Saving money has always been a really tricky skill to master especially with these tough economic times.
Since the world is full of great ideas, we have come up with a really efficient way to deal with the money menace, the term is frugality.
‘Frugality’ in respect to finances is the aspect of making financial decisions based on necessity rather than the narrow scope of affordability.
Some of the frugal ways to save money are;
Use one car or take public transport:
Most households own an average of two cars and taking into account the cost of insurance, parking, repairs and routine maintenance the payment rates scale upwards.
It is actually better to take public transportation to work since it is 80% cheaper than owning and using a car.
If it is really necessary to use two cars consider trading in your fuel guzzling car for a more fuel efficient one.
Research for free parking for places:
Parking is usually hectic especially when you visit a state or location that has really high parking fees.
Here is how you can be a notch higher over the other newbies just as stranded as you are you can use google to check for free parking.
Use coupons wisely:
This strategy is not new to the savvy savers, the trick is to clip coupons only for items that you consume on a regular basis. According to Inmar, your weekly and monthly savings could add up quickly if you coupon frequently.
For Target shoppers check out Cartwheel, an app that lets you scan the barcodes of items that you want to be notified of when discounts or special offers are available.
Buy and install a programmable thermostat:
This is one of the best things that could happen to you since these thermostats can be adjusted remotely and they can be programmed to adjust to warmer or cooler temperature.
The average savings per year vary, as you control the adjustments you make, but savings in winter and summer could easily exceed $1,000 if you use your thermostat wisely.
Choose more affordable options other than cable or satellite television:
Online streaming services like Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime allow you to stream movies and television shows at a fraction of the cost charged by cable and satellite providers.
Another option for keeping your favorite cable channels is Sling TV.
Prices start at just $20 per month and you can get many of the same channels you get with high priced cable companies.
Buy clothes at consignment or thrift shops
You may not really need to step way out of your budget to shop at designer shops in order to look flashy but instead how good would it be to shop for equally awesome and quality clothes at half the prices.
Chains such as Plato’s Closet, Salvation Army and Goodwill are great options as are smaller shops run by churches or other charities, other online options include eBay, Swap.com and thredUP, which all offer used clothing at a steep discount.
Choose energy efficient bulbs:
Energy efficient bulbs are quite expensive I can’t debate that but on the long run saving on electricity bills is going to be beneficial to you especially when you find it easier to save since you are not paying as much as before.
LEDs and CFLs have much longer lives than normal incandescent bulbs and use far less electricity thereby saving a lot.
When you mention this word you definitely take a walk down memory lane back to our childhood when our parents used to get angry when we left the tv plugged on.
In order to prevent high energy bills, it is safer to plug off all appliances when you are done using them or use a power strip that you can easily turn off.
Cancel magazine and newspaper subscription:
The world is now technologically advanced and most people can access the internet therefore it is relatively easy to access news, information and entertainment for free.
In more elaborate terms newspaper and magazine subscriptions is an expensive venture that you can do away with.
Get a library card:
If you like going on literary adventures wouldn’t it be fulfilling to know that you can do this all for free?
Just get yourself a library card and get yourself access to the latest books, music and movies and guess what? if it does not impress you won’t sulk in misery of wasted funds any more.
Cut back on smoking and alcohol consumption:
Cigarettes and alcohol overindulgence cut a large chunk of your budget not to mention your health is consistently degraded.
Cutting back or cutting out on these two habits will improve not only your health but also your finances month by month slowly but surely.
Eat before heading out to the movies:
Popcorn, candy and nachos are expensive, so if you fill up before hitting the theatre, you’re more likely to bypass the concession stand and keep your money in your wallet you might even some up a couple of dollars to watch another movie if your stomach allows.
Travel during the off season:
Every destination definitely has different peak travel times, as a traveler you need to research when the off-day season starts in your vacation spot. Here are more tips to help you travel on a small budget.
Go out for lunch instead of dinner:
Probably lunches are not as fancy as dinners but counting the costs lunches are cheaper compared to dinners in most restaurants and to lower your spending go for water instead of wine and probably skip dessert.
Considering what most restaurants serve as entrees plus appetizers the food is often more than enough for one person.
You may consider sharing a meal with your companion and even the cost. If you find it really hard to finish pack up the rest for lunch the next day.
Brown bag it:
Instead of buying breakfast on the run or eating out during lunch pack your own lunch the night before and brew your own coffee in the morning. Brown bagging your lunch alone will save you $1,800 per year.
Eat out less:
Cooking your own meals is cheaper and healthier since you have control over what goes in and what goes out of your meal.
You can also save more money since you buy your ingredients at friendly prices since you can make your own choices.
Take up this chance when your local grocery or supermarket has a sale on non-perishable goods that you use frequently.
You will benefit highly if you stock up since if you have a stocked cupboard you won’t be tempted to get take out or eat out dinner.
Become a part-time vegetarian:
As seen annually meat prices have been on the rise it may be wise to adopt a ‘meatless’ diet that involves protein packed alternatives like beans, eggs and nuts that are cheaper.
