Living Frugally...How Do I Start?

Let’s face facts; the term “frugality” and the idea of living frugally can bring negative thoughts to many. Frugal people are often thought to be “cheapskates” or “penny pinching misers”. Somehow the more positive traits of frugality are overlooked. This occurs because there is a fine line that separates a conscientious frugal life from hoarding behavior.

If you use the right ideas and plan how to properly incorporate frugal tips into your life you will be able to save money and increase your resources without becoming a modern day “Ebenezer Scrooge”.

When you embrace a frugal lifestyle do not worry about what others have to say. You are making a conscientious effort to responsible living and this should be a source of pride. Always stick to your principles and stay focused on saving and using money and resources in sensible ways.

Frugal Living Ideas

  • Enjoy friends and family but pay attention to how often you dine out at restaurants. If you eat out every weekend you are blowing your budget on this one event. This is expensive over time and can impact your money situation. If you must eat out look for coupons or special offers that can be used. Limit your dining out activity or suggest that at home meals replace the restaurant fare.
  • Another great way to start living frugally...Take a new look at your clothing budget and see how you can pare it down. There is no need to buy a new wardrobe every year. Recycle your clothing items by mixing and matching pieces in new ways. Check out thrift stores and consignment stores to see if they have items that can become part of your own wardrobe at a very low cost.
  • Owning your home can save you money that would go to a landlord. Do not start out big, but look for a smaller home that has good financing available. A home in need of tender loving care can be a great investment that will reap sizable rewards in the future.
  • When you are purchasing a car check out the more practical models. Program cars can save you big dollars and are a frugal and sensible option to the more expensive showroom models. Cars depreciate quickly so avoid going for all the bells and whistles and focus on dependability, good gas mileage and low maintenance features.
  • Hit the grocery aisles with coupons in hand for great savings. Avoid going to a grocery store when you are bored or hungry and this will help you limit your purchase of impulse items. Remember that many of the cheaper items are still made by those name brand companies. For example, Murray cookies are made by the Keebler Cookie Company but cost half as much as those bearing the Keebler name. This is just an example. You might be surprised who really makes the generic brands you see in the stores. It is quite an intersting education!
  • Living frugally means changing your habits and finding new ways to do things. Going out with the family does not have to cost you mega dollars. Try picnics, visiting the libraries and parks, or participating in community activities. Look for fun activities that brignyou together as a family and don't cost much.
  • School supplies should be basic items that are practical. Avoid the backpacks, folders and accessories with TV and movie characters because you will waste your money on useless hype. Stock up on these items whenever you see them on sale and buy them in quantity. *Notebook paper and pencils never have an expiration date.
  • Practice being content with what you have and embrace your budget with an open mind. Remember these words, “Use it up…wear it out…Make it do…or do without”.
  • In addition to saving for college encourage your children to apply for scholarships and maintain good grades. There are also campus jobs available that require only a few hours of work each week and they can use this money to offset their financial needs.
  • Always remember the constraints of your family budget and restrain yourself from making unwise and wasteful purchases.
  • If you keep a budget in mind and stick with it you will be prepared for any jarring moments that may occur like a loss of employment, illness or accidents.

Living frugally does take a new mindset and determination. You will be so happy once you start living a frugal lifestyle and see more money in your pockets, and see your debts reduced!

More Articles on Frugal Living

Copyright 2009-2011