Frugal living means learning to live on less. Does this mean being frugal requires you to do without? We don't think so. You just need to learn to manage what you spend and set some priorities. Living well on less means getting control of your spending and adjusting your lifestyle so that you can get the most for for your hard earned dollar. To live a frugal lifestyle you need to stretch your dollars and your resources to live the lifestyle you've chosen.
Sometimes you must live on a reduced income whether by choice or force and you need to learn to get more for less. Maybe you've decided to practice frugal living, not because of a reduced income but rather to save more of the income you have for your future. Whatever the reason, it's important that this new simple lifestyle must become your way of life.
Begin by using one of our frugal living worksheets to figure out where your money is being spent and where you can cut expenses. You need to first get a good grip on your household budget. Otherwise you may be tempted to splurge with any money you've managed to save. Consumers will generally spend any money we have in our pocket. Once you have a handle on your budget you should start to explore other ways you can learn to live on less.
- Consider everything you do. Is there a way to do it for less or do without? This doesn't mean your life must be harder but rather better managed.
- Sharpen your negotiating skills. You should negotiate for anything you buy. You may be suprised with how much you can save just by asking. Everything is negotiable!
- Buy generic brands of the things you use the most. Most of the time you and your family won't know the difference.
- Before you buy on credit, consider whether you would buy if you had to pay cash today. We are not asking could you but rather would you. There is a difference.
- Another good practice that we have used for years is to keep a cash reserve equal to your debt. If you discipline yourself to keep this cash reserve you will be less likely to splurge on big ticket items and when you do you will always be in a position to get out of debt when you need to. (This can be very difficult to do but, if you can follow this practice you will be amazed at how quickly your financial situation will change for the better.)
- Buy second hand when you can. Especially for large ticket items. Buying new can cost you 30% or more the minute you buy anything. This can result in a very large savings on large ticket items.
These are just a few frugal living primers. There are so many other ways to live your life to its fullest and do it for less. Be creative, use your imagination, but most of all you must stick with it and you can enjoy a lifestyle that is comfortable, exciting and so much less stressful. Please visit again, we plan to expand this section to offer more tips to live a simplier lifestyle.