How to Live Frugally
Learning how to live cheaply is a sometimes a necessity and sometimes just a commitment to getting more out of life. Many people often associate ‘frugal’ with ‘meager’ or ‘insufficient’ but what it can also mean is ‘economical’ or ‘thrifty’. People who are frugal are not satisfied with meager living; rather they appreciate the need and advantage from economizing in their everyday lives. This just means that they want to make savings wherever it is possible and reasonably convenient, and why not? The savings can be used to get out of debt, to make ends meet, to have some extra cash you can spend on leisure once in a while or even to make your high-ticket dreams come true! And this is made possible by learning how to live frugally and by consistently applying the suggested strategies. Is the effort worth it? Decide for yourself after learning about what you can expect in terms of costs and benefits.
The basics of how to live frugally revolve around the management of two of the categories that take up most of people’s monthly incomes – food and living space. Thus, this article will mainly focus on how you can manage and reduce your
food and housing expenses. When it comes to food expenses, most people are astonished when they discover just how much money they could be saving if they were completely diligent with planning meals ahead of time. By planning meals ahead and going to the grocery store once in two weeks, you will be better prepared to incorporate discounted ingredients into your meals, you will be able to avoid getting tempted into making unnecessary food purchases, and you will be able to reduce the amount of food you waste. All of these things can significantly cut down food expenditure. A 2013 survey by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the average household spending on food amounted to £56.80 per week. But is this expense justified? Another survey and that an average family with children wastes about £60 worth of food a month! This implies that for the average household, food expenses could easily be brought down by one quarter if meals are simply planned better and no food is wasted.
Learning How To Live Frugally
Rent or mortgages are the other most important category when it comes to household spending. Learning how to optimize your housing expenses is one of the key points of learning how to live frugally. When it comes to deciding where to live, you should always try to find a place that is well within your means. This is especially true for people who are trying to pay off debt or save up for a specific goal – it is much better to live for a time in a less than perfect accommodation and then achieve the goal as quickly as possible than to spend large amounts on the best you can afford housing. However, sometimes the housing decision is not in your hands or it has already been made, such as when lower-rent housing is simply not available at the moment or you are stuck paying off a mortgage. In these cases it is still possible to save some money by finding yourself a roommate who is probably in a similar situation like you. This will instantly lower your expenses, though finding the right roommate may not be easy. However, if you put some time into it, you may end up making a great friend in the process.
Once you have these basics down, the question transforms from ‘how to live frugally’ to ‘how to live frugally well’. Living well on a budget is very doable, thanks to the wide range of free online resources. These resources can help you discover how to enjoy any diet on a budget, free places to visit, free things to do in your vicinity, how to travel or get fit or even learn a language on a budget and how to find a way to do basically anything you can think of.
What matters most in the process of learning how to live frugally and in actually doing it is the right mindset – you must be prepared to make more efficient spending decisions but not to let that take over your life. Many people are initially excited to start being more frugal and find everything related to it interesting. But after a while, some people start feeling as if they have to carefully measure and plan every single purchasing decision they make and they find it quite burdening. In order to avoid this common trap, try to keep in mind your progress and your goals. If you feel your stress levels rising try to channel it into something productive or enlist a friend to help you through the challenging times.