Frugal living is about learning to live within your means, so that you aren't over-extended with things like high credit card bills.
Once you have learned to make a budget, you can decide if Frugal living is right for you.
According to Wealth Simple, "Frugal living means being conscious of your spending and focusing on a few financial priorities. A consumer who wants to live frugally should think about their main goals and how changing their finances can help them reach that goal."
Reasons for Frugal Living
There are many different reasons to try to live more frugally. Are you trying to downsize and simplify your life? Live off of one income? Save for retirement or a big purchase? These, and many other reasons, are why a growing number of people have chosen frugal living.
According to Making Sense of Cents, here are some reasons that people choose to live a frugal life:
You want to be comfortable in your financial situation
You want to avoid debt
You want a simpler life
You know that you can still have fun while being frugal
You want to appreciate everything and anything around you
If any of these ideas resonates with you, then a frugal lifestyle may be something that you will want to consider. You can experience a feeling of relaxation by knowing that you don't have loads of bills piling up.
Many people will embrace frugal living with a goal of living a debt-free life. This way, you are always living within your means, and don't need to pay for things on credit.
How do you start living frugally?
As I said earlier, the first thing to do when considering a financial change is to look at your budget. Once you have done this, you can identify the areas where you spend the most money. Then, you will want to sit down with your partner and discuss your financial priorities. Does your spending align with your financial goals and priorities?
According to Wealth Simple, here are some tips for starting to live more frugally:
Refinance your loans
Downsize your home
Buy discount gift cards
Invest your money
These are some first steps that you can use to start with frugal living.
When grocery shopping I would also recommend using coupons, or buying things while they are on sale. Many grocery apps will show sale flyers, and you can use these to make your weekly meal plan. Also, you can go to a warehouse store like Costco or Sams Club to buy staples in bulk to help you save. There are many items that you can buy at the Dollar Store too.
As you are shopping, sticking to a shopping list can be very helpful. It is also useful to go grocery shopping on a full stomach, so that you can avoid impulse buy's. Personally, I would recommend shopping without the kids if possible too. That way, you don't end up spending extra money on things that they may ask for in the store. If you want to make them feel included, you can ask them for things to put on the list prior to going to the store. That way, you will get things they really want, instead of just something they happen to see in the moment.
Also, you can take public transit instead of driving to be able to save money. In many cities, it is possible to live without having a car at all. This helps to save not only on a car payment, but on gas and car repairs as well.
According to Nerdwallet, you can also take advantage of free entertainment and embrace DIY projects.
Is frugal living worth it?
This question is often asked because you may see examples of people living extremely frugal lives, with extreme couponing, and giving up TV, dishwashers, and other types of conveniences.
Personally, I think it is worth it to be somewhat frugal, and limit expenses to things that will really increase your quality of life. Also, trying to use credit cards as little as possible will help to reduce the interest and fees that you pay, and may reduce your long-term financial stress.
You can be as frugal as you like, as long as it makes you happy. That is why I recommend thinking about your long-term financial goals prior to making drastic lifestyle changes.
Also, if you are going to make major changes, it may help to make one change at a time. That way, you can gradually ease into a frugal lifestyle, instead of making a drastic change all at once. It is always easier to maintain small, incremental changes over a long period of time. If you try to change too much too fast, it may become overwhelming.
What do you think about frugal living? Is it something that you may be interested in for the future? Let me know in the comments! Also, let me know if there are additional topics that you would like me to cover in the future!