When people think of living frugally they think it means a life with no frills. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. When you cut back on things like excessively eating out and using credit cards, you’ll find plenty of room for fun. Getting cheap auto insurance, cheap streaming service, shopping at thrift stores and knowing the difference between needs and wants will also help with your frugal mindset.
Committing to a lifestyle of ‘less’ rather than ‘more’ may feel a little “un-American.” It’s because of this that many people don’t want to make the shift and save money, clear their debt, and feel better about their financial reality. There’s a fear that they won’t be living their full potential. But living frugally doesn’t have to mean you give up on the fun, not at all.
Review All of Your Auto Pays
Beware of monthly (or weekly or yearly) subscriptions that are set on auto pay. There is a lot of excitement when you start a subscription but as time goes by you may realize you don’t use or need the subscription as much as you originally thought you would. Keep a running list of your auto pays and check them periodically to detect those that are outdated, under used or that you just don’t want anymore.
Consider Generic Drug Options
For people who take a lot of prescriptions to keep up with their health, the cost can be daunting. But even if you have just one or two, it’s worth it to ask your doctor about generic drug options that can save you money. You can also ask your pharmacist. Consider asking if you can change the prescription refills from 30 to 90, buying ‘bulk’ should save you money in the long run and it will also help you adhere to the medication you’re taking with no lapses, creating a healthier you!
Rent Instead of Own
You can now rent clothes, jewelry, handbags, baby accessories, maternity wear, and a whole host of other goodies instead of buying them. After all, why buy a great necklace when you only plan to wear it once to an upcoming black tie affair? Consider Rent the Runway, Trejours, rents4baby, and others.
Know When to Buy
If you still would rather make a purchase, know when it’s the optimal time to buy an item at its lowest price. Follow sales cycles in your favorite stores; buy fitness products and accessories in January along with homes (home prices peak in the summer), and Black Friday is usually a great time to find a deal on an item you’ve been eyeing for some time.
Remind Yourself of Needs vs. Wants
Living frugally means effectively putting an end to overspending and impulse buying. To keep yourself in check before you make any purchase ask yourself if it is truly something you need or merely something you want. If you’ve already budgeted for needs and wants it should be easy to see if the item works within your budget. If not, give yourself a day or two to determine if you really need to make the purchase. Chances are you don’t, and you’ll have saved yourself a case of buyer’s remorse.
Get Friends Involved
It’s sometimes a worry, when you’re starting off wanting to cut spending, that you’ll have to say no to friends and be left out of activities. Instead, enlist your friends and let them know your intentions (chances are good they will applaud your efforts and jump on board!). Your circle of friends can then look for ways to cut back on expenses, everything from sharing child care, bartering, and carpooling to various locations.
There are plenty of quality items to be found at consignment shops and some deal exclusively within that realm. If you want to save money on clothes, furniture, jewelry, home décor and everything in between, shop your local consignment stores and get to know the deals and the brands they have to offer. If you don’t mind (and why would you since you’re living a frugal life now) buying gently used items, you’ll thrill at the deep discounts you can get as opposed to buying new.
The frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up on everything fun in your life. As a matter of fact, it can be just the opposite. When you actively look for ways to cut back and see what you can get for free or little money, there’s a plethora of opportunities with free streaming services, preparing copycat recipes for your family, and purchasing high quality furniture and clothes for much less than their new price.
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