Living a frugal lifestyle is really not that hard, it just takes planning and forethought such as thinking about whether you really need an item that you’re considering purchasing. In many cases, it’s the smaller spending that throws people off track rather than big ticket item purchases. Small spending, like an expensive cup of coffee a day or eating out for lunch every day can really impact a family budget.
Here are some tips for living more frugally and with intention:
Shop online. In many cases you can find great deals online. If you search for a product and can also get free shipping, you can save a lot not only on the product itself but also on time, energy and transportation.
- Shop around for sales. If you’re in the market for a big ticket item, look online for sale flyers and compare stores to find the best deals. Comparison shopping can save you hundreds of dollars.
- Use coupons. If you regularly purchase specific items, look for coupons as a way to save money on those items. Some shoppers will use coupons on items they have never used and may never use – that is not a money saver, but if you shop sales and add in coupons you could notice a substantial savings on your grocery bills.
- Turn down the thermostat when you go to bed. It’s a proven fact that you sleep better in a cooler house. You should also turn down the thermostat when you leave the house for work.
- Turn off the lights when you’re not in a room. Remember your parents telling you that when you were growing up? It still holds true.
- Don’t buy in bulk unless you’re certain the food will get eaten before they expire. Bulk purchasing can save money but if you’re throwing the food away because it’s expired, you aren’t saving money.
- Pay cash for as many items as possible. When you pay cash you’re more likely to notice your spending habits – give yourself a “cash budget” to live on and you’ll be more cognizant of spending than if you pull out a credit card for every purchase. Paying cash also means you will not be paying interest and credit card fees.
With the new year right around the corner, this is an ideal time to look at your income and expenses and get your family on a budget. Make note of the money you save – in fact, set up a separate bank account for your savings and use that to treat your family to a much-wanted item or a family vacation!