Whether you want to save up for something or simply just want some extra cash in your pocket, getting an online loan or living frugally can help you achieve that. By cutting out some simple things in your life, you can ultimately have more money to spend on other things. Living frugally is especially useful if you have many bills to pay such as tuition for students, or just having one income for one person. We recommend the services of a qualified financial advisor (Asset Oversight) to help you organize your fiscal life. We spend a lot of money on things we aren’t even aware of, just because it’s only a few dollars here and a few dollars there, but the reality of it is that these little things often add up much more than we’d like them to. Here are 10 tips for living a frugal lifestyle:
1) Cut Out Your Morning Drink
Many of us have a “morning drink” that we like to purchase every morning whether it is coffee, tea or even a quick breakfast. Even though a coffee only costs a couple dollars, by cutting that out of your budget, you’d be saving $14 a week right there or over $50 a month. And most of the coffee drinkers go for multiple coffees throughout the day so that could add up to $100 a month in savings or more depending on how much you drink.
Buy a coffee maker and make your own coffee in the morning to save a bundle. If you like to stop by a place in the morning and buy yourself a little breakfast treat, buy it in bulk and save yourself the trip to the store in the mornings and save yourself some cash in your wallet. A small pastry can cost 3 times more at a cafe than it would at the grocery store (especially in bulk), so take advantage of this and save some money every morning; it’ll all add up at the end of the month.
2) Make Your Own Lunches
Similar to cutting out your morning coffee, make sure you prepare your own lunches. Buying a lunch can cost anywhere between $3 and $8 and buying it on a regular basis can really impact your wallet. By making your own lunches at home instead of stopping at a fast food joint or buying food from the “lunch truck,” you could save over $100 a month (possibly more if you go out often). It’s also much healthier for you to make your own food rather than buying it at a fast food joint so you’ll be helping out your waistline as well as living frugal. Most people forget to bring lunches to work or school because they don’t want to get up early, and if this is the case simply try to make your lunch before you to sleep.
3) Buy Things on Sale
Bargain hunting is one of the biggest ways to live frugal. Many brand names are highly overpriced and you could easily find a similar style at a less expensive store such as Zellers or Wal-Mart. If buying clothes at these stores doesn’t appeal to you, shop for out of season items at your favorite brand name store. Many items are highly overpriced in season but drop drastically at the start of the next season. You can buy a winter jacket in the spring time for over 70% off if you look hard enough. Don’t just use this method for buying clothes; almost all stores of any kind have a “sale” section so be sure to stop by every time you need to purchase something. When it comes to buying electronics or cars, buy a slightly older version instead of buying them brand new. You could save 50% or even more buy buying a computer that came out last year, or by purchasing a car that has already been used. Even just a couple years old could save you tremendous amounts of money. Keep your eyes open for these types of deals; you could end up saving much more than you realize.
4) Buying in Bulk
When buying your food, clothes, or even other items, watch for buying in bulk deals. There are many opportunities to save money if you buy all your items at once. This is great to do with non-perishable food items, hygienic items such as toilet paper and shampoo, cleaning items and many more. While you’re at the store, buy no name instead of brand names. This is often the same product and you only pay half the price. There are often process that decrease as you more of the same product so watch for these so you can save money and live a frugal lifestyle.
5) Turn off the Lights
This may seem like an easy one but be sure to conserve your energy. When you’re not in the room, turn off the lights, put on a sweater if you’re cold instead of cranking the heat way up and unplug your electronics when they’re not being used. Even if they’re turned off, electronics can drain your electricity, so unplug them and watch your bill go down every month.
If you’re not using some things, why not consider downgrading them? This can be as major as moving into a smaller place, or as simple as cutting back on your tv channels and downgrading your phone service. Get the basic cell phone service and only use your phone when you really need to and you could save hundreds a month. Caller ID and 3 way calling are nice features but they’re not crucial to your survival.
7) Save Money on Your Transportation
Paying for vehicles to get you to and from work can be one of the most draining features on your wallet. If you can, take public transportation; this alone can save you hundreds of dollars a month, especially if you have to worry about car payments on top of insurance and gas. If taking public transportation isn’t an option, try to carpool. Give your friend $20 in gas to pick you up and drop you off or give your friend a ride in exchange for some gas money if you’re the one with a vehicle. If carpooling isn’t an option either, try to buy gas on Sundays and Wednesdays since gas is generally cheaper on these days. Drive at an even speed instead of hitting the gas and then having to stop again at a red light. Just coast to the nearest stop sign or light and you can save quite a bit of gas this way. Try to compare insurance prices as well to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.
8) Go to the Library
The library is one of the most underrated institutions of our day but can be one of your greatest resources if you use it to your advantage. A library card is only a few dollars a year and you can save money on books, movies, internet and more. You can take the whole family since there’s something for everyone and save a bundle. Most people only read a book once so why waste $10, $20 or even more on something that’s just going to collect dust on your bookshelf later on? And you can save money on theater and renting by taking out movies from the library.
9) Watch Your Budget
One of the most important things to do on your quest to live frugally is to constantly watch your budget. Know exactly where your money is going and what you’re doing with it. If you accidentally go over budget, save a little extra from your next pay check to balance it all out. Whenever you’re buying something do a quick mental check to make sure you’re not spending too much, or if you really need to buy it. Keep track with a notepad and a pen if you can’t do it in your head.
10) Live Healthy and Simple
The easiest way to live frugal is to live simple. In most cases, this means live healthier, so not only will your wallet be taking a break but it’ll have a good influence on your health as well. For example, when you’re thirsty, buy water instead of pop or juice. If you smoke, try to cut back or quit completely. You may find that you’ll save a lot more than just money for your cigarettes as well; most smokers tend to buy other random snacks almost every time they go to the store to buy a pack of smokes. The average smoker spends close to $250 a month on cigarettes! Even if you can just cut that down a few smokes a day (if you can’t quit entirely), it’ll make a huge difference down the road. Another way to live frugal and healthy is to ride your bike outside instead of going to the gym. Overall, just keep your eyes open so you can do well by your finances and also by your body.