If you want to save money, but aren't sure where to start, check out this beginner's guide to frugal living.
For many people, the idea of a frugal lifestyle sounds like a great plan, but so many things stop them from making the leap. They worry that they will miss out on the “good things in life” or that others will view them as cheap.
This could not be further from the truth! There is nothing wrong with living within your means and being frugal with your money. It doesn’t make you cheap. To me, being cheap is doing things that save you money but hurt others. Such as refusing to fairly tip at a restaurant because you want to save money, even though the service was good.
In order to start living frugally, you must first decide what you can live without. This does not mean you will give up all fun and have no luxuries. It simply means you will decide what is really important and learn to be OK with that. The Beginner's Guide to Frugal Living will show you how to begin living a more frugal life.
The Beginner's Guide to Frugal Living
Take baby steps. Frugal living is a lifestyle. As with any lifestyle, it will take time to adjust and learn the tricks of the trade. Don’t feel like you need to do everything all at once. Taking small steps is the best way to go!
Decide what you can live without. How do you decide what you can do without? Simply ask yourself this: “Is this something that really leads to my happiness in life or is this something that I use out of an unwillingness to change?” One thing I started to phase out was how much we eat out. It was nice to have a break, but when I was really honest with myself we were wasting so much money on eating out. That money could easily be saved if I just planned meals a little bit better.
Reduce your waste. One easy way to start living frugally is to look around at what you throw away. Can you re-use that container? Can you use this towel a couple more times before washing it? I have found that a green lifestyle and a frugal lifestyle often go hand in hand.
Attend an informative class. Consider looking at your local adult learning center for Couponing 101 classes and frugal living classes. You may be surprised by what you can learn when you get together with other like-minded individuals.
Make use of online resources. Look for easy ways to transition into frugal living by following blogs. Premeditated Leftovers offers a variety of information on Frugal Grocery Shopping, Frugal Family Fun, Frugal Gardening Tips, or even How to Plan a Frugal Date Night! You can also find groups on Facebook of people in your area and nationwide that strive to live a frugal lifestyle.
Don’t give up and don’t beat yourself up if you indulge once in a while. This does not mean you have to abandon your frugal life! In fact, when I was first starting out with frugal living, I would put some of the money I was saving away for something I really wanted that wasn’t so frugal like a night out on the town or a new purse. It motivated me to look for ways to save.
Frugal living is not about depriving yourself. It is simply about finding new ways to do them. For instance, let’s say you love a certain drive-thru’s coffee drinks. You can make them yourself for way cheaper and don’t have to give them up at all!