Release The Stress And Financial Burden From Your Shoulder By Learning The Frugal Living Style, No Matter How Far You Are In Your Life And Career.
Nobody wants to live in constant financial stress. However, not many people know how to relieve themselves from such a situation, especially with the consumerism lifestyle that is normalized nowadays. With the growing desire to keep updated with the latest trend, many have fallen into financial stress because they live far beyond their means.
Financial stress can occur for various reasons, such as being in debt, earning too little, or living beyond their means. Frugal living becomes one of the solutions that can help such problems.
What is Frugal Living?
The term frugal living may sound negative to some as it is often associated with being a cheapskate. Meanwhile, others may perceive living frugally means sacrificing many things in life to the point where you limit yourself from any entertainment or any quality life.
This is not what living frugally means. Frugal living means being intentional with what you are spending your money on. It is about prioritizing what is more important in your life. You can prioritize things that matter more in your life and cut back the expense to other things that are not really important.
Frugal living does not mean that you are cheap, as cheap means getting the lowest-priced item without thinking about its quality or usefulness. Being frugal is putting into thought what you spend your money on. For example, you may choose to spend less on morning coffee to fund your long-wanted trip instead.
You may think that the amount you save seems insignificant. However, being frugal in the long term will benefit you as you no longer let money control your life. You can finally have a long trip you always wanted or getting a degree that you postponed.
How to Live Frugally and Save Money?
Living frugally may seem difficult, especially if you have never tried it before. It will be even more difficult if you’re focused on what you’re sacrificing rather than the long-term goal you want to achieve. You may need to adjust and changes a few things along the way to find the right method for you.
Frugal living is doable for everyone, no matter what their background is. However, here are five main strategies that you can do to live frugally and save more money.
1. Prepare a Budget
Before you start to try living frugally, the first thing you need to do is preparing a budget. This is a great tool to help you control your money and less worry about where you should put your money into. It allows you to decide how you are going to spend your money.
By creating a meticulous plan, you can make sure to spend your money on immediate expenses and save the rest or spend the extra money to pay your debt. It will be difficult in the first few months, but once you know how it works, you will be more relaxed in allocating your budget and spend less time worrying about money.
2. Set Aside Your Money for an Emergency Fund
It is important to set aside some money every month for an emergency fund. Just as its name suggests, this money is used to cover some unexpected expenses or emergencies, such as fixing a suddenly broken car or going to the doctor—anything that can cost you money outside your budgeted plan.
The ideal amount for an emergency fund is three to six months of living expenses. It will be difficult to build that many emergency funds all at once. Therefore, you can start by putting in a small amount each month.
3. Find Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re having financial stress and don’t know how to manage your money or get out of debt. You can always find classes on basic money management or get help from a financial planner. Find outside help to manage your money better and create a strategic plan for your future.
4. Analyze your Financial Habit
First, you need to analyze your financial habit to release your financial stress and start frugal living. Find your main financial issue and see what you can change from there, whether it is an income issue, spending issue, or both issues at once.
If the main problem is you’re not earning enough for your current bills, then you can start to look for a side hustle or applying for a higher-paying job. If you have a spending problem, you need to be more disciplined in creating a budget and cutting unnecessary spending.
5. Track Your Progress
Finally, track all the progress that you’ve made so that you can see how far you’re in your financial goals. Tracking your progress will also motivate you to keep living frugally and alleviate your stress.
Frugal Living for Dummies
Now you know the main strategies for frugal living, so the rest should be easy. If this is your first time trying to live frugally, then here are some tips on what you can do to start living frugally and build a better financial situation in the future.
1. Settle with one car only
If there is more than one car in your household, consider using one only. A car is an expensive item, and having more than one car means you have to prepare more money for maintenance, which in the long run, it can be quite costly.
2. Live in a smaller house
A bigger house also means bigger bills and maintenance costs. Even if you can afford to buy a large house, it doesn’t mean you have to. Opt for a smaller house instead as long as you can live comfortably in it.
3. Find used goods
When you need something, you don’t have to buy it new. Find someone around you who probably has the items you want that they don’t use anymore. Used goods are cheaper and sometimes can work as well as new items. This way, you can save a few dollars that you can use for something else more important.
4. Less eating out
Eating out is fun; we all know that. However, it often becomes the biggest expense people have in a day. As you may have noticed, cooking your own food is far cheaper than eating out. If you don’t have the time, you can always try the meal prepping method.
