I’ve been living below my means for quite some time, and have been doing this because:
- I’m working on my retirement
- I don’t NEED a lot of stuff and things
- Enjoying the little things
- Money isn’t everything
You might have other reasons for wanting to shift to being frugal, and that’s totally fine.
So either by choice or no choice, being frugal isn’t a bad thing, it’s a mindset that will absolutely resonate with you.
Below you’ll get all my ins and outs on how I live this way and come out a modest, frugal and happier you!
Live Below Your Means
I’ve been working for the same employer for over 5 years now. I started as a Production Artist and made my way up to Lead Designer of my department.
It’s been a hard working job and my employer is always eager to give me a raise when it comes time for reviews.
But you know what? I don’t even touch my raises. I simply take whatever I get and put it towards my retirement.
You might be wondering why I do this.
Well, to be honest, I don’t need extra money right now, I pay all my bills, I don’t have that much debt and I don’t need a whole lot of things and stuff these days.
So by living below my means, I can get closer to retirement, or even live more comfortably in the future.
Don’t Always Buy New
If I bought new all the time, I’d be in so much debt right now, it’s not even funny!
The thing is, if you can get past the thought that someone else used the item before you, you’re golden.
Think about it. You go to a hotel, you’re sleeping in used linen. Or even going to a restaurant, you’re eating on used plates and eating with used utensils.
Things that I buy used:
- Sports Equipment
- Kitchen Cookware
Research Before You Buy
If you’re going to buy new, make sure you do your research.
In other words, find the best, quality product that you can afford while making sure you’re buying at the lowest possible price.
With today’s technology, it’s easy to do a bit of research beforehand with the internet available to most of us.
I’ll scour through several websites, look for coupons and make sure that I activate Ebates (which if you haven’t yet, sign up to start getting a percentage back from your online purchases) in order to maximize my savings.
Let’s say you’re shopping online, and you found a product you’re ready to buy. Often you’ll notice at the checkout a spot to add a coupon. Well, what you should do every time is go in the search bar and type in the company name that I’m about to purchase from and simply add at the end coupon. This will almost get me at least 10% off of my purchase, if not more.
Budget Your Money
A great way of being frugal would be to know where your money is going. What better way then to have a budget in place!
Create a FREE Budget Outline, found at my How To Budget & Easily Stick With It
Cutting Your Grocery Bill
Cut out meat. I used to buy a lot of meat to get my protein. This is before I started to budget and only have a set amount of cash with me going to the grocery store. When I realized that meat costs a lot I decided to eliminate it almost completely.
There are so many other meat alternatives you can eat that are cheaper and probably better for you:
- Beans, legumes
- Vegetables (yes, there’s plenty of protein in vegetables!)
We still buy it, but maybe once a month if we want to have a nice Sunday dinner we’ll cook a roast.
Buy no-name brands. No-name brands are usually cheaper and taste the same or sometimes better (our no-name mac and white cheddar is soo much better than Kraft Dinner, in our opinion).
Buy in season. It’s cheaper to buy your fruits and vegetables while they’re in season. Stores get better prices for them and they pass the savings down to us.
Stockpile. If you have the room at home, make sure to buy larger quantities of items that go on sale.
Make a list. Going into a grocery store either hungry or without a list, you’re more likely to buy on impulse and go over your budgeted amount.
Eat Out Less
However many times a day, a week or even a month you go out to eat. It’s a good habit to change and just take baby steps.
You don’t have to cut out all the takeout food, but changing your spending habits will move you forward to being frugal.
Make it a habit to learn how to cook something new every week or month. This will give you a wider variety of foods to add to your rotation as well as having healthier food choices available if you plan ahead.
Create a Go-To Meals list. A list of easy meals.
Have Clear Financial Goals
When you have clear financial goals, it’s easy to know what you’re aiming for.
With these in place, you’ll be able to save more consistently and more frequent.
Be Grateful For What You Have
What you have now is what you have. Be grateful.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Don’t be bothered by what people think of you.
It’s fine to want things but will it make you happier or will it just add to what you already have and just show a status towards others?
Travel Around Your Area
Everyone needs a vacation.
But not everyone can go to the Bahamas every year.
Why not travel within your province/state and explore what’s in your backyard.
Or even enjoy a stay-cation. My favorite lately. Staying home from work for a week or two and just relaxing, catching up on the little things.
You can even save up for a bigger trip every 5 years and still travel out of the country.
Changing Your Spending Habits
This is a big one and if you can change your spending habits, then you’re ready to being frugal.
Read all about the spending habits I’ve changed over to my article: Save Money by Changing Your Spending Habits.
In conclusion, changing your mindset will give you a big advantage to being frugal.
You’ve learned that:
- Whenever you get a raise, make sure to put it towards your retirement.
- Buying always new isn’t necessary.
- Researching before you buy will help save you money.
- Creating a budget will give you a road map as to where your money is going.
- Changing what you eat on a daily basis will help you cut back on your grocery bill.
- Eating out less will help your money and your health.
- Having financial goals will help you save money more consistently and more frequently.
- Being grateful for what you have is such a good feeling.
- Taking a vacation near your surroundings can be fun and less expensive.
- Changing your spending habits doesn’t mean you lose what you love most.
What changes are you making to being more frugal? Comment below!