Use these tips for how to start being frugal right now to break bad habits and start saving money.
Living frugally is a process, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to start being frugal right now. Making some of the changes can be difficult, especially when it comes to reining in your spending habits, but the benefits are well worth it in the long run. The good news is, there are some things you can do today that can set yourself up for a more frugally-minded lifestyle.
How To Start Being Frugal Right Now
Cut Cable. Unless you are on a contract, cutting cable and switching to a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime will immediately cut your TV entertainment costs. You could be spending 10 times more on Cable than one of these services. Take a good, honest look at your TV usage and if it makes more sense, cut your cable.
Make eating out a treat, not a convenience. Eating out should be something you do to enjoy yourself, relax and reward yourself. It should not be there just to avoid cooking. Many people eat out because they are too busy to cook or they can’t figure out what they will make that evening for dinner. This can be solved by meal planning and making some freezer meals for times when you are extremely busy. Even having a list handy of meals you can make on the fly with food you usually have on hand is helpful.
Stop paying fees. This includes ATM fees, fees to pay bills and late fees. These fees do nothing but take hundreds of dollar away from most people every year. Simply paying bills online or allowing them to be set up on auto-pay can cut many of these fees. For ATM fees, get an app on your phone that can locate the nearest in-network ATM to where you are at.
Walk when you can. Those quick trips you make to the store 2 blocks away can really add up. Instead, be willing to walk more to get close to home chores and errands done.
Watch your setting on appliances. For instance, you can wash most clothes in cold water in your washing machine. This will save you a lot in the long run with your electrical bill. Turn your fridge down slightly (just make sure it is still keeping your food cold enough) and it won’t have to work so hard to stay cool.
Stop buying into consumerism. You really don’t need to buy cleaning supplies. You can make your own at home with simple household products like baking soda and vinegar. Most of these cleaning supplies you can make take less than five minutes of your time and work just as well, if not better, than store bought ones. You can also save money by using cloth napkins and dish towels instead of paper products.
Get better at deciding needs vs. wants. This is where most people over-spend. It’s OK to buy yourself treats or wants once in a while, but before you buy something be honest with yourself if there is a lower price option for what you are wanting the item for or if it is simply a want and not really all that necessary.
Entertain yourself for free when you can. This means checking out movies and books at the library, attending community events and just generally looking for free ways to enjoy your time with yourself or as a family. This doesn’t mean you always have to find free things to do. It actually means you will have more money to do better things when you do spend money to entertain yourself because you won’t be always spending it.