Have ‘clean-out’ meal once a week:
This is whereby before you hit the grocery store take out all the ingredients you have in your cupboard and refrigerator and use it to make your next meal. This minimizes wastage and also
Check out the flyers and coupons in the grocery store:
Plan out your meal and write a shopping list based on what is special on the coupons and flyers. Apart from saving you from making many shopping trips it will save you more money since less food is going to waste less food.
Cut costs from your phone bill:
Most often than not we find ourselves having a large phone bill and we are usually left wondering how on earth did we use all that money.
A very accurate answer would be probably we have been paying for services we don’t use; it is advisable to rather cut these services or switch to a company offering the same services at a cheaper price.
A better option is to ditch your landline in favor of your cellphone.
Give credit cards a break:
Stick to a cash-based budget and avoid credit card purchases and though it will be hard to do it at first it will always make you conscious of your financial situation and prevent you from buying anything out of your price range.
The best way is to actually leave your Credit Card at home when you go shopping.
Most retail shops have a price match policy whereby if you bought an item and you see a competitor advertising it at a lower price you bring a flyer and the retailer will match the price and refund you the difference.
Make your own gifts:
Be the creative you have always dreamt of being by making a gift on your own since this will be something from the heart instead of spending a lot on a gift from a high-end store.
Wear your clothes more than once before washing or dry- cleaning:
This saves money frequently spent on dry cleaning, moreover you reduce wear and tear caused by repeated cleanings. On that note your darker clothes will have a longer span before the color starts fading.
Pay bills and credit cards on time:
Money is really lost when you are charged for being late on the bills and if you’re frequently late on payments or later than 90 days on any one payment, your credit score takes a hit.
Negative reports can damage your credit for up to seven years and can make it more difficult to buy a home or purchase a car in the near future.
Buy Used Furniture, cars and electronics:
Check on Craigslist and other arbitrage sites for deals on used furniture cars and electronics.
Craigslist has all you could think of and often the deals are equivalent or better than those of thrift shops.
This doesn’t mean a compromise on quality, there are lots of good condition items ups for sale, you just have to be patient with your search.
However, when making a purchase make sure you meet in public and in the daytime and it is safer to take a friend or family friend with you.
Don’t play the lottery:
Playing the lottery is a really tempting venture especially when you see the dollars involved but instead of throwing cash away on the lottery, invest what you would have spent into a retirement account that may really pay off one day.
If you invest just $20 a month every month over the next 10 years at a 6.5% interest rate, you’ll end up with nearly $10,000 at the end of 20 years, and more than $45,000 at the end of 40 years.
Stick to a written budget:
The merit of having a budget especially during the summer vacations or in the event of a mouth-watering product deal you will enjoy responsibly as per the confinements of your predesigned budget.
There are many ways to enjoy with your friends and it does all involve going out and overindulging on a night out in the city.
Sometimes for a change invite your friends over for a traditional game-night or to crash in for a cheap movie night.
Become a handyman or handywoman:
You don’t need to always be calling in the plumber or carpenters for some minor repairs that require a few tools and little knowledge.
With the growing YouTube videos if DIYs and countless blogs and boos of step to step guidelines of how to do some basic home repairs it is safe to say we are well equipped.
Fix leaks on windows and doors:
Cracks in your doors and windows could be escalating the cost of your energy bill.
Although fixing the doors and windows is not a pleasant affair at first in the future you will be patting yourself in the back for making a very wise decision.
Drop the gym membership:
If you go to the gym sporadically it would be cheaper ride a bike or jog around the neighborhood or rather stream virtual workouts from the comfort of your living room.
Snack up before you shop:
Eat a snack before you start grocery shopping.
Studies show that a rumbling tummy will encourage you to put more food in the cart than you actually need and after eating to your fill end up with wasted food you didn’t account for in the first place.
Consider downsizing your apartment:
This applies mostly to housing in the sense that even though you can afford a large apartment in the city, if you don’t have a really huge family you can consider moving to a smaller apartment.
You may also consider moving to an apartment in the suburbs which may save you thousands of dollars a year.
Learn to sew:
Rather than throwing out clothes once they lose a button or catch a snag, learn a few sewing tricks to repair them; it will add years of longevity to every item in your closet.
You can learn all this from the endless YouTube videos that exist on sewing DIYs.
Save your loose change:
Save your loose change instead of always tossing it in a savings jar.
You can only imagine how much you would save if you gathered all the loose change you have been taking for granted and ignoring as useless funds.
Avoid speed tickets:
I know sometimes we find ourselves losing track of time and that’s where we channel or inner Vin diesel and we end up being flagged down and in the end some dollars are spent.
In addition to the cost of the speeding ticket, which can be $250 or more in some states, you also have to worry about your insurance rates going up.
Depending on your car insurance plan and how many other tickets you’ve gotten, you could get flagged as a “reckless” or “unsafe” driver and end up with higher monthly premiums for years to come.
Supplement your income (find a side hustle)
You can bring extra cash by capitalizing on a hobby or a skill that you have for example if you have a talent in artistry you can draw a few pieces of art and sell them or if you have talent in musical instruments you can setup a class to teach the young children in your neighborhood to play at an understandable fee.
In the end there are always more than enough ways of saving up and there is no need to be a jack of all trades, the trick is to pick one choice that works for you and that you are very comfortable with adopting and cultivating into your daily routine.