We could all stand to be more frugal. After all, who doesn’t like to save money? But it isn’t always easy to curb our spending habits, and sometimes trying to find the best deal can feel like a chore. Unfortunately, entering the frugal lifestyle isn’t the easiest thing to do. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to help make it a smoother transition. With that in mind, here’s my advice on how you can break into frugal living.
1. Start Slow
Sometimes it can be difficult to make changes, and while some of us possess the fortitude to quit our bad habits cold turkey, the rest of us need to ease into transition. That’s why it’s best to take it slow when adopting the frugal lifestyle. Maybe you start by just cutting down on the number of times you go out to eat a week and cook a meal or two from home. Or you start to check for coupons online before you go out to shop. Taking baby steps towards frugality can help make it easier to stick with your new lifestyle.
2. Track Everything
How much are you spending each week? How much are you saving? Paying closer attention to how you’re managing your money can help you identify what areas of your life would most benefit from some frugal practices. Not only that, but tracking yourself can help turn frugality into a game! Each month is a new chance to beat the months prior; an opportunity to spend less and save more.
3. Really Think About What You’re Buying
Every time you’re about to purchase something, really take a moment to consider what it is you’re buying and why you’re buying it. Not only can this habit keep you from making impulsive purchase decisions, but it can also help you reevaluate your choices. In that brief moment of reflection, you might discover that you’re needlessly paying more for a name brand, or that you’d actually save more if you bought two smaller portions instead of the “family-sized” box.
You might even discover that you’re buying more than you actually need for the week. Do yourself the favor and take time to really see if your hard-earned money is being put to good use.
4. Learn to Be Self-Reliant
Whenever you go out to eat or hire a handyman, you’re paying extra for the cost of someone’s labor. Learning how to cook your own meals or how to fix your leaky faucet could save you a ton of money in the long run. Try to take a little time each week to educate yourself on how to take care of a small task. Pick up a DIY book or two, enroll in a class or just ask a friend who’s in the know to show you how. Every lesson you learn is another step toward a frugal lifestyle.
5. Do What’s Easiest and Best for You
Not every frugal habit is going to stick, and that’s OK. Frugality can mean different things to different people. While some folks might take enjoyment in thrifting and hunting down a bargain, others may just want to cut out coupons and garden to save on vegetables. Find what habits work best for you and you’ll be better able to stick to a frugal lifestyle. Remember: Frugal doesn’t mean you’re cheap, it means you’re smart with money and know when it’s worth spending.
Adopting a frugal lifestyle is a great way to maximize your savings potential. While the changes may be difficult to manage at first, your new money-saving habits can soon become second nature. Believe me, you won’t miss that extra night of take-out once you see the dollars in your savings!