Thrifty and frugal people all try to find different ways to save money on everything they need and want, but there are some basic buying principles they all seem to follow. If you are new to trying to live more inexpensively, it is vital that you know how frugal-minded people think. In order to live a more frugal life, here are some golden rules for shopping on a budget.
Golden Rules for Shopping on a Budget
Make a budget and follow it. One of the easiest ways to spend more on everything is to not know your own budget. Sit down and make a budget and stick to it. Knowing where your money goes helps you develop a better sense of spending habits as well as where you may be spending too much.
Be willing to spend more for quality. This may not seem like a very good frugal living tip, but it really is true that you get what you pay for. If something you buy needs replacing more often because you went for the lowest price, you really aren’t saving money in the long run. It is far more important to spend more on something that is worth it and will last for a long time, than to spend small amounts over time.
Know the difference between a want and a need. It is easy to convince yourself that something you want is something you need. It is very important to be honest with yourself and decide if it’s something you can live without.
Don’t make spur-of-the-moment purchases. Those that live well on a budget plan everything. They don’t general shop as a hobby or for fun (although many find it fun to score a big deal!) and they don’t make big purchases without planning for them. Budget-minded individuals always discuss pros and cons of things with themselves or others. Even if the purchase is not a large one, most frugally minded people don’t just buy something, even at a great discount, without figuring out first if it is necessary.
Always ask yourself, “Can I make this cheaper?” Frugal folks are always looking for ways to not sacrifice quality but get rid of high prices. Many things that we spend our money on can actually be made at home much cheaper and do a better job than the packaged product. Things like convenience foods, baking mixes, cleaning supplies and beauty products can easily be made in 5 minutes or less and cost half or less the amount you pay for them in store. After all, time is money.
Be willing to do your research. Don’t take prices or things at face value. Be willing to see what others say about the product in reviews, check around for lower prices in your area and online and know exactly what you are buying into before you make the choice to purchase it.
Make sacrifices. Living frugally often means examining what is important in order to reach a financial goal. It sometimes means being slightly inconvenienced. This is not to say that you will be miserable, but more that you will have to adopt a different lifestyle in order to get to where you want to be financially.
Do you try to shop within a budget? Do you have any more tips to share with those who may be learning? Let me know in the comments.