwhile can be the answer.
1) Combine the ride. Your car is usually the second most expensive item compared to our house. Some families have found a way to combine car rides so that just one car is used. Less maintenance cost and car payments to keep up with.
2) Are you living too big of a house? I used to know a friend whom bought a large house with 6 bedrooms even though they only had one kid. Why? Because their friend had bought a large house as well and they felt they needed to have something to compare with. Just because you can afford it, does not mean you have to spend all your money on a large house. This does not mean frugal living means living in a small closet. Yet you got to realize a lot of times, you may feel you need a larger house because of more stuff piling up. You may think this is funny, but do you even know what is in the boxes piled up in the garage? Many times we hang onto clutter and don’t realize how much space we could have had, if only we threw out everything we didn’t touch for a year.
3) Second think about buying a property.
Although many people think that rent money is down the drain. Renting can also be cheaper than buying when you take into account the cost of insurance and maintenenance,
So before you jump into buying a house just because you want to stop renting, calculate the cost that come with buying and evaluate whether it is really worth it.
4) Use craigslist more often
I needed a large mirror for my room, and when I shopped around I realized that mirrors were so expensive, a 2 foot long square one could be fifty dollars. You will soon realize all the real deal savings your getting when you buy used items, it is a shift of shopping focus in the frugal living lifestyle. I then searched craigslist and found someone trying to get rid of theirs and selling for $20. You can find really good local deals with craigslist. Remember to check craigslist first before shelling out the money to buy something new.
5) Dine less, eat at home more
You have probably heard of this one before, but I don’t think you realize how expensive it really is eating out. Did you know that the average person spends about $2200 a year on eating out?
Even at fast food restaurants, they charge nearly five dollars for a salad when you can get a bag of fresh spinach for $2.50 That can become 5 meals, so literally you could have spent 50 cents per meal versus spending $5. So don’t be lazy and start prepping your lunches the night before, frugal living does not have to take time. A simple salad or sandwich is an easy quick luncheon to make.
6) Just do not go to the mall at all.
I know there is tax free weekend. But did you really need anything? You do know that if you go to the mall you will have the urge to buy something. You probably did not need anything, yet saw a group of people scurrying through a pile of clearance clothes and later figured that you had to get a good deal as well.
If you are bored there are other ways to entertain yourself than shopping, you can read a book, rent a $1 DVD from Kroger and spend way less than if you had went shopping at the mall.
7) Cut the cable. I don’t have cable TV. Yes you may laugh at me that I am one of those that has a HD converter box and an antenna. However, do you realize how much cable adds to the bill? You are adding an extra $65 every month. Plus, you don’t do much around the house, you probably sit around a lot if you’re making your cable money well spent. I am involved in a lot more outdoor activities than my friends are, I workout three times as much and have a much healthier lifestyle. My friends ask me how I have so much time. I simply reply “I don’t watch TV”
You don’t have to join a gym to be healthy. Think about what you do at the gym. If you are on a treadmill only, perhaps you can seek your nearby park to do your workout routine. Most gym memberships cost $50 or so and not even 20% of the equipment is used.