The 21st century has started off with more people and companies being eco-conscious and resource-conserving. People are finding more ways to reuse, recycle, repurpose, revamp, and restructure without spending too much money. Costs are soaring and finding ways to be super frugal has become a necessity for many. But, we have to be proactive and take responsibility and control for what goes on in our lives and our surroundings.
Being frugal can mean different things to each of us. It may mean stretching our dollar more and looking for bargains, being more thrifty and reusing, prioritize spending, debt reduction, and of course saving money and spending less. I’ve come up with 5 simple yet relevant ways to become super frugal.
1. No Frivolous Spending
Make a list of wants, viruses needs. Sometimes it can be a bit blurry to distinguish between the two but if you don’t discern this quickly you’ll have a big financial hole that may be hard to crawl out of. You want money in your budget for housing, food, health & hygiene, clothing, insurance, and an emergency fund. Anything outside this may be considered a want, so weigh heavily on your spending habits. A phone is a need, but cable and Netflix are wants. It’s a matter of being economical. Keep track of what you spend your money on, you make be shocked. Stick to your shopping list and your budget.
2. Don’t Use Credit – Use Cash!
When using credit to buy merchandise, it’s easy to get carried away with the buy now pay later mindset. That may be fine for one or two small purchases but when they start adding up and/or you make a couple of big purchases, you may find yourself in a disastrous predicament. When you use cash, you’re completely aware of your budget. It prevents incurring debt and leads to more conscious and careful spending. People have forgotten that cash is currency. Swiping a card is so easy and fun whereas spending cash requires thought and calculations. Cut up or deactivate all credit cards except one just in case you need it for an emergency back up.
3. Open a Bank Account
The financial wizards suggest that we should be saving 10% of our income every month and putting it straight into your savings account. There are a few things you should consider before opening a bank account. Look at your options and compare bank accounts regularly to determine which bank is right for you. You need to know what your monthly fees are, interest rates, service charges, ATM fees, do you need a minimum balance, are there overdraft options and fees, number of weekly transactions, do they offer free insurance, and is it close to my home; these are just some points to consider. Remember to always read the fine print. Once you’ve made your choice, talk to your bank and have them automatically deposit 10% of your income into your savings account and never touch it. Let it grow and accumulate interest and watch your numbers grow. It’s exciting!
4. Shop on Discount Day & Use Coupons
Every major grocery chain has a monthly discount day. The discount can range anywhere from 10 – 20% which equals lots of savings. In addition to the monthly savings, you can also use coupons. Couponing is fast become a frugal habit for many people and it has a profound effect on your grocery budget. Check your local newspaper, weekly flyers, in-store locations, and online for e-coupons or sign up to receive free newsletters and get manufacture coupons and freebies. Many couponers pay little or no money for their monthly grocery bill. It can be time-consuming so be prudent and determine which coupons give you the best bang for your buck while engaged in this thrifty hobby.
5. Community Recycling
I love reading about communities that get together and sell, share, or trade household products. Any household item that no longer has a purpose in your home may be of great value to another household giving it a longer, useful life. Maybe your child has outgrown his hockey equipment but your neighbor’s child is just getting into hockey. Purchasing or trading used wares in good condition is not only budget frugal, but it’s also good for our environment. There’s less in the landfill, saved and reduced energy, and less greenhouse gas. It’s much better to refurbish and recycle. You can also check out thrift stores or garage sales where you can strike up a bargain or find incredible treasures.