Frugal living isn’t only about living cheaply. It’s about learning a lifestyle and focusing your money on goals rather than the immediate gratification of wants.
After asking a popular frugal community for their best tips, these are the best ones!
1. Know the Difference Between Need and Want
Knowing what you need versus what you want is essential to saving money. The key is not to sacrifice all your wants. Depriving all your wants will cause you to binge on them once you have a little extra income. One user suggests, “The key is just to know when you want to treat yourself. Then, make the times you do count.”
2. Learn To Cook
Eat at home more and out less. Eating out can add up, and many dishes are relatively easy to make at home. For example, learn to cook a few recipes that you would regularly order out well enough that you don’t want to go through the expense or hassle of doing so in the future.
3. Live Below Your Means
Living below your means is simply affording the more lavish option but buying, the less expensive one. One user says, “I feel like living below your means is just solid advice no matter what age you are!” Another adds, “not to up your standard of living just because you are earning more.
4. Pay Yourself First
Automatically save a percentage of your paychecks in a savings account. Start with something small, like 5%, then increase the percentage every few months so long as you’re not struggling. One user comments, “life happens, and you must be ready. Proper money management is important.
5. Learn Value Over Price
Aiming for value over price is sometimes more important than saving. For example, buying a pair of shoes that cost more, but will last longer, will save you money versus buying a cheap pair that you will need to replace a few months later.
6. Cancel Recurring Subscriptions
Avoid recurring costs and subscriptions as much as possible. Recurring fees such as streaming services can add up. For example, one user says, “those fees seem small, $10 here, $5 there, but then next thing you know, you are subscribed to several, and it’s costing over $100.”
Instead, try subscribing to one, watching the movies and shows you like, and then canceling and switching to another.
7. Socializing at Home
Find other ways to socialize so you don’t get trapped in the money pit of socializing. Instead of always going out with friends for drinks or dinner, try hosting parties. One user suggests that you take turns with your friends hosting parties. That way, the cost is not always falling on you. You can keep your social life but redefine it to suit your fiscal needs.
8. Open a Roth IRA
Opening a Roth IRA as early as possible and funding it the best you can set your future up more than any savings account could. One user confesses, “I wish someone had suggested this to me when I was younger.” If you can hit the annual maximums on a Roth, you’re killing it.” It won’t be easy to do, but worth a goal you will be grateful for.
9. Don’t Fall Into Peer Pressure Spending
Avoid them by politely declining, and don’t back down when someone tries to push it. One confirms, “It’s not their money. It’s yours. Only you should decide how to spend it.”
10. Know the Difference Between Cheap and Frugal
Knowing the difference between cheap and frugal will save you money in the long run and help you build good habits you will carry throughout your life.
For example, one user says, “cheap is buying shoes that don’t offer support, causing you back pain which causes a doctor bill. Frugal is buying a reliable car or taking public transportation whenever possible.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.