Tips for Living on Less

The economic downturn of recent years has left many unemployed. Others have seen a cut in their salaries, while others are convinced that a simpler life is the answer to cut back on stress. Whatever your reason is for choosing to live on less, here is a list of tips that will help you accomplish your mission.

Living on Less: Learn how to shop

Plan a weekly menu – make a list of items that you will need for that week. Don’t buy things that you are not so sure you are going to use that week, especially if they have the potential of spoiling. Making a list of items is very important. It will guide you to the specific items you need to buy instead of buying on impulse.

Keep a list of what you already have – Sometimes we don’t even know what we have at home and end up buying doubles or even triples. Avoid this mistake by keeping a clear list of what you have at home and in your fridge.

Cook from scratch – Buy basic ingredients instead of prepackaged food. This is usually cheaper and healthier.

Make Use of Coupons – They arrive in your mail as junk mail, but some of them contain great coupons with 2-for-1 deals, and

Thrift shops – Instead of buying at the mall, get to know your local thrift stores. You will be surprised at how many quality clothing (and non-clothing) items you can find there.

Plant a garden – Grow your own fruits and vegetables. They will be cheaper, healthier, and lacking pesticides.

Keep records – Write down the money you have available, as well as every purchase you make. This will allow you to know exactly how much you can spend, and stop you when you have bought too much.

Get rid of credit cards – Buy only what you can afford.

Living on Less: Think Before you Buy

Before opening your wallet ask yourself: “Do I really need this? Or do I just want something new?” This, of course, requires much discipline on our part. Be objective and honest with yourself. How often will you use the item? Can I buy a used one rather than a new one? Can I rent it instead of buying it?

Living on Less: Keep what you Already Have

Follow manufacturer’s maintenance instructions - This will keep your appliances working for a longer period of time.

Don’t overuse your good clothes - To make them last longer, change your good clothing as soon as you get home.

Don’t upgrade – Don’t fall into the trap of upgrading, whether it is your cellphone, or anything else. These upgrades are useful in very few occasions. If your current phone is working well, keep it, don’t upgrade it. You will only end up paying more.

Living on less may be a difficult task at the beginning. But the benefits of a simpler life are abundant! Keep trying and don’t give up!

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frugalfamily 5 years ago from Houston, TX

This is a good list of tips. Thanks!

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