- Personal Finance
Frugal Living: 10 Ways to Live on a Budget
10 Ways to Live on a Budget
Sometimes we find ourselves living from paycheque to paycheque. This calls for smart budgeting and frugal living until you can get back on your feet. Here are 10 ways to live on a budget.
It's tough but worth it!
1. Coupons & Store Flyers
Use coupons. You can find them on your cereal boxes, and in store flyers and online. Read the store flyers to see what is on sale. You want to learn what the "good" deals are.
Frugal living tip: Check the expiry dates of your coupons and keep them handy. Double bonus is when you find a flyer sale and have a coupon.
2. Inventory of your kitchen
Take inventory of your cupboards, fridge, and freezer to see what you already have. Now is the time to use up all of those ingredients and put them into your meal planning to save costs. Another benefit is that there is less food waste because you are using the food.
Frugal living tip: If you only need a small amount of a spice for a recipe, ask a neighbor or friend to help out. No need to buy a jar if you only need a tablespoon.
3. Brown Bag Lunch
Bring your lunch to work everyday. Cooking at home and bringing lunch to work everyday will save you $10 daily and $50 a week. Imagine that's a week of groceries instead.
Frugal living tip: Make a fun date and have a lunch swap! Make lunch for a coworker and they make lunch for you. It'll feel as though you are eating out but it didn't cost you a cent.
4. Budget Wisely
Use a simple excel sheet with your income and expenses for the month. You want to keep track of now only how much you spend, but I deduct the expenses (rent, cable, phone, insurance) first to see what I have for the remaining 2 weeks before the next paycheque. I also want to know how much I have to spend on a daily basis so I divide the balance into 14 days to find what my daily allowance is. $10 a day is not much but it is really a wake up call.
Frugal living tip: Try a free personal finance and budgeting system such as Mint.
5. Live Within Your Means - No Credit
Live within your means for the month. This means no credit cards. Use debit or cash only. I find this is easier when I have my daily allowance. Cash only will help because you can only spend what is in your wallet for the day. Do not carry too much cash otherwise you will find yourself hungry before the next paycheque arrives.
Frugal living tip: It's easier to live within your means if you know how much you make and how much you spend.
6. Grocery Shop with a List
ALWAYS go grocery shopping with a list and stick to it! This is after you have taken inventory and know what you want make for that week. Impulse buying is what increases the bill.
Frugal living tip: NEVER go shopping when you are hungry.
7. Free Entertainment
Even though you are living frugally you can still enjoy your social life. Find free entertainment and activities. Have a board game night, go walking or hiking, go to free yoga classes, check out the free events or festivals in your city. Just because you are broke, it doesn't mean you can't have fun!
8. Workplace Freebies
Take a look at your workplace and take advantage of the free coffee or tea. Some workplaces will have free muffins or snacks. You want to start saying "yes" instead of "no thanks" to those who offer food to you. Also no one else wants to take free things from work so instead of saying you're broke, you can say you are an environmentalist and don't like things to go to waste.
9. Break Open the Piggy Bank
The day to day expenses are for groceries so there is no "fun" money. That's when my boyfriend broke open the piggy bank and discovered $5 in change. We took that to the store and bought ourselves treats. Look around for your spare change and you'll be surprised how much it adds up to.
Frugal living tip: Coins love to hide in the couch seams, you may even find a bill if you are lucky.
10. Live One Day at a Time
The hardest part of living frugally is the change in lifestyle. You can remember when you didn't have to live paycheque to paycheque. Reliving the past will not help. Live in the present. Work on setting small goals to get yourself back on track one day at a time.
What are YOUR 10 Ways to live on a budget?
Those are my 10 ways to live on a budget that may spark inspiration!
More importantly what are YOUR 10 ways to live on a budget.
What are YOU going to DO today to make a financial difference.
I'd love to hear your ways to live on a budget! Comment below.