27 Financial Life Hacks That Frugal People Use Often

Are you tired of constantly wasting your hard-earned money on nothing? Look no further! Someone asked, What Is Your Best Financial Life Hack? and the answers were great. Here are some of the best responses.

Drink Water

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“Just drink water,” one person wrote.

Some pointed out that not only is this a financial life hack but a health life hack as well, “Which is a health life hack, too.”

No Delivery

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“Uninstall GrubHub and door dash from your phone,” one person wrote.

When you don’t have the app on your phone, it’s harder to impulse order food when you are hungry.

Someone added, “I stopped using their services when I realized I’m paying double for convenience. Now I tell myself if I want it, I can go grab it myself or eat at home. So much money saved. Or more like, less money wasted on an overpriced service.”

Bring Your Own Food

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Someone wrote, “Bringing pack lunch, or always have a snack in my bag.”

Another person expounded, “Seriously! Carrying around some almonds or a cliff bar has gotten me through many days where I thought I’d only be out and about for an hour, and it turns into more, and I need to eat. I can now eat when I get home vs. getting {junk} or just expensive food when out.”

Don’t Smoke or Drink

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Another person shared their financial life hack, “I don’t smoke or drink. Saves me a lot of money.” This is also a healthy life hack!

Someone shared a personal story, “I’m an alcoholic, so I can’t drink. A little over 2 years sober (other than a glass of champagne on new years) and  THE SAVINGS!!! I finally moved out of my mom’s house for good and saved about 20 grand in a year! The amount of money is crazy.”

Pretend You Do Drink

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Another person added in the same vein, “But pretend you smoke and drink. When payday comes, put what you would’ve spent in cigarettes and alcohol in a savings account. That pays for our vacation every year.”

Another person added, “that is the hack/tip really. Not having an extra expense doesn’t mean you have more money, it means you’re likely to spend more money on other stuff. Creating a reason to put that money aside will help you save it. Obviously, if you budget your money from the start, you can just put money aside for savings, but many people don’t do that, so this is a quality tip.


Wide eyes of a girl peeking out from behind dollars on a blue background
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One person wrote, “Automate your savings to pay yourself first.”

There are many reasons why automating your finances is a good idea. For one thing, it helps to reduce the temptation to spend. When the money is automatically transferred into savings or investment accounts, you’re less likely to be tempted to spend it because it’s not just sitting in front of you.

Make a Budget

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“Make an actual budget and stick to it,” one person wrote.

Creating a budget can seem difficult if you’ve never done one before. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to get started.

Here’s how to make a monthly budget in six easy steps: Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck: 6 Foolproof Steps for Making a Monthly Budget

Live Below Your Means

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One person responded, “Live below your means.”

Living below your means” means spending less money than you earn. In other words, it means maintaining financial discipline to keep your expenses under control. This way of living can help you in achieving financial freedom and stability.

Act Broke

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“Act like you always broke,” someone wrote.

Someone added some thoughts to that, “This is the one. People should be cheap, not stingy but cheap. Even if things are going good now, that may not last, stuff happens. Be cheap. If I could go back to my young self and give me advice, this would be it. Don’t try to keep up with the Jone’s; consider what you want to spend your money on. Do I need an iPhone that costs three times as much or an Android that will do more or less what I need. Even little stuff adds up to money. If you are going out to eat everyday at work, you are spending, wasting actually, a boatload of money. $15 per meal over a year is about $3750 a year. Instead of eating out you could have gone on a vacation with that money.”

Use the Library

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Someone shared their best financial life hack, “Use the library for books, CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks.”

Others added their favorite perks that their library has besides all the wonderful books (reading is important!)

Someone wrote, “Libby app! Put in your library card info and check out all of their ebooks and audiobooks for free!”

Another said, “My library has current video games too! Check their collections and see if they offer more than you expect.”

Keep Separate Accounts

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Someone wrote, “When you have a partner and share finances, but you have different styles of managing money, it’s a good idea to keep separate accounts. When my wife and I got married, we agreed that any expense over a certain amount, we would have to discuss and agree to. That amount is fairly low.”

Another person added, “My wife and I have “our money” “my money” and “her money” Joint expenses like house, car insurance, groceries.. is our money. We each get the same allowance, what we call it. If I save my allowance up and buy a new motorcycle it’s fine.”

Minimize Your Fixed Costs

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“Minimize your fixed costs,” someone wrote.

Reducing the amount of money you owe month to month on the “big items” will go a long way to having your money last.

Stop Impulse Buys

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One person wrote, “Before you spend, get in the habit of asking if the purchase will increase your well-being or if it is an impulsive buy.”

Another added, “Yes, and even further parsing down to distinctly clarify “want” from “need.” Consumerism culture has successfully blurred the line between the two for many.”

Grocery Shop on a Budget

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Someone shared, “Eat before you go to the store and always make a list and stick with it.”

Another said, “That’s why I use the grocery store pick-up service. It takes me time to see what’s on sale and clip the coupons, but I get what I need for meal planning and don’t impulse buy. I also don’t forget things this way.”

Those are great ways to save money on groceries!

Hide Your Raise

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One person wrote, “Every time you get a raise, hide it. Increase your 401(k) contribution, or put it into an IRA, or invest in stock, or just put it aside in savings. In other words, don’t get used to a higher level of consumption. This is especially important when you’re young.”

Cook Your Own Meals

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Someone wrote, “Eating out is sooooo much more expensive, even fast food. The ingredients “seem” more expensive because you’re buying for multiple meals at once. Like a pound of ground beef might cost $5-6 bucks whereas a fast food burger only costs $3, but you’re going to get 4 or 5 (bigger, tastier) burgers out of the ground beef.

