Saving money is a pipe dream for many people. With plenty of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, it may seem borderline impossible to put aside money every week. It’s especially hard when all you want to do is spend money.
As a result, many find it hard to avoid spending money in the face of endless advertisements and targeted marketing.
Fortunately, many frugal people have revealed their favorite tips that keep them locked in and money-conscious. These tips will help you keep a frugal mindset; trust us. It’s not as impossible as it seems!
Turn Being Frugal Into a Game
Many people who have embraced the frugal mindset suggest making your whole way of thinking into something you can win. For example, if you’re competitive, saving money could be easy if you regard it as a game. “This! Make it a game!” one person excitedly says.
Some apps help. Or set challenges for yourself- maybe eat out only once a month, cook all those bags of dried beans and rice in your pantry before buying more. Tracking your progress can motivate you to “win” at being frugal.
Do a Quick Retirement Calculation
Sometimes, putting numbers to paper and doing some quick math is all it takes to make you realize how frugal you must be. One person suggests busting out the calculator. First, determine how much you will have in retirement as you currently save. Then, calculate what it would be if you were relatively frugal.
“If you’re 30, you have roughly 35 years until retirement. Assuming historical returns, saving $1 now will give you around $32 at retirement. A single $4 drink deprives future you of $128.
One workweek of drinks is $640. One month of drinks is around $2500.” This person lauds this strategy, declaring that skipping a $50 dinner gives you $1600 in retirement.
Keep Everything in Perspective
Asking yourself, “What is my goal?” goes a long way in realizing your own frugality, according to one man. Keeping everything in perspective while critically examining your financial situation is essential. Also, remember to live frugally, not miserably. After all, there’s a thin line between saving money using frugal methods and driving yourself crazy.
It doesn’t matter if you want to live a more frugal life or have excess wealth – most people believe in setting budgets for your spending. I have a budget for every type of spending you can think of and challenge myself to get the most out of that budget as possible,” one man reveals.
Use Your Childhood as Motivation
Don’t be ashamed if you grew up in a household that penny-pinched as much as possible. Instead, use that as motivation to be more frugal with your everyday spending. One thrifty spender confesses that growing up poor taught him to be frugal, “At this point, I’m no longer poor, but it’s a habit.
6. Read Books
Self-help books come in all shapes in sizes. From thinking critically to saving money, there are books to help improve any area of your life. One book, in particular, has been praised by many: The Art of Frugal Hedonism. “I found it on my local library phone app and read it there.”
Make Short-Term Goals
Much like setting budgets, making easily-obtainable short-term goals is a simple and practical way to increase your frugality. Have a goal you are working towards; one notes, “I have an emergency fund goal I’m going to meet soon (knock on wood), and that feels awesome.
Other times being frugal has helped them save for a trip and pay off student loans. Before you know it, you’ll live a more frugal life and won’t be as susceptible to spending money on things you don’t need.
Create Spreadsheets To Assess Your Financial Situation
Don’t confuse spreadsheets with budgets – sometimes, simply tracking your spending on a spreadsheet can help you see the “big picture” of your financial situation. One person in particular lauds this strategy.
Track your spending on a spreadsheet, with each line breaking into a separate category. “You will see some patterns developing and question if it’s worth it at the end of each month when all your money is gone,” he advises. “It’s eye-opening for me.”
Set Up Automatic Transfers
Trust us: it’s easier to be frugal when a computer automatically does it. Setting up automatic transfers to your savings account with every paycheck can (literally) pay dividends! Other frugal savers agree with us. “I have automatic deposits set up for the day after my paycheck hits my bank account,” one woman says.
Some go to her IRA, some to her high-yield savings emergency fund, some to her investment account, and some to their joint household account for our bills/necessary expenses. “I only leave myself a few hundred dollars of ‘spendable’ money for discretionary purposes in my checking account.”
Use TV Shows as Inspiration
You can find plenty of inspiration to be more frugal – you must know where to look. Many people suggest watching certain TV shows that focus on this exact topic. “Watch frugal shows on YouTube like Til Debt Do Us Part about how marriages get ruined by financial problems,” suggests one savvy woman.
“She helps people turn around, and it’s pretty entertaining. I’ve learned a lot from her. Her name is Gail Vaz-Oxlade.” So there you go – who knew you could become more frugal by sitting on your couch and watching TV?
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved