ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Frugal Living for Beginners

Updated on July 7, 2009

Oh how I wish I had lived frugally for my whole life. I think back to those paychecks in high school and how much I spent on clothes and food and regret it. If only I had saved some of that money I could be so much better off today. You know, compound interest and all. But frugal living is a journey, a process, and a learning experience. Everyone has to start somewhere. Eventually I started living frugally. After I was married and had my first child I was forced to just to stay out of debt. My journey still continues today, eleven years later. Here are some tips if you are just getting started on your frugal journey.

  • Pay attention to where your money goes. You won't know where to cut back if you don't know where it is going to start with. By tracking your spending, it won't take you long to figure out the areas you need to work on. Then get started!
  • Pay attention to your utilities. Many people consider these monthly bills set in stone. That is the wrong way to look at it. For us, our third largest expenditure each month after the mortgage and food, is utilities.  And in the winter, utilities are second.  Utility bills can be lowered very easily. In many places you can call around and try to find better rates for things like cable, phone, gas, internet, and even electric. Start calling companies in your area, or at the very least look around online. Once you get a feel for what other companies are charging, call your company and negotiate a lower rate. If they won't do it, then switch. In the long run you could save hundreds of dollars a year. And don't think that turning off the lights when you leave the room doesn't matter, because it really does add up. The same with your thermostat. In the winter turn it down and in the summer turn it up. It won't take you long to notice a difference in your bill.
  • Take stock of what you have. It is hard to stop spending money when it is such an ingrained habit for all of us. And literally you have to spend money to survive, so it is essential. BUT most people (me included) can work on spending less money. Go through your house and figure out what you have. If you have 5 toothbrushes, don't buy anymore for awhile. If you have food on hand to last the week, even though it is your normal shopping day, opt to stay home and eat what you already have. Wear the clothing that you already own. Use what you have and don't buy anything new for while. If something runs out, see how long you can go without replacing it.  This should help break the spending habit. It will also help you get ahead a little and kick start your savings.
  • Remember that small leaks sink a big ship. Little bits of money add up. They add up to lots of spending, or lots of savings. Rather than spend small amounts of money here and there, opt to save it instead. It will result in a nice savings account in a very short time.  Or you can use the savings to pay down debt and make your monthly budget a little easier to handle. 

As you start your journey on the path of frugal living, remember you are not alone. There are many people living a frugal life and it is becoming more and more popular now that we are in a recession. If you are struggling to get ahead, now is the time to make some changes. Small changes add up to big savings so take the first step and start your frugal living journey today. Everyone has to start at some point, so wherever you are at, now is as good a time as any.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      7 years ago from USA

      These are such good common sense tips. Using what we already own is not only a good way to save money, but will help save our environment!

    • Brupie profile image


      8 years ago

      Learning to cook is one of the best ways of cutting down on spending. Besides reducing the exorbitant costs of eating our, learning to cook can save a lot in the grocery store. The price differences between raw ingredients and packaged manufactured foods are huge.

    • ModernMom profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      I love this hub! My whole motto in life is live big and spend little! Thanks for the tips from a fellow frugal person!


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I am making it a hobby to cut back. I use to wash everother day, but now I go to the laundy mat to save on utilities. My bill has dropped $100 already and it only took me 45mins to wash 5 loads.

    • emdi profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice hub

    • currieemily75 profile image


      9 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      Another great hub Jennifer. I never thought about how much money is wasted when things are plugged in constantly and not used. Thanks for the good info.

    • jstevenson profile image


      9 years ago

      I consider myself frugal; however I always try to earn more vs. only trying to cut my spending. This has worked well for me.

    • Tigermadstanley profile image

      Amanda Davey 

      9 years ago from Canterbury, Kent, UK

      Thank you for your thoughts on frugal living. I am having to develop the frugal living habit very rapidly as I'm about to lose my job due to health problems and discrimination. Staying out of debt is so important. I ran up huge debts getting resources for my class which is ironic now that I'm about to lose that job!

    • C.S.Alexis profile image


      9 years ago from NW Indiana

      It is a sure fact that we as a society need to get on with a more frugal life style. Starting as individuals is the best place to begin and it can only help the strength of society as a whole. Good ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

    • mayhmong profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      I'm thinking of moving out for the first time and getting myself an apartment. Now I gotta stick to these helpful tips of yours and save, save, save!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Jennifer I really enjoyed your article and made me think how terrible I am about thinking ahead and finances. Surely I hope I didn't put in the back of my head some man would rescue me :-) maybe I really did. I am buying a piggy bank tomorrow, oops, the money still comes from him. But I will put away for a rainy day. I needed to hear what you said today and grateful I did'

      Thank you, your fan


    • ghaining profile image


      9 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I think its wise to save your money, but if you believe in scarcity then you will continue to receive scarcity. Focus on earning more money and believing in your abundance and prosperity instead of scarcity.

    • Glare profile image


      9 years ago from Washington DC area

      I guess I have no choice to live this kind of life for now, at least I've got this guide. Thanks for putting it up :)


    • 2patricias profile image


      9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Try to restrict yourself to one grocery shop per week. Even if family drop by unexpectedly and you need to cook a larger meal than planned, search in your stock cupboard and freezer for the rest of your week. Use your imagination.

    • skgrao profile image

      S K G Rao. 

      9 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      Yes we have to watch where our money goes but do we at a age when you see things you can buy to let go and starve your feelings.I did spend a lot but I don't regret my kids take care of me now and say,Dad you did that and this for us so we are going to take care now.That's how it works in our family.A relative of mine is earning a lot but never spending on his needs,when I told his brother that he said let him save his son will enjoy.I don't know if I am wrong but you are right Jennifer.

      Can I copy your writings to my blog "My Life & Wife".e-mail me your permission:

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub!  Staying out of debt is a good point. By being debt-free, I feel like I'm not as affected by the changes in the economy.  I also agree with turning off light bulbs!  In fact I use as low a wattage as possible, especially in hallways.  Makes a big difference! 


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)