We sometimes think that being frugal and sad are synonymous. This could not be further from the truth as you can be frugal and happy at the same time.
In fact, some of the happiest people I have ever encountered live in some of the poorest parts of the world where being frugal is a must.
I have seen people who can only dream of necessities like electricity, shoes, etc but are still happy with their life.
I have also seen people who are actually swimming in money and yet still live miserably.
For some of us, average citizens becoming thrifty in our life can actually help us live a happy fulfilled life.
A life free from competing with others. Free from the stress of being chased by debt collectors.
There is satisfaction from living a life of freedom.
Is it good to be frugal?
Yes, it is definitely good to be frugal or thrifty in our lives. It is good for us personally and the world around us.
Becoming frugal can actually enable you to save enough money to finance that dream vacation you have always been dreaming of.
A vacation that will leave a smile on your face and make your family happy and proud of you.
Wastefulness of our times has damaged this world and it is time you helped in saving the world by becoming frugal.
Think of all the food waste that contributes massively to greenhouse gas emissions.
If we all just become a little careful in only using and buying only the food we need we could help this world.
Think of all the cardiovascular diseases that affect the affluent parts of the world. They are all a result of overconsumption of all sorts of foods.
As you can see there are several benefits from becoming frugal. Benefits to you and also to the world and people around you.
It is because of these and other reasons that I believe everyone whether rich or small needs to seriously consider living a frugal life.
Living a life of excess has been bad for us and the world.
How do people become frugal? – Practical Ways to becoming frugal
According to vocabulary.com, a frugal person is a person who lives simply and economically.
There a few things that you need to do if you are to be successful in this lifestyle. Below are some of the practical things you can do to become frugal.
It starts by accepting that being frugal is cool
As the saying goes, as a man thinketh so is he.
The brain is the first place to focus on when you are about to change your lifestyle.
You need to convince yourself first that being frugal is good for you.
Until you do this changing your ways will be more difficult than it should be.
There are several reasons why someone might want to live a frugal life. Below are some of them.
- One just wants to live a simple life.
- To get rid of debt.
- You want to reduce greenhouse emissions from food waste.
Change starts when you convince yourself that what you are about to embark on is worth the effort. This is why it is important to jot down all the reasons you want to adopt a frugal lifestyle.
Cancel Cable tv subscription
I recently canceled my cable tv subscription as I felt that I was just spending a lot of money on a service I rarely use.
Actually I subscribed to it to watch soccer but the soccer was bundled together with other channels I did not need.
As a result, I could only use this subscription on weekends when the soccer was on.
The fact is that we spend too much money on things that we don’t really need.
I would have been better off purchasing some stocks.
I would, therefore, urge anyone serious about their resources to seriously consider canceling their cable subscription.
If you still want to watch something you can go for the Roku tv and other reasonably priced streaming services.
To be honest there are so many free to air channels around that we really do not need to spend $100 for more channels.
The advantage of canceling cable is that you will have plenty of time with your family or do other things that will bring more income to your family.
We have on this site some topics to help you make money online like the following:
These posts should help you to do something profitable with the extra free time you will have by canceling your cable.
Review your mobile phone usage and contracts
If you took your time to review your mobile phone usage and your contract you could find out that you are more money than you need to.
Some of us have data packages that we rarely fully utilize.
As a member of the frugal society, it is not time to call your service provider and ask for a reduction in the data packages.
It may be difficult to achieve this with a current contract but you never know.
If you cannot do it now you can just wait until the end of the contract and move on to another reasonably priced package.
There are some good mobile phone packages that are being offered by some small providers lately.
It is just a question of searching for the best contracts around.
Buy second hand
Another suggestion for the frugal is to buy second things if possible.
I recently went to a thrift store and was surprised that I could buy some branded stuff at very reasonable prices.
These were items that I could rarely try to buy brand new even if I was not living a frugal lifestyle.
By buying second-hand things we could not only save money but also get quality stuff.
Take advantage of sales, clearance sales
Did you know that the best time to buy Christmas gifts is right after Christmas itself?
This is because this is the time when you can buy these things at a very discounted price.
You are therefore better off buying your holiday gifts for next year’s Christmas soon after this year’s Christmas holiday.
