Saturday, 18 July 2020

23 Frugal Habits To Live - Save Money & Pay Off Debt

In this article, I'm going to share with you 23 frugal tips. This is your year. This is your year to get out of debt, to save money, to just live more frugally. And I like to think of myself as a frugal person. I think of frugal as a positive term, not a negative one. Hopefully, you do as well. But basically, it's a way to help you to get more control of your finances to save money and stop spending so much, have a smaller footprint on the planet. 

Let's get started. 

1. Use Up Your Products (Completely)

If you like beauty channels on YouTube or blogs, then you might have seen some of the empties, those videos, and articles, where they talk about the things that they've used all the way up until the bottle, are empty. So, we take that quite literally, empties, and we use up our bottles, our products, our shampoos, soaps.  I even put a little water in the bottom of the bottle, mix it up so that we get every last drop out of it before I use it, and it has saved me a lot of money. 

Minimize Your Driving (Save On Gas)

Work from home if you can. I work from home one or two days a week for my job. I'm very fortunate to have that opportunity to do that, and it helps to save me money in gas. So I'm not driving as much. And when you do drive, if you can't work from home, then at least try to plan out your trips in the car. Be very thoughtful about it. Don't just drive around or you go out and come home, "Oh, I forgot to go get that. "I gotta go back out again." Because it will cost you more money and gas. So try to minimize the number of trips you take, or carpool with people if you can when you go to work. That's another fantastic way to cut back on your gas money.

3. Utilize Your Library (Book & Entertainment)

Go to the library for books or use a library app on your phone. That's what I do for audiobooks. And that way I can read a ton of books for free. I don't have to buy books. You can also utilize the library for activities. There's a lot of great programs, they have gaming and stuff that they do. They have all kinds of good things, puppet shows, stuff at the library. There was a magician in the library so you can go and have free fun. It's not a bad thing.

4. Shop At The Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree is a big deal. If you're into watching YouTubers, then you probably saw a lot of people with their Dollar Tree hauls. And the Dollar Tree has been going strong for years, and years. And you really can get some great things at the Dollar Tree, especially around birthdays. That's where I get all of my birthday decorations, plates for parties. It's great. If you haven't shopped the Dollar Tree, you're really missing out. So give it a try. 

5. Un-Paper Towels (and napkins)

Don't buy disposable paper towels, because it's going to cost you a lot of money. Napkins and towels. For paper towels, you can just use cloth hand towels, and then you just wash them, use them again. You can get bright colors, make it fun. I fold them up and I put them in a basket in my kitchen, and I've been doing that for years, and years, and it's been fine.

6. Live Below Your Means

Spend less than you make. If you want to be considered a frugal person, this is sort of a duh, right? Live below your means. Don't spend as much as you make.

7.  Have An Emergency Fund

It's not a matter of if you're going to have an emergency situation. It's a matter of when. So, eventually, something is going to happen unexpectedly. So you have to set aside some money in order to be prepared for that emergency because it will help you probably to make a better decision. So, if something in your car goes out, you blow a tire and you need to replace that tire, and it's unexpected, you're gonna need to have some money on the side to pay for that tire. But probably, if you're not stressed out and you have the money, you most likely will comparison shop. 

8. Comparison Shop

Compare different places and how much they're going to charge you for tires, where you can get the best tire. You can think more logically and calmly about the purchase of that item that you need to make if you're not stressed out about money, and it will help you to be making a more affordable decision. It's true. If you don't have the money, you're just using a credit card, or if you don't have that emergency fund set aside, most likely you will spend more money on the item because you're just stressed out, and you just go with the first person, the first place you go to. I don't know why that works that way, but it does. At least from personal experience, that's how it works. The more money we have in the bank, we have an emergency fund, we actually spend less money and make better choices on the purchases that we do make and spend less money.

9. Home Cook

Cook at home, don't eat in restaurants. Obviously, you're not being frugal if you're eating out constantly for all of your meals. And if you are cooking at home, then if you can prepare foods in bulk, or do freezer meals, that's going to save you even more money. The more things you can make from scratch, the cheaper it's going to be. I eat a plant-based diet which helps to lower my food budget because I'm not buying as many meats. And so, cook at home. Don't eat out. It's going to save you money and probably be healthier because people who eat out in restaurants a lot, I mean sometimes those kitchens are dirty. I don't know what those people are doing, but you can really get food-borne illnesses much easier if you're eating out much more often, and it's just not good for your health.

