ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Frugal Living

Frugal Living: Do Less to Have More

Updated on April 23, 2011
By doing less, you'll have more money.
By doing less, you'll have more money. | Source

A common misperception of frugal living is you have to spend hours upon hours doing tedious tasks like washing plastic bags, clipping coupons, or making your own soap. While these are all valid things you can do to save money (and in the case of clipping coupons, you can even find ways get paid to use coupons!). However, you can have more money by doing less because really, at the heart of frugal living is living a simpler life. That’s right. You can actually get more money without doing any extra work!

Don’t Go Shopping

The simplest way to save money is to just buy nothing, so if you don’t go shopping, it’s hard to buy anything.  Now, of course I don’t think that you should never shop at all; people do need food, clothes, etc.  However, a lot of people view shopping as a hobby, something to do when they’re bored or depressed, but if you buy something just to buy it, and not because it’s something you actually need, you’re hurting yourself more in the end because you’re hurting your finances.  Staying home will save you both time and money.

Don’t Buy Books

I absolutely love books, but buying them can get expensive.  To buy all the books I wanted would cost a small fortune, but I’ve found alternatives to paying retail that gives me access to the books I want.  The number one way to save money on books would be to check them out from the library.  You could also trade with friends.  Try swapping books online on sites like Paperback Swap.  You have to pay shipping, but that’s a bargain to have access to over 5 million books!  Another option, if you do want to buy books, is to shop thrift stores or garage sales.  While the selection might be limited, you can find some great books at great prices.

Don’t Eat Out (or Eat Out Less Frequently)

This used to by my husband and my downfall.  We spent hundreds of dollars eating out each month, but once we significantly cut back (now we only go out once or twice a month instead of four or five times a week), we have more money to put towards more important things.

Making meals from scratch is obviously the best way to save money in terms of food, but if that’s too much work for you (and let’s face it, even the most domestic of us have nights where we just don’t feel like cooking), consider freezer cooking (making up several meals in advance and putting them in the freezer), or even just prepared food from the store.  A tv dinner or a frozen pizza costs more than making it from scratch, but it still costs significantly less than going out to eat.

Products That Save You Money Over Time

Don’t Buy Snacks While Out

While out running errands, it’s tempting to stop and buy a drink or snacks, but those items can add up quickly.  To have more money, don’t buy drinks and snacks while out.  Bring a bottle of water or a pop from home.  Bring some snacks from home for in the car.  Coffee can be one of the biggest expenses.  Many people buy coffee every day, spending $3-$4 each day.  This quickly adds up, and you’re better off investing in a good coffee maker and nice coffee.  A coffee pot with a timer or a Keurig coffee pot that let’s you make single serving cups in a large variety of flavors.  Similarly, if you love fountain pop (like my husband), but you’re spending a few hundred dollars a year buying it, consider buying a SodaStream.  This allows you to make fountain-style pop at home for a fraction of the price.  Initially, you’ll spend more money to by the machines, but within a few weeks, you’ll quickly see the savings.This will help you avoid the temptation of restaurants, vending machines, and stores while you’re out, and save you money!

Don’t Go to the Movies

A date night or family night at the movies can cost you a small fortune.  It’s must cheaper to rent movies.  Redbox and Blockbuster Express are your cheapest options for renting movies if you’re just an occasional movie watcher.  You can usually even find free codes online for them, so as long as you return the movies the next day, they’re free.  If you watch lots of movies, a Netflix subscription might be a good deal.  A month is still cheaper than a night at the theater.  Even better, check them out from the library.  Most libraries have a large collection of movies.

Don’t Go on Big Vacations

Confession:  I’ve never been on a “real” vacation in my life.  Growing up, we always lived far from out family, and vacation time was limited, so vacations always involved going to visit grandparents or aunts and uncles, none of whom lived in very interesting places.  As an adult, I still haven’t gone on a vacation.  At first it was because we couldn’t afford one, but now it’s because it’s not a good way to spend our money at this point in our lives.  Sure, I’ve done day trips to things like amusement parks, but I’ll leave the $5,000+ trips to Hawaii or the Bahamas or Mexico to my friends, and I’ll stick with the $300 two-day trip to Cedar Point my husband and I have planned.  This saves me thousands of dollars, and I still have a lot of fun without the debt.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cheerfulnuts profile image

      cheerfulnuts 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      These are really amazing tips! I am very frugal too. When I was younger, money was tight. I have thought of different ways to save, and I am amazed to see that I have been doing most of your tips here! However, I am guilty about eating out and going to vacation. Food is a big problem at home. Everyone is too tired to cook, and most of us can't even cook haha. So we would always go out to eat. And about vacation, since we don't go shopping, we always go on a vacation during holidays to make up for it. It just makes our lives more meaningful.

    • profile image
      Author

      Josh and Lindsey 7 years ago from Indiana

      Suzanne,

      My library does this, too, and we can check out the movies for a week at a time.

    • profile image

      Suzanne with Laughing Wallet 7 years ago

      I'm not sure if everyone's public library does this, but the library in my city has a collection of movies they rent, just like books and other media. The rental period is usually just one day, but that's the same as Redbox, and it's free!

    • JaimeDawn76 profile image

      Jaime Dawn Thompson 7 years ago from Oregon

      Smart Thinking, Great Hub :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)