Frugal Living Tips and Tricks - Having Fun with Frugality
Why live frugally? Isn't it boring and time consuming? Well frugality can be fun! If you spend less, the less you need to earn and so there is more time for fun. If you spend less than you earn you can pay off debt quicker, save up for a holiday or invest for your retirement - lots more future fun.
Lastly being frugal itself can be a lot of fun - learning to do things for your self and being self-sufficient, recycling and all those crazy innovative ideas to keep things going when they should have been put out to pasture.
Frugality can also be a social activity as you join how to do classes and seek help from your friends with renovating, car repairs and even car pools and joint shopping trips with your friends.
Below are 50 great tips and tricks for frugal living:
- Opt for one car. Many families have two, three or more cars. Apart from your house, your car is probably the most expensive home item. Can you get by with only one car and use public transport at other times.
- Opt for a smaller car or for an electric car or hybrid. You can save thousands by swapping to a smaller car. Make sure you are comfortable, and don't get carried away. You’ll save a lot on fuel and the original purchase price.
- Opt for a smaller house. Many people, especially order couples live in huge houses with a lot more space than they need. A small modern house may be a lot more comfortable than your large existing house. You may not want to live in an apartments but get rid of the clutter and downsize.
- Consider Renting rather than owning a House. Do your homework and don’t assume that buying a house is the better investment option. If you do the sums and add up all the costs such as the interest you pay on a mortgage, the cost of insurance and maintenance, buying can be more costly than renting. When you switch to renting you can invest the money you save and you could end up better off in the long run. Of course you should do a thorough comparison, comparing all expenses over a 10 year time frame.
- Look for Second-hand Goods first. Searching for second-hand or used goods can be a lot of fun. Regular visits to garage sales and markets can be a fun activity for the whole family - provided you stick to a budget. Getting an old radio or appliance going again can be a challenge and lots of fun if you have the skills and motivation.
- Eat out less often. One of the biggest expenses for families is eating out. An average person can spend in excess of $2,000 a year on eating out. Restaurants are very expensive and fast-food outlets may appear to be cheap, but add up the total meal costs and it may surprise you. Its much cheaper to buy, grow and to cook your own food and a lot more fun. Take pride in it, and develop a household competition. With planning and bulk buying, the costs can be reduced even more.
- Eat out frugally. There are lots of ways for saving money when eating out.
- Share one meal between two. Order just one dinner and one appetizer and share it between two people. Many meals are way too large
- Always take the leftovers home.
- Go for lunch specials. Lunch specials will be cheaper than dinners, and breakfasts are even cheaper. Some restaurants offer discounts on specific days of the week (Monday and Tuesday).
- Look for discount coupons and deals.
- Reduce the Number of Main Meals - Adults may only want to order side dish items such as a salad or an appetizer, especially at fast food outlets.
- Special Family Days and Specials - Search for them and take advantage of the discounts.
- Choose an affordable restaurant. Do your homework on the internet and compare prices. Watch of for new restaurants deals and specials.
- Drink water rather than soda, wine or other drinks which are very expensive at restaurants.
- Skip the Appetizers and Dessert which can more than double the price of the meal. Opt for salads which are generally cheaper.
- Take lunch to work. Instead of eating out for lunch, take a packed lunch to work.
- Adopt a minimalist wardrobe. Use the same tactic for your general wardrobe as you do when going on holidays with a small bag. Keep it simple and choose plain, solid colors that go with everything.
- Avoid online impulse buys. Cancel your credit card or reduce the credit limit. Buying online can save you money for something essential but the impulse buys can be a real trap.
- Don’t go to shopping Malls. Don’t go to department stores, the mall or other shopping centres and when you do take a list and avoid window shopping. The stores always have 'bargains' near the entrances which you should be aware of and avoid..
- Use a Weekly list. To limit what you buy, create a weekly list and a budget. If you want to add an item then you will have to remove an existing item with similar value. Make it a rule that the item has to be on the list for 7 days before you can buy it.
- Use the library. Instead of buying books and DVD borrow them from the local library.
- Find free entertainment. Find cheap entertainment items such as movie vouchers. The costs can be kept down by doing some research.
- Stay Healthy and Exercise Frugally. Staying healthy can be entertaining and provide a lot of fun. You will also save money on medical expenses.
- Save on Car Expenses and Transport
- Commute by bike. Even if you own your own car, commuting to work or going shopping by bike will save on fuel bills, and get you get fit at the same time.
- Carpool or ride the bus.
- Walk. Often we drive to the corner store, or to a school that is less than a mile away. Walk instead and burn-off some excess calories, and save on fuel.
- Sell your clutter - Hold a garage sale or sell it on eBay or a similar site. It is astounding what you can sell and create space in your house.
- Frugal gifts. Plan ahead and choose thoughtful gifts that are less expensive.
- Quit smoking, and Reduce Alcohol and Sweets Consumption.
- Do your Errands and Shopping in Batches. Instead of running one or two errands a day, batch them and do both on a single day. Plan your most efficient route to the stores to save fuel and time.
- Stop using Credit Cards. Control them and stop Paying Interest. Credit cards are evil money wasters if you don't control them. The trick is to pay off the good purchases before you have to pay interest and avoid impulse buying and buying expensive high quality goods when a cheaper alternative will do.
© 2011 Dr. John Anderson
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