Unless you are fabulously wealthy, chances are that budgeting is a regular part of your household tasks. However, even sticking to a budget isn’t necessarily being frugal. There are levels to the money that one can save by being thrifty. The truth is that those who spend less and save more have some unifying habits. Find out what makes a frugal person good at saving money below.
11) Think Long Term
Impulsive shoppers may see a great deal and dive right in, not questioning if the item will get used or if there may be a more long-lasting product at a slightly higher cost. Thinking ahead gives perspective and not only keeps you from making as many impulse buys, but also means that your home will be filled with items that last a whole lot longer. Saving money in the short term isn’t saving money if you have to donate or replace those items soon after.
My dad used to say, “You can have something cheap, something well-made, or something made quickly: pick two.”
10) Consider the Investment
Along the lines of thinking ahead, the investment in your life should be considered. Will the cheaper item be less useful? Ask yourself if it’s worth it to save money now but potentially gain hassle later. A home furnished with quality items may need fewer overall, but will function better.
9) Take Advantage of Coupons and Discounts
Never pay full price if you can help it. This may mean waiting to buy something until it’s on sale or until you receive a coupon for it and that is less convenient. But, being frugal is about playing the long game. Saving that fancy meal for next week or waiting to replace your TV takes patience and planning. But, it’s often worth it in the end.
8) Plan to Save
Make squirreling money away a built-in part of your budget. This way, you’ll always have at least a little something set aside when you have unexpected costs that can’t wait (like plumbing or car repairs for instance).
7) Pay Off Debts as Quickly as You Can
Letting credit card debt linger costs more in the end. Paying off debts whenever possible frees up cash to use for other things.
6) Embrace Modest Living
Overall expenses will be lower if you can live in a smaller and/or more efficient home. Less heating/cooling and fewer furniture items to buy or replace are just some of the benefits to living in smaller home, not to mention lower rent/mortgage. In theory, your ideal home should not cost more than 30% of your overall take-home pay.
5) Use It Up
It can be tempting to buy new things in order to freshen up an old space or to have the latest tech. However, frugal people use things until they are no longer useable. That means using your smartphone until it’s no longer serviceable, it means mending clothes when needed, and it means doing a few repairs to your household items every now and again. For many budget-conscious people this is a very small price to pay for saving money.
4) Reuse Whenever Possible
By reusing spaghetti sauce and jam jars, you no longer need to buy as many kitchen containers. This concept is simple, but it takes a keen eye and unwavering mentality to apply the skill in daily life. Frugal people learn how to do this and many never stop seeing the potential in their belongings to serve other functions.
Cook at Home
There’s nothing like eating out too often to ruin a budget. Making food at home is the frugal person’s answer to most meal time conundrums. Eating out really adds up fast. It’s cheaper to eat at home and often helathier as well. And, don’t forget the savings from making your lunches, too.
3) Entertain [Yourself] at Home
Waiting until that movie has come to Netflix does require patience, but you’ll save money. That’s the way to think about entertainment in order to become a mega-saver. There was a time when most families did things this way, sitting around together doing crafts or listening to the radio in the evenings for fun. Save the spending for important occasions like anniversaries and birthdays and you’ll find yourself saving a lot more.
2) Buy Used
Buying a used car is a no-brainer for the thrifty. Buying used when it comes to clothing and household items is also a real money saver. Buying everything new means that, even if you get them on sale, you’re still paying more than you have to and that’s not the frugal way.
1) Get Things for Free
By getting a credit card that offers rewards (and then paying it off each month) you are essentially earning free trips, clothes, or other goods. The money you save on these purchases can really add up.