The Ultimate Guide to a Frugal Lifestyle
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The word frugal has been given a bad connotation in today’s society. (Which honestly makes me sad.)
Wouldn’t you want a few extra dollars? I know I do.
Living a frugal lifestyle isn’t hard or difficult.
It is about making choices.
On how you want to spend your money.
More or less, frugal living gives you a chance for saving money!
Not letting society dictate how and when you should be spending your hard-earned money.
By living a frugal lifestyle, the doors are open on where your path will lead. Whether you are looking to pay off debt, save up for an emergency fund, or jumpstart your retirement savings.
There are plenty of reasons to live a frugal lifestyle.
Stop comparing yourself to society and learn how to overcome societal norms to succeed with money.
Frugal Living Meaning –
Honestly, there are two ways to look at the definition of frugal living.
The first is by being frugal, you are more sparing or economical with spending. Thus, less likely to make impulse purchases and be lavishly spending money.
That doesn’t mean you are cheap; it means you are more resourceful with and when spending money.
The second definition of frugal living centers more on a lifestyle choice. In this case, it is a simple way of living. Being frugal means, you are happy living with less.
We are not meaning a full minimalism life; just okay having less items than the average household.
In either case, frugal living involves saving money. And that is totally worth considering living a more frugal lifestyle!
Many people confuse frugal living with saving money. They are similar in many ways. The key difference is being conscious of your spending, but not be wasteful and buying a ton because it was cheap.
Looking for a digital option for your budget that is better than Mint?
Does living a Frugal Lifestyle Mean I am Broke?
It means you are willing to live within your means.
Even better, live below your means!
Since our society revolves around debt as a primary way to pay for items (cars, education, remodels, clothing, etc), it is easy to begin living outside your means. By choosing to live within your means, people will assume you live a frugal lifestyle.
That doesn’t mean you are broke. It means you are willingly making other decisions on how and when to spend your money.
Sometimes when ends don’t meet, living a frugal lifestyle is critical for survival.
Others times, it is chosen lifestyle in order to reach financial freedom faster. Regardless of the reason, a chance to save money is always a win!
Related resource for you: Does Being Frugal Mean you are Cheap?
Benefits of a Frugal Lifestyle
The first benefit is less stress. By living a frugal lifestyle, you are living within your means. Thus, the worry of making it living paycheck to paycheck is gone.
That one reason should start your journey to frugal living. No more stress.
A frugal lifestyle correlates to a simpler life. My personal favorite scenario is “Why do you need another green shirt if you already own 5 of them?” Yep, that one phrase from a loved one changed my perspective immediately.
Life is much easier to maintain with the less stuff we allow in it.
Side note…Extreme couponing (while frugal) can put a damper on a simpler life. With extreme couponing comes many hours of cutting coupons, shopping, and storing items purchased for free or a crazy low price.
Plus, possibly spending more than planned because the deal was too good to pass up. While using coupons is a tip of being frugal, it is important to focus on what you are able to use and store.
The most obvious benefit of a frugal lifestyle is saving money. Spending less money.
Remember the saying… Every penny saved is a penny earned.
The simplest way to accumulate wealth is spending less and saving more. The key is to actually move the money out of your main checking account.
Related Post: How to Live Below Your Means and Love Life
How to Make a Frugal Lifestyle?
Being frugal means there are trade-offs and decisions on how to spend money.
Ultimately, you must decide what is more important in your life.
Whatever that reason is – paying off debt, saving for a down payment, retiring early, travelling – make sure to keep that top of mind. That is the reason saying no will be easier when you know your end goal.
Share your reason for being frugal with us on our Facebook page.
Next, you need to assess your spending.
- What areas are hemorrhaging money?
- How can you rein that in?
- What lifestyle changes do you need to make?
- What did you buy that you regret?
- By embracing a frugal lifestyle, how would my life change?
- Are you buying just because things are on sale? (thus, not saving much money)
Frugal Living & Budget
Learn how to make a budget. Or Cents Plan as we like to refer to it. Period.
Without a budget, it is impossible to get ahead with money.
Even a loosely followed budget is better than nothing at all. Sinking funds are the best way to get started with budgeting.
Simply put – Spend less than money earned.
Many people hate the word budget and I get it. It is harder to get started using a budget and sticking to a plan.
Living a frugal lifestyle and staying within budget go hand in hand. Without a budget, you can’t identify your spending triggers and make impactful changes on how you spend money.
Learn all of the surprising advantages of budgeting.
Subsequently, look for ways to stretch your dollar farther. This could be with free activities or reusing and repurposing items around the house. Be creative. Think outside of the box before logging on to buy something or heading to the store.
Most importantly, remember the reason you are choosing to live a frugal lifestyle.
Must read: How to Budget Money and Still Enjoy Life
Frugal Lifestyle Ideas for Beginners:
When you are a beginner at frugal living, it is very easy to try and accomplish everything at once. That is when giving up becomes way too easy.
Start with creating new frugal habits that will save money on a consistent basis.
- Pack a lunch for work and school age kids
- Stop buying bottled water and pick up these instead
- Aim to cook double the amount of meals from home than you currently do
- Look to buy used first
- Stop shopping – just to shop
- Make coffee at home
- Hit the library
- Change the thermostat to be higher in summer / lower in winter or upgrade to this
- Delete auto-stored payment information
- Don’t be ashamed for being frugal
- More frugal living ideas…
Make sure to download the Spending Wish List from our Free Resource Library. This one sheet can save your thousands of dollars each and every year.
Must Read Frugal Resources:
- 175+ Simple and Easy Frugal Living Tips to Save Money
- Top 10 Influential Frugal Living Tips with a Big Impact
- 10 Simple Tips on How to be Frugal with Food
- 76 Easy Thrifty Tips & Tricks to Live a More Frugal Lifestyle
Frugal Lifestyle for Families
As a parent, we want to provide the world and everything in it for our kids. I get it.
My favorite picture of my kids is them crawled inside the cabinet playing with all of the plastic containers. Yep. Not a shiny toy or present. Plastic containers and bottles. Hours of fun that cost me nothing.
Think like a kid and figure out family activities that don’t break the bank.
- Save $50 bucks at the trampoline jump business and head to the park.
- Don’t feel like cooking? Pass the job to the kids for the night (yep, it may be interesting what they come up with). However, it easily saves $20-100 on eating out.
- Want to check out the latest movie at the theater and spend $60-75 for everyone? Stream another favorite for a fraction of the cost.
Plus, the biggest benefit of living out a frugal lifestyle with my kids is they learn that having fun doesn’t have to come at a cost.
Also, when we say yes to spending money, it is a treat and needs to be enjoyed. The best way for kids to be wise with money is to learn by watching.
Crucial read for money success: Money Bliss Steps for Financial Freedom
Are you Ready for a Frugal Lifestyle?
Can being frugal make you rich? Yes. You are consistently saving money which over time will lead to an increase in net worth. Money success starts and builds with momentum.
Living a frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean you are cheap. It means you are opening a door full of opportunities and choices.
Here are 100+ frugal living tips to try. Here is another list of close to 200+ frugal living tips.
By accepting a frugal lifestyle, it means your place your priorities in different areas.
It is okay to be different. It is one of the steps towards financial freedom.