It doesn’t mean that you have to give up eating out completely. You can still pamper yourself with a nice meal at the restaurant, but be mindful of how you’re spending your money. Eating out once in a while is okay, but eating out for every meal is a waste of money.
5. Control your online impulse buy
Today we’re bombarded with e-commerces that provide us with an easy shopping experience. This is a dangerous innovation for impulse buyers. It is effortless to tap on your screen to buy the items displayed. Even the transactions are easy enough, and we often do not feel like we are actually spending money.
It would be best if you controlled yourself from this online impulse buying habit. Start by deleting the e-commerce app from your gadget, and avoid browsing on these e-commerce websites when you’re feeling bored.
6. Find free entertainment
Entertainment doesn’t have to be something pricy. Going to the movies or having fun in the bar all the time will certainly cost you a lot of money. Find cheaper ways to entertain yourself to don’t come up with a lot more credit card debt at the end of the month.
Frugal Living Tips for Seniors
Frugal living is not only for those in their productive age. Even seniors should try to live frugally despite having their retirement money. This way, you can ensure that you still have money for your daily life.
Here are some valid frugal living tips for seniors to ensure that you never run out of money.
1. Use senior discount
Being a senior, you will have the benefit of using senior discounts. Many establishments offer senior discounts, giving you a good deal for the item you purchase.
2. Thrift shopping
Thrift shopping is always a good idea, although it may take more time to find quality secondhand items. However, a retiree may have more free time, so you can definitely use this free time to look for quality secondhand items—saving you a lot of money than buying new items.
3. Quit disability insurance
If you’re retired and don’t need to work anymore, you can consider quitting disability insurance if you have any. This way, you will not need to pay for the insurance as you may no longer need it with the current retiree lifestyle you have.
4. Get travel rewards
If you love to travel, you definitely need to check some credit card companies’ travel rewards. These rewards can give you additional benefits when you want to travel so that you don’t have to prepare a lot for your travel budget.
5. Freeze property taxes
The next frugal living tips for seniors is freezing property taxes. This type of tax is a large expense every year, especially since property taxes tend to increase constantly. In the long run, this can hurt your financial situation.
The good news is that some states allow seniors to freeze their property tax. This way, their tax will not increase every year. To do this, you will need to contact the tax office in your area to see if they have this type of option for you.
Frugal Living Tips with a Big Impact
We have discussed many methods, tips, and tricks on how you can start frugal living. If you want a bigger impact and achieve your dream life, these are the tips that you’re going to need.
1. Create a budget for every dollar you have
Creating a budget is easy, but being meticulous and include every expense is not. You have to include every expense you have for a bigger impact, no matter how small it is. It is not just household bills but also other expenses, such as entertainment, eating out, debt repayments, and any money you spend.
By creating a meticulous budget, you will understand which expense you can cut out and where you should spend more. Be honest and realistic when creating a budget, and don’t cut out all entertainment or other fun stuff. You still have to set aside some money to enjoy yourself as long as it is not excessive.
2. Save every spare cent
It is important to save every cent when you’re trying frugal living. While most people think a few cents is not worth the trouble to save, it actually can build benefits over time. You can also use this to train yourself to build a saving habit. In the long run, saving money will become your new habit, and you can save a larger amount of money without hesitating.
3. Follow the 30-day money-saving rule
In this rule, you are saving the money you’re going to use on an impulsive purchase into a saving account for 30 days. If after 30 days it turns out that you still want the item, you can buy it. However, if not, you can keep it in the savings account and probably use it for better spending, such as paying your debt.
4. Cancel any unused subscriptions
Many people unaware that they are not using the subscription they purchase a few months or even years ago. At least, not as much as they thought it would be. Don’t let these unused subscriptions drain your money. Cancel anything that you don’t use as much.
5. Learn to DIY
Not many people are too keen on DIY. However, it can save you a lot of money in the long run. It doesn’t have to build your desks, closets, or anything big. Start from something smaller if you’re new in DIY-ing, such as fixing things around your house.
Frugal living is a good way to relieve yourself from financial stress. It doesn’t mean that you cut back on all entertainment or not enjoying life. In fact, living frugally means you’re being mindful of what you’re spending your money on.
Now you know what frugal living means and how you can implement it in your life. So, what are you waiting for?