You will find that you will make massive savings for quality gifts.
Another thing that you can do as a frugal person is to take advantage of clearance sales.
This way you will find that you will be able to buy things sometimes at half their original prices.
There are actually websites that track the times in the year when prices of items are likely to be discounted.
Go for a free checking account
Nowadays there are banks like Capital One, Chime, Simple.com and Ally Bank that offer free checking accounts.
There is, therefore, no reason why you should be paying fees for having a checking account.
If you are in this situation seriously consider transferring your bank account to a free one.
Start preparing monthly budgets
One of the best ways if not the best way of monitoring your expenses is through a budget.
At the end of each month before you start spending any penny sit down with your family and prepare your household budget.
After that make sure that you stick to it throughout the month. A budget will also help you to do your savings.
You can, for instance, use a budget to save for your vacation. To assist you in the preparation of your budget you can use budget apps such as Personal Capital and Tiller.
Without a budget, you will never be able to live frugally and save money.
Learn to DIY
We usually spend a lot of money paying people to do things like simple repairs that we can easily do ourselves.
A few years ago I learned how to install satellite dishes by just studying some materials freely available on the internet.
I now save up to $50 for satellite tv installation by just doing it myself. And besides saving money it has now become my hobby too. I enjoy it too.
There are so many DIY youtube videos that can teach us how to do various repairs.
So before you hire a technician search on Youtube to see if you can just do it yourself.
It may take time the first time but once you do it the first time then it will be very easy next time.
A few days ago my computer stopped working and I was about to take it to a technician when I decided to find DIY videos on Youtube.
Even though it took a bit of time I managed to find the problem.
I eventually bought a hard disk and fixed my computer myself.
My computer is now working properly and much better than before for a total cost of $15.
Had I taken it to a technician I would have spent three times this amount.
Being frugal by bringing your own lunch to work
The average American spends between $5-$20 for lunch every working day.
This adds up to $100-$400 every month and $1200 – $4,800 a year.
And if you think this is peanuts think what a $1000 can do if you invested in stocks.
For example, I just read that if you had invested $1,000 in the Amazon IPO in the 1990s your stocks will be valued at over $1 million now.
So saving $1,000 a year is a big deal.
You, therefore, need to consider preparing your own food and bringing to work as your lunch.
It not only saves money but ensures that you have quality food too as you are the one preparing it yourself.
We have little say in how food in restaurants is prepared as it is all standardized.
Another advantage of preparing your own food is that it can help you to reduce weight if you are overweight.
This is because when you are preparing your own food you can control the nutrients in your own food.
Further preparing your own food can also help in sorting out the problem of food waste.
It has been reported that food waster is one of the culprits for greenhouse gas emissions that are depleting the ozone layer.
When you prepare your own food you can easily just prepare what you need and therefore less food waste.
We all get coupons that for some reason we don’t always use.
As a frugal person, you need to start taking advantage of coupons to save on your expenses.
There is no reason not to take advantage of discounts.
However in doing this be mindful that you don’t end up buying things you don’t need just to take advantage of discounts.
That will be against the spirit of being frugal.
Reduce your heating costs by replacing your windows
Did you know that you could save thousands of dollars by just making sure that the seals for your windows are in good condition?
Therefore if your windows need replacement, replace them and you will save a lot over time.
Besides saving money you will live in a house that is warm and a nice place to stay in during weather extremes.
Being frugal by decluttering
As a frugal person, your goal is to only have what you need.
You, therefore, need to look for things that need to be gotten rid of in your house. We all have things that we never or rarely use in our houses.
These need to be gotten rid of.
You can, for instance, make money by selling them at a flea market.
Decluttering will free up valuable space in your house among many other benefits.
Quality of life is not a function of how many toys you have.
Move to a smaller house
If you are living in a house that has more rooms than you need then maybe it is time to move to a smaller house.
There is no point in spending more money on rentals for space that you don’t need.
Therefore moving to a smaller house not only makes sense but will save you money.
Money that you can use for other important things in your life like saving for a vacation.
Becoming frugal is cool. It will simplify your life in such a way that will give you peace. It will free you from competing with others and will promote your wellbeing. There is no better way to live on this earth than by being frugal, economical, and thrifty.