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When was the last time you thought about how much money you waste?
OK, you might not necessarily be wasting your money – but chances are, you’re spending far more than you should on the basics, and you’re splurging more often than you need to on treats and luxuries.
Whether you’ve recently evaluated your spending habits and realized it’s time to make a change, or you’re well on your journey to cutting costs and saving cash, there are plenty of things you can do to live a more frugal life.
Making a shift to embrace more frugal habits doesn’t have to be a dramatic, world-shattering change. On the contrary, you can make a big impact by making small but impactful shifts to your daily routine that allow you to embrace frugality and live less expensively.
To help you get started, here are a handful of simple ways you can begin to live a more frugal life today:
Make a budget
Regardless of how financially comfortable you might be, you should always have a budget in place to help manage your personal finances. Without a budget, it can be tough to tell exactly how much money you’re spending each month – and where it’s actually going.
By budgeting, you can review your expenses through a more critical lens. You’ll be able to see how much you’re spending in some areas and how little you’re investing in others, and you’ll have the opportunity to realign your purchases to reflect your priorities.
If you’re trying you live more frugally, this can be an incredibly eye-opening exercise.
Cherish experiences, not things.
Let’s be honest – buying stuff is expensive. Designer purses, fancy clothes, new technology, and flashy cars are nice, but they cost a ton of cash. If you place importance on material things, you’re going to have a hard time controlling your spending habits.
Instead of placing value on stuff you can buy, value your experiences. Celebrate your child’s straight-A report card with s’mores around the bonfire in the backyard – not a trip to the mall for a new toy.
Instead of splurging on a new piece of jewelry to gift for your anniversary, plan a romantic hike and pack a picnic to share. Making this shift will curb your spending and help your family place more importance on the moments you share together instead of the stuff you own, making for a more frugal mindset.
Cut food costs where you can.
Depending on how you currently feed your family, you might be able to score some serious savings by making a few simple shifts. If your family loves to eat out at restaurants, you should reevaluate how frequently you’re dining out, as one restaurant meal can cost the equivalent of multiple homemade lunches and dinners.
There are plenty of other savings to be found at the grocery store. From using coupons and cash-back apps to shopping the sales and buying certain non-perishable items in bulk, there are quite a few ways to shave dollars off of your weekly grocery bill.
Consider your current process, look into ways others are saving, and see what new strategies you can implement to shop more frugally.
Look at your bills.
Most people view their monthly bills as a fixed cost, but you absolutely have the power to lower those expenses if you’re willing to do the work.
Are you paying off a credit card, or do you subscribe to cable or internet service? You can always call and see if they can lower your interest rate or offer a better discount on your current package.
Think there’s room to save on your electric bill? Encourage your family to turn off lights, televisions, and other electronics when they aren’t using them. Aside from doing your part to support our planet, you’ll likely shave some costs off of your monthly bill.
As you can see, you don’t have to make huge, life-shattering changes to live a more frugal life. Instead, you should try to take small steps to live more frugally and ultimately make a lifestyle shift to embrace better spending habits.
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If your family is working to spend less and save more, what small steps have made the greatest impact for you? Please share in the comments below – I’d love to know!