If your goal is to save money be it for your emergency fund, family vacation or you want to move out, then this guide to frugal living is for you. Many people cringe or laugh when they hear the word frugal. They think it is about being miserable and cheap. Frugality is not about dropping every possible purchase you can in order to save as much money as possible. Rather, frugal living is about avoiding wasteful and extravagant spending so you can give your hard-earned money an assignment that is purposeful and intentional. So what does it mean to be frugal? It means prioritizing what’s most important to you and cutting back on those things that aren’t. Cutting down on coffee or eating out will surely help in saving up some money but doing those things alone will not make a big impact on your finances.
Before you question whether or not this lifestyle change is worth it, just remember this is not meant to be a sprint but a marathon. Meaning it is going to take more work and effort on your part to adjust your habits and step outside your comfort zone. Thankfully, there are a ton of creative ways on how you can include frugality in your daily life. I will share with you how you can incorporate more frugality into your life so you can save money.
1. Frugal tips to save on food and groceries
Food and groceries are where I made significant changes in order to save more, pay off my debt and regain control of my finances.
On average, if you spend say sh.200 a day buying lunch, five days a week then you will spend on average sh. 73,000 a year. I do not know about you but I would rather save some of this money by simply packing my lunch every day instead. Packing your lunch from home would require extra time and plan ahead but that’s is nothing in comparison to how much money you would be wasting if you ate out every day for lunch.
Recreate your favourite meals at home
If you spend a huge chunk of your money on eating out every week, then I can only imagine how much you spend in one year’s time. If you are looking to save, then you should strongly consider recreating your favorite meals at home rather than eating out. Not only will it save you a ton of money but to be honest it’s a bit more fun.
Make a shopping list and stick to it.
A straightforward and easy way to save is to only shop when you have a list. It is so easy to get sidetracked, especially in the supermarket, which can lead to costly and unnecessary purchases. Although creating a shopping list can help significantly, you still have to shop smart. Check prices and look for discounts.
Reduce food waste
If you take a look at how much food you waste, it might surprise you. A simple way to cut back and save money is by designating a zero-waste week or make every week a zero waste week. All this means is to consume everything you cook and buy before you go out and grocery shop for more. Also, consider reusable options whenever you can. This will help you save a ton of money in addition to cutting back waste.
2. Frugal tips to save on housing and utilities
This is one of those areas that can make a significant difference in your finances and how much you are able to save. Here are a few things that I do that you can as well try.
Downsize and pay less on rent.
A great rule of thumb when it comes to housing and utilities is to make sure your monthly rent is no more than 1/4 of your take-home pay. If it is, then it means you are paying too much and you might not be able to reach your other financial goals because too much of your monthly income is going into housing expenses.
Practice preventive maintenaince
Preventive maintenance is all about preventing normal wear and tear from getting worse and becoming much bigger problems that will cost you much more to fix.
Learn ways to save energy
This may include swapping out your light bulbs for energy-saving bulbs or using natural window lights instead of practical lights altogether. You can consider unplugging small appliances and electronics whenever you are not using them.
3. Frugal tips to save on entertainment.
Although you may be on a journey to pay off debt, you will be required to make some changes in how you approach entertainment. You do not want to forget about things that you enjoy. Get creative and here are things you can try.
Explore your neighbourhood
Far too often we think that entertainment must include traveling somewhere and spending money. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you just get out and explore your neighbourhood, you might stumble across a free or low-cost event or activity that interests you.
Don’t shy away from active activities as a form of entertainment. Activities such as hiking, running or rock climbing. Playing a sport such as tennis, volleyball or basketball. These are definitely acceptable forms of entertainment that do not cost much if anything at all.
Get creative a home.
Remember you do not have to leave the house in order to find something fun to do. You can have a movie night or a game night if you are into board games and such. You can do something really different and get all dressed up and have dinner in your own dining room. Whatever you have to do, just keep in mind you do not have to spend a lot or no money at all to entertain yourself.
4. Frugal tips to save on banking and finance
This is one of the areas that we do not typically think about whenever we talk about saving money. But it is just as important as cutting your grocery bill in half, saving on utilities or getting creative with entertainment. Here are some key things you should focus on.
Pay off debt
A really simple way to start saving more money every month is to cut back on the number of payments you have to make every month. It is said that your number one wealth-building tool is your income. And if the majority of it is leaving your hands then you are missing a valuable opportunity to use that money instead to move you closer to your other financial goals. So if you have debt, get aggressive and start paying more than the minimum so you can get it out of your life. In addition to this, you have to stop borrowing money as well.
Build an emergency fund
If you have debt, start with sh.100,000. Above and beyond it is best to have 3-6months of expenses saved. But how does this save you money in the long run? Well, emergencies are going to happen. You might have a medical emergency where insurance doesn’t cover the entire bill. If this happens, what are you gonna do? Most people turn towards debt; credit cards or loans to help cover these emergencies and others like them. Doing this will only add debt and more payments you have to make later. Thus preventing you from saving. But when you have an emergency fund, it means you can cover these expenses without debt therefore your income can continue to build your life and future instead of going towards paying someone else.
Automate your savings
Pay yourself first and automate it. I believe this is one of the easiest and best frugal living tips to help you quickly build your savings without feeling tempted to spend that money elsewhere. It doesn’t matter how much you are able to set aside each month. What does is the consistent behaviour of doing so. This is why automating it is the best way to go.
Get a side hustle
Often when we think about saving more money, we only ever associate that with cutting expenses. However, another way to increase your monthly savings is to increase your income. Ask yourself how can you make an extra sh. 10k or more this month? Do you have a service you can offer others or a talent? Maybe it is baking, proofreading, editing youtube videos or taking pictures at weddings. If you have something of value to offer then there is someone somewhere who can use your service and help. So don’t shy away from starting your business o hustling your side hustle.
5.Frugal tips to save everywhere else
There are a ton of ways to live frugally and save more money. In addition to everything that we have talked about, here are a few final thoughts and ideas I would like to leave you with.
Sell you clutter for cash
Selling items you no longer use or need is a good option to get extra money. It is important to note that you are not going to get what you originally invested into the said item you are wanting to sell.
Cut memberships and subscriptions
Gym memberships, movie subscriptions, music subscriptions, applications and anything else that you pay a monthly fee for that you are not consistently using or could go without. This is an easy way to cut back on unnecessary spending and save money over time.
Shop around and compare prices
When shopping for anything such as appliances and electronics, it is important that you shop around and compare prices. Especially if you are preparing to spend a lot of money upfront or over time. You want to make sure that you are getting the best possible price you can.
Do it yourself
One of the best money-saving tips that will help you save more money is learning how to do certain things yourself. This can as simple as doing your own hair. If you do not have the know-how to do something yourself, please hire a professional.
I hope you find this information valuable and if so, please leave a comment down below.