Being frugal can be difficult. The culture that many of us are brought up in encourages spending over saving, and consuming over conserving. While this leads to an increase in profits for many companies, unfortunately it can lead to excess spending for the consumer.
There are various apps designed to help you keep track of your cash flow, and many of these can be very helpful, but no app can replace a basic understanding of how to manage your spending sensibly! This blog will detail four key tips for being frugal.
1: Buy Used, Not New
We all love to have that shiny new gadget, or the newest model of car with no miles on the clock. However, when we are trying to save money, this is often an unwise expense. Used goods can be every bit as useful and long-lasting as brand new ones – and can often be restored to almost brand-new condition with a bit of elbow grease or a small payment to a professional! If you can’t resist the lure of the shiny and new, keep in mind that once the novelty has worn off, you can be saddled with troublesome debt and an expensive weight around your shoulders.
2: Limit subscriptions
Monthly / yearly subscriptions can really eat into your savings. While it may seem essential to have a TV streaming service subscription, you can often save a substantial amount of money by using family / multi-screen plans and dividing the cost among yourself and others. It is also worth checking if your cell phone plan is cost-effective – you may find yourself paying for large amounts of data / texts, etc that you don’t end up using! Likewise, as much as you need to exercise to keep your body and mind healthy, do you need to pay for a gym subscription instead of running outdoors or doing body-weight exercises?
3: Prepare Food and Drink at Home
Eating out at restaurants and cafes is generally a pricey pursuit. However, it is also easy to inadvertently drain your bank account through lack of meal preparation. It’s not just dinner dates that put strain on the wallet – the $5 lunch at the work canteen 5 days a week really adds up! In contrast, making sandwiches or salad at home, or bringing a homemade flask of coffee into work, can save a lot of money over the course of a fairly short space of time.
4: Make Good Investments
In an article about being frugal, spending more may seem counterintuitive! However, buying cheaper versions of essential products often means buying lower-quality products that are not built to last. Note: cheaper doesn’t always mean lower-quality – it is always worth trying to find deals and bargains on better-quality goods! There is, however, truth in the old adage “buy cheap, buy twice”. When deciding whether to buy the $20 pair of shoes or the $40 pair, it may be worth taking into account the durability of the material, and how long they will last. Think to yourself: is it better to buy a cheap pair of shoes every few months, or a pair that
are built to last years?
There are many more methods to help you live a more frugal lifestyle, but these are some of the quickest and easiest to incorporate into your life!