Frugal living is one of the ways people manage their finances so they spend less. The idea behind it is for consumers to try and spend just below their budget. This type of spending approach allows families and households to stretch and optimize their income to the fullest. When frugality comes into any discussion, there is a stigma that precedes it making people shy away from it.
One of the first impressions people have about it is that they need to go to extremes when they want to take on a frugal lifestyle. There are some who believes that to save money on food, they need to go dumpster diving for leftovers. Some might even think that to get new things at home, they just need to look for stuff people leave outside their house.
There is a fine line between being frugal and being cheap and people need to understand that there are simply some individuals who take things to the extreme. Frugal living is more about creativity and focusing on the quality of life. It should not force you to live in the dark just so you can save on utilities. Being frugal means you have to make sure to turn off the lights when you are not using them.
There are a number of ways you can look and use a frugal lifestyle to your financial advantage. You just have to be smart about it and identify areas you can make use of. Here are a few ideas to look into when you are looking at a frugal approach. Remember that these examples are meant to improve your way of life and not the other way around.
Take on DIY projects
Frugal living would be a big part of why most people venture out to do-it-yourself projects or DIY around the house. It can be as simple as attending to some repairs at home, getting to some car improvements, or even putting up that fence in the backyard by yourself. There are a lot of things you can take away from a DIY approach including financial benefits.
If you do the repairs at home by yourself, you get to understand every corner of your house and which repair to monitor and look out for. Just be sure to finish these projects as NY Post shares that an average American has 9 DIY hanging projects. The same goes for your car. If you resist the urge to go the carwash and do it yourself, you get to know your car more. You see every single detail in the body and every other scratch in the paint job.
DIY-ing stuff you need to be done around the house improves your life skills and helps you lower down costs in repairs. Rather than hiring a professional, you get to save money and do it yourself. You might even develop a knack for home repair and you get to earn a little extra on the side whenever your neighbors need some small repairs at home.
Be creative with expenses
Frugal living often results in creativity and that is a useful trait especially when you are looking at expenses around the house. Take your food expenses, for example, there are a number of ways to be creative with it and lower down your expenses. For one, try to start cooking your own food at home to save from ordering takeouts.
You can also start buying non-perishable food in bulk and start cooking your food in batches. This way, you get to prepare your meals ahead of time and you simply have to heat them up. It limits the chances of giving in to the convenience and eating out or ordering delivery. You can also start brewing your coffee in the morning rather than buying one every day.
If you want to spend time with your friends but do not want to spend a lot of money dining out, you can invite them over to your house. You can cook for them and ask them to bring one dish each so you do not have to cook a lot of dishes. It becomes a great time you can spend with friends without spending a lot on expensive meals.
Consider buying used items in frugal living
One thing you can look at when you are into frugal living is buying used or second hand. This can help you save oi8n costs when purchasing items. Take a car for example – there are times when it is better to buy second-hand units than brand new ones. For one, you can manage depreciation on the unit not to mention second-hand vehicles are a lot less expensive than new ones.
You can also look at buying some second-hand items around the house. From chairs to tables and even items for the garden. The idea is to check the item first and not be ripped-off by people selling broken items. One thing you need to remember when buying second hand is to conduct due diligence and check the items. You need to make sure that you can still use it and repairs if needed, will not be that costly.
Time your purchase
Frugal living also means being smart with your purchases. One of the ways you can save up on your purchases is to try and time it with discounts. There will be regular discounts you can expect from your favorite stores. This usually coincides with regular holidays which you can calendar and save up for so you can get the item you need on a discount.
It also pays to know the actual selling price of the items you want to purchase. This helps you pinpoint sale of the items when they become available. You can use technology and be on the lookout for sale promotions by signing up for newsletters on your favorite brand. Social media is also a great way to keep updated on potential sales promotion you can take advantage of.
Barter using your talent
In the olden days, barter was the way for people to get the things they need. As currency was hard to determine back in the day, people would trade goods and service and exchange it with other people. This is a practice that can still hold true up to this day. You need to take a close hard look at any of the tools and talents you can use for trade.
If you are great with children, you can offer to babysit some of the kids in your neighborhood in exchange for dinner at home. If you can fix plumbing, you can offer your services to people who can help you fix your car. There are things or services you need which you can get in exchange for your talents and skills.
Taking on a frugal living can be an extremely helpful financial move for you and your family and give you the chance to manage your finances better. The more you have a better understanding of how you can make the most of your income, you can always lower down your expenses. You need to understand that when you talk about frugality, it is not about stifling your finances. On the contrary, it is improving your way of life by better managing how you spend your money. Doing so can also be a tremendous help in getting you to your goals on time.