The so-called term called “adulting” is a huge responsibility. You will make important decisions, including how you spend your hard-earned money.
It can be tempting to spend money on things you crave, whether food, shopping for new clothes, shoes, bags, or out-of-town trips.
However, have you taken a peek at your bank account recently? More importantly, do you even have money left for savings?
Saving money can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. With some smart financial decisions and some self-control, you can make the most out of your hard-earned money and save more.
In this article, we’ll cover some frugal spending tips to help you make smarter spending and put more money in your pocket!
Being Frugal Is Not Always About Being Cheap
Just because you are not frugal with your money doesn’t mean you are being cheap. It is also a good idea to spend on your wants and spoil yourself occasionally.
Then again, you should also set your eyes on your future. You might enjoy your money now, but do you have enough for future emergencies? Have you already paid your debts, or have enough savings to pay them off eventually?
Having money in your hands (or your bank account) can be the ultimate test of self-control and personal management. As mentioned, being frugal is not about being cheap or depriving yourself of things that make you happy.
Rather, frugal living is about self-discipline and making mindful choices which will ultimately make your life easier and less stressful in the long run.
Tips on How to Spend Frugally and Save More Money
Having a stable job is not an excuse to spend all your money on a whim. You also need to save for rainy days! Times are hard nowadays, so you should ensure you have some extra cash for unexpected situations.
Here are ways you can spend frugally, save more money, and not deprive yourself of your wants all at the same time:
1. Have a specific and realistic goal.
Before starting your money-saving journey, decide on your ultimate and long-term goal. How much are you planning to save? How are you going to save for that amount? Do you need an extra source of income to achieve that goal?
We all know spending is more fun than saving money. But as mentioned, saving should not be as hard as you think.
For example, you don’t have to save much money in one go. You can try saving a certain amount a week or monthly. If you target to save $5,000 in a year, you should save about $96 weekly or $417 a month.
2. Have a meal plan.
Ensure to plan your meals. Deciding what to eat at the last minute can ruin your budget and end up overspending on food. If you have children, you can involve them in meal planning.
Growing herbs and vegetables in your yard can also help you save more money and time from frequent trips to the grocery store. You also get to have fresh produce you can use to prepare nutritious meals.
Try to eat out less and home meal deliveries. You can prepare home-cooked meals in advance, put them in the freezer, and put them in the microwave if you are ready to eat them.
Instead of buying bottled water, you can invest in a water filter or a filtered pitcher. Not only can you save money but contribute fewer plastic bottles and help save the environment.
3. Resist impulse buying.
As mentioned above, not having a meal plan can lead you to unhealthy food choices and impulse buying to satisfy cravings. The same applies to buying things other than food, say when you’re out doing grocery runs or shopping for personal stuff.
To avoid impulse buying, create a list of things you need to buy on your next trip to the store. Ensure to stick to that list and leave the store premises once you are done with your shopping task. Uninstall shopping apps you often use to keep you from unintentional spending.
Check out the free coupon apps you can download to avail yourself of great deals and discounts. You can also get more discounts when you buy wholesale or stock up on non-perishable items while on sale.
4. You don’t need to spend much on entertainment and travel.
There are a lot of things you can do to while away boredom without spending so much. Instead of going to a gym and availing membership, you can check out YouTube for workout videos you can follow along. Or enjoy the outdoors while taking a jog around your neighborhood.
Bring your family or your significant other to local museums or state parks. Some of these establishments may waive fees on specific dates or times. Use your credit card rewards for free flights, hotel accommodations, and car rentals.
5. Try DIY projects.
When you need something at home or for other purposes, either you buy that product in a store or make one yourself. Buying in a store or a shopping app can be more convenient. But if you want to save more money, you might want to try DIY projects and unleash your inner creativity.
You can join free community classes or check out online tutorials to do things by yourself – from changing a broken showerhead to making a knitted scarf. Other DIY project ideas you can try include:
- Homemade cleaning products such as laundry detergent or window cleaner. Tip: Never mix bleach with ammonia.
- DIY beauty products such as shampoo, soap, or deodorant. There are natural products available that you can use for these (ex. Ground coffee, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut oil as an organic body scrub)
- Handicrafts that you can use yourself or sell to others (ex. Knitted scarves, homemade face masks, or scented candles)
- Watching online tutorials for basic home repairs such as fixing a leaky faucet or repainting a room.
These DIY project ideas will not only unleash your creativity and resourcefulness but also help you save money on home repairs and other simple DIY tasks.
6. Invest in a bidet.
Unless you want to experience once again running out of toilet paper during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the right time to invest in a bidet for your bathroom.
Bidets have been around for some time now and are even a common sight in many Asian and some European bathrooms. Some entry-level models cost only as low as $30 that you can attach to the side of the toilet seat.
Bidets are also efficient because it only runs with every use. Handheld ones won’t use up electricity, hence saving you on energy and water bills. Not to mention will lessen the use of wet wipes and toilet paper that contribute to environmental waste.
7. Challenge yourself to a “no-spend” challenge.
Avoid the so-called lifestyle creep. It happens when your income increases but so do your spending habits. What you can do is divert some of your income to savings using a scheduled automatic transfer. It will help resist the temptation to spend your money on unnecessary expenses.
As mentioned, your spending habits are a test of self-control. Resisting the urge to spend your hard-earned money can lead to pent-up feelings and cause impulse buying after that. In hindsight, it can also move you to reevaluate the choices that can help you make better financial decisions later on.
Start small. Try drinking more water and less on sodas or sweetened juices. Or prepare your meals instead of buying fast food or food delivery apps. Whether you try for a day or a month, a no-spend challenge can help you save money in the long run.
8. Invest in insurance.
Getting insurance may not be on top of many people’s minds for now. However, it can be one of the best financial decisions you can ever make in your life.
By getting insurance, you can secure your, your family’s, and your properties’ futures including your health, car, your house, and even your pets. Anything could happen when you least expect it, which is why it is best to be prepared for these unexpected circumstances.
9. Set an allowance for yourself.
Saving money can be addicting once you get the hang of it. But don’t deprive yourself of things that bring you joy. Resisting the urge to spend for yourself can be frustrating and even lead to overspending. Which can also lead to more frustrations later on.
At the end of the day, you still have the right to enjoy the money you have earned hard for. Go for weekend travel, buy new shoes, or go on weekend food trips with friends or family.
But make sure to plan your splurges ahead of time. The key here is spending within your means. Separate your disposable income from your savings and make sure you don’t touch the latter unless it’s an emergency or it is the right time to use it.
The abovementioned tips can help you be more sensible and practice frugal spending without feeling deprived of what you love! We hope this post helped you be more practical with your hard-earned money!