10. Stay At Home On The Weekend

I am a natural home buddy, and so that really helps me because I like to be home. But I don't go out as often as much. Honestly, I know this is kind of me being paranoid, but when I go out and there's a lot of crowds, just because of the state of the world, the way it's been the past few years, I feel nervous. Not that that's going to stop me from doing things I want to do. I try not to let that rule my life, but I feel like it's just, I just enjoy being home. I find things to do things at home that are free, like playing games, watching movies. I take walks. It saves me so much money that I'm not out all the time with entertainment, and I feel safer because in really large crowds you do think about shootings and things.

11. Redefine What "Fun" Means To You

Try to redefine your sense of entertainment. So if you are used to going out and going to concerts, plays, restaurants, anytime you want to do something fun, you think, "Oh, let's go shopping." I love going shopping, it's such fun to go to the mall or wherever you go. You have to try to retrain yourself, redefine what you think of what comes to mind when you think, "I'm going to have fun with friends "or fun with my partner." Try to think of different things that you can do. And honestly, it doesn't take too long, and you can, because you humans are adaptable, you can create new habits for yourself. Sort of like if you're a smoker and you're trying to keep smoking, and if you keep going to the same restaurants and hangout places and hangout with the same people that you always did while you were smoking. It makes it really, really difficult to quit smoking. So they suggest you try to form new things that you like to do that don't involve smoking. So you can kinda retrain yourself with money, too. 

What are some new things you can do that doesn't involve spending money that you really actually enjoy and that you might actually find that when you think, "Oh, I want to have some fun? "I want to relax, so I'm going to do this." and it's free because you've been doing it long enough. In the beginning, you might feel like you still want to go shopping. But over time, you'll retrain yourself, redefine your sense of fun into something that's more affordable. 

12. Develop A Productive Hobby

Frugal people find hobbies that are productive. So, crocheting might be one of them, because then you learn how to crochet, and that can be a hobby, which I did learn in college with a friend, how to learn how to crochet, and I was able to. I can make Afghans if I want to use blankets in the house. Or, I can get them out as gifts, which gives me an affordable way to create a gift for someone. I can make scarfs. There might be something else. Gardening, if you wanna get into gardening, that's fun. Not only will you be being outside, outdoors. It's healthy, enjoyable. You're having fun doing it. You may be growing food for your family so that you can lower your grocery store spending if you're growing your own food, right? So that's a win-win situation. 

13. Self Teach For Free -- Online

Frugal people then go onto YouTube and they watch how-to videos, how to do stuff. You can learn on YouTube how to do anything, really, anything. You want to learn how to do, you can YouTube it. I was trying to teach myself how to play piano off of YouTube videos. I was doing pretty good a couple years there, but then I stopped. You can learn how to do stuff by watching free YouTube videos. All you need is an internet connection which most of us have on our phones or on a computer, and you can learn how to do stuff without having to pay someone to teach you. 

14. Save Your Pennies

Frugal people save all their money, save their change because I think it's interesting how people when they get change back at a store if they're paying with cash, they don't keep their change. They sometimes put it in the trash. I find change on the ground and I pick it up. If you save all that change in a jar, you can take it to a Coinstar or coin machine at your grocery store or the bank, and you'd be surprised how much that change can add up to be. That's actual money. 

15. Be Mr (or Ms.) Fixit

Instead of just replacing stuff. Try to fix it. Just like with your car, you gotta try to fix it. A lot of times it's the hassle factor is enough to prompt people to just buy something new. My oven wasn't working. It just stopped working, and it was annoying. So I YouTube it to figure out how to replace the heating element inside the oven, and I was able to found and purchase the heating element online, on Amazon for $12. So I ordered the heating element. Then I watch the YouTube video, and I replaced it in my oven. And so, that was $12, but then the oven works. So I didn't have to replace the entire oven. I was able to fix it. So you have to try to fix things as best you can. So rea give it an effort before you just immediately go to replace it because it will be more affordable to fix it than to replace it almost every time. 