They continued, “And beef is on the expensive end. Get a bag of rice, a few pounds of chicken breast, a few bags of frozen veggies, and some sesame oil and you have like a week’s worth of fried rice for $15. There are so many really simple, cheap recipes. Check out budgetbytes.com or r/eatcheapandhealthy or just do some googling for simple meal ideas. Not only is it going to save you a ton of money but it’s much healthier and better for the environment, too.

Make Your Own Coffee

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“Make your own coffee. Starbucks is expensive, man,” one person wrote.

“I gagged at the prices the first time they opened up a Starbucks where I live. I get that they’re an international company, but their drinks were at least 20%-50% more expensive more than other local coffee shops. I’m surprised they haven’t gone under yet,” one person shared.

Be Single

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“Being single with no kids is the easiest way to double your standard of living,” one person wrote. Another said, “Being married with no kids is even better if you are aligned with your partner.”

Buy Quality on Sale

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One person shared a great hack, “Buy better quality clothes but on sale. Shop at stores like TJMax and Marshall’s, especially if you live in a bigger city next to large malls. They get all of the good stuff that they didn’t sell in the mall that season. This way, your clothes will last longer.”

Don’t Use Your Credit Card

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Don’t buy anything on your credit card you can’t pay it off on the same day,” one person warned.

Other people noted that using a credit card can be a great life hack, if you can pay it back, “This is where I depart significantly from Dave Ramsey. His “never use credit cards ever” is just giving away free money. Put {stuff} on your cards and then pay for it! You sometimes get extra warranties, you have the ability to dispute charges, and you get cash back incentives.”

Set a New Zero

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Someone shared a great trick, “Set a new zero. My checking account has $531. $500 is my 0, so I only have 31 to spend/save as I please.”

Someone else shared something similar, “A different approach is to 0 the last number every day. For example, if your account has $914, you transfer $4 to your savings, leaving you $910. If the next day you have $887, you transfer $7, etc. I have been doing this for the past several years and have saved several thousand dollars without really feeling the pinch.”

Don’t Listen to Banks

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Someone wrote, “Banks are not your financial advisors, don’t take their advice. They are a business and think about their profit.”

Another person disagreed, “Slight disagree. You need to form a good relationship with your bank. They have a vested interest in protecting your money as long as you’re responsible. They can be absolutely ruthless if you’re NOT responsible, but can be very rewarding if you are!”

Don’t Buy NFTs

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Someone wrote, “Don’t buy NFTs.” Another person said, “I once had a guy, while counting coins to pay for something, tell me that he’s actually rich because he has “NFTs that are worth $250,000, except I can’t find anyone who will pay that right now.”

Many people agree that NFT’s are scams.

Eat Rotisserie Chicken

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Rotisserie chickens from the grocery store are usually a really good deal & make for a good middle ground between eating out & cooking dinner,” someone said.

And you can make great dinners out of the leftovers!

Live at Home

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Someone wrote, “Young people should not be ashamed to live at home for longer. It’s crazy how much debt some young people are in, and they could be in a lot less debt if they just stayed home longer. I know Boomers normalized bragging about kicking your kids out of the house at age 18 and leaving them with no support even though their own parents often helped them buy their first house (yes, that’s actually true, and Boomers would prefer that you didn’t know this), but that’s really not OK.”

Meal Prep

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One person wrote, “I cook a big batch of chilli & lemon pepper chicken etc on lazy Sundays. Store all that in Tupperware in my fridge. Then I just cook some rice or boil potatoes etc as needed. Means I can buy my food in bulk since I cook it all in one go and also less food gets wasted. I still eat & cook smaller different meals occasionally, but 75% of my meals through the week are like this. As an added bonus, I’m less inclined to order takeout because I’ve got meals in my fridge I can just heat up if I’m lazy. I’ve found that it’s not really the takeout food I want, I just don’t want to have to cook.”

Save $10 Bills

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“I like to not spend $10 bills, whenever I get a $10 I just save it and once it gets up to $500 I deposit in the bank and buy something nice with $250 of it and save $250 of it,” someone wrote.

Someone shared a personal anecdote, “I work at a huge credit union, and I helped a minimum-wage earning 20 year old deposit $500 in $1s. It took him a few months, but every time he had a dollar bill, he would stuff it in an empty oatmeal canister. He waited until he had 500 of them and brought them in to deposit. I was so proud of that man! This was about 15 years ago so $500 was worth more, but it is an impressive savings anyway especially when someone is living paycheck to paycheck.”

Mend and Reuse

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“Learn to make mend and do. Reuse stuff. Never borrow or finance if you have cash or can wait and save. Buy secondhand. This applies to cars especially. This is not only good financially but better for the environment,” one person wrote.

The best frugal living tip is to take care of the environment at the same time!

Go Generic

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“I always go for the no-name brands when shopping for groceries. Nine times out of ten, they’re cheaper than the name brand things, and I really can’t tell the difference between them,” one person said, “I also try to get to the grocery store early and raid the 50% baked goods, and put them in the freezer.”

Put Money in a 401K

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“Not necessarily my “best” financial life hack,” one person said,  “but I think too many people don’t consider the financial impact of putting a little bit more money into a 401K.”

Start young!

Cancel Subscriptions

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“Find and ruthlessly cancel all those subscriptions you are paying for. Do you really need more than one streaming service at a time, for example,” someone wrote.

Besides, you can watch so much for free!

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.


Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.