16. Drive The Same Car Long Term

Frugal people drive the same car for a long time, without a car payment. So, frugal people pay for cars with cash, which is what we do, and then drive those cars all the way till the end. If it's functioning, then you drive it. Just because it has high mileage or just because it's been five years, you finally paid it off, "Oh, I paid off the car." which is this is what a lot of people do and what we used to do. We have a car payment, and then five years are up, we paid off the car. Yey, now it's time to trade it in and get a new car because our car payment is up. But really, why? That car is still functioning perfectly fine. And so, if you want to be able to invest that car payment money and build wealth, or save money, or get out of debt. Then the best thing to do is to drive the same car as long as you can, and try to fix it as long as you can, at least until the repair cost more than the value. Then you probably would have to sell the car and then trade up in a car. 

17. Become A Minimalist

If you try to switch your mindset, to living more of a minimalist life where you make it as if that's your goal, to cut back on stuff, get rid of things, even if you're not a minimalist, this is retraining yourself. Try to get rid of some stuff and try to downsize your home or wherever you're renting, where you live, try to downsize, make it smaller, and just do it on purpose, as if intentionally that's what you wanna do. It will save you money because your utility bills would be less, your rent or your mortgage payment will be less, and you'll have more money for other things. And really, are you using all that space in your home that you're living in? Is it really necessary to have all that stuff? Does it bring you joy? So, it's definitely something to think about to live in a smaller home, smaller property, less grass to mow. It will give you more time back in your life to do other things that maybe have more value to you.

18. Buy "Used" Or preowned

You want to buy used unless you have a really high net worth. I don't see the value in buying a brand new car, because the value of that car is going to drop significantly, just the minute you drive it off the lot. So I buy used cars, at least two years old. Somebody else then had taken that hit in the value. So I think that's just a smart thing to do. Let someone else take the hit in the value, and then, you buy it at least two years old.

19. Pack Your Lunches

Pack your lunch for work. Don't buy out. I have coworkers every single day. I see them walking over to the cafeteria and they buy. All that money really adds up. And so, I just think it's, again, healthier, and so much more affordable just to pack your lunch. And that's what I do.

20. Set Financial Goals

Frugal people plan and make goals. You have to plan ahead so you know where you're going. Goals are so important, I think, just from a personal standpoint to have something that you are striving towards. I think it kinda makes, helps you become a better person. And goals are something that you have an actual idea of how to get there. It's not just a wish or a dream. It's something that you have written down on paper. You remind yourself of it. Very often throughout the year, you talk about it with people. You say this is what we're going to do, whatever that is. We're gonna save money for this. And then you actually take steps to get there. So, I think that's just an important thing in life to do, is to have a plan. 

21. Budget

You need a budget every single month, You have to create a new one, a unique budget where you put at the top of the paper or the top of your spreadsheet or the top of whatever you're using how much money you expect to be getting in that month, and then how much money you're going to be paying out to bills, to your savings account, to whatever. So then at the bottom of your sheet, there'll be a big fat zero. So that every single dollar knows where it's going, you have a plan for it, and that's going to keep you on track.

22. Don't Smoke (Or Drink Alcohol)

Frugal people don't smoke or drink a lot of alcohol. All those cigarette packs, they're expensive. And alcohol can be expensive. So try to cut back on your vices. It'll save you some money. 

23. Limit Subscription Service

Try to cancel or limit your subscriptions. Okay, whether this is Netflix. You could have a newspaper, magazine subscriptions. You might get those boxes where they send you boxes of products in the mail. I think sometimes people sign up for these subscriptions, and then they're just like on autopilot. And then they're getting them and they're not using them anymore, but it's just, again, it's too much of a hassle for people to go and figure out how to cancel it. I had some subscriptions to Amazon FreeTime. And I couldn't figure out how to cancel it. So, every month, I was getting charged this subscription, or every year I just. So, finally, I had to take the time and sit down and go in and figure out how to cancel it. So, just check your subscriptions and see if there's something that you can cancel. 


What are your frugal tips? Leave them down below in the comments. And like I said, make this your year to try to save money, get out of debt, live below your means. And partially, to do that is to live more frugally. So, thrifty, frugal, they're all positive terms. Not negative. You don't have to be living without, I don't feel as if I am breadth of things in my life. It's not like I'm living this militant life and making me live without the stuff. I enjoy my life. You can still have a life of abundance and be living frugally. Like I said before, you just have to redefine what abundance means to you. It doesn't have to mean a bunch of stuff or spending a lot of money on things.

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