Are you struggling to save money but feel like you’ve hit a solid brick wall? If you’ve been trying to save money for quite some time, I’m sure you know the feeling. Try saving money with these 5 frugal lifestyle changes.
You’ve tried everything, read endless articles and books, put everything to practice, but now you’re stuck. You’ve come to a wall – how do you keep saving money now?
Saving money doesn’t have to be as hard as many people make it out to be. Sure, if you want real savings you’re going to have to make some significant changes, but it is possible.
Saving money comes naturally to some people. Some people just have that natural money-awareness, while others find it easier and more appealing to go out and spend money.
Whichever personality you have, whether you tend to save money easily or you are a natural spender, and it feels like you’ve tried everything to save money but now you’re stuck – there are still a few more things you can try.
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5 FRUGAL LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO MAKE TO SAVE MONEY
1. BECOME HAPPY WITH LESS
The first and most important frugal lifestyle change you need to make to save money is learning to become happy with less.
Learning that happiness and security shouldn’t come in the form of things. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will be able to let go of the mindset that you need to be buying all the things, and find comfort in knowing you have everything you need without spending money buying stuff that you really don’t need.
2. LEARN THE BASICS OF COUPONING
If just the word couponing makes you cringe, don’t worry – I’ve been there too. I used to hate the thought of couponing. It didn’t appeal to me at all and I had absolutely no desire to learn how to save money with couponing – even the most basic strategies of couponing.
I knew I could be saving money if I would even just learn the basics of couponing and do it occasionally, but I refused to.
Until recently, when I came across a coupon that was too good to pass up on something that I needed and used regularly. After finding a couple more coupons to use on my groceries and realizing how much money I saved with just a couple minutes of work, I can’t believe I was ever so against couponing.
Even if couponing is something you don’t have any desire to try, try it. Spend just a couple minutes before you head to the grocery store searching for a few coupons to take with you and see how much money you will save.
If you’re overwhelmed with the thought of couponing and don’t know where to start, I have a great little beginners guide to couponing that can be found here – How to Coupon for Beginners. It shows you everything from deciding if couponing is right for you, to learning where to find coupons and how to use them.
The one most important thing to remember when couponing is: Never use a coupon just to use a coupon.
If you have a coupon for something that you don’t normally buy, or if you have to spend way more money than you would normally spend to get the deal, don’t use it. Be sure you only use coupons that will actually save you money. Don’t use the kinds of coupons that require you to spend heaps of money to save a mere few cents.
3. LEARN TO BE MORE EFFICIENT
Becoming more efficient, whether that means prepping meals ahead of time, preparing a grocery list to take to the store, or shutting off lights when you’re not using them are all examples of ways that making a simple lifestyle change can save you money.
It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant like selling all your belongings and moving off the grid. It can be something as simple as being prepared before you go to the grocery store.
- CREATE A MEAL PLAN AND GROCERY LIST
To save money on food and be more efficient, start a meal plan and create a grocery list based off of all the meals you have planned. That way, when you’re at the grocery store you will only buy things that you need and won’t be tempted to grab something just in case you’re running out at home.
- PREP MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
If you find your nights to be busy and you don’t have the time to make a homemade meal, prepping meals ahead of time will be a lifesaver for you. Dedicate one day a week (or month) to prepping meals.
Brainstorm meal ideas that can be prepped and frozen long in advance. MyFreezEasy is a perfect option for this as they prepare you with freezer-friendly recipes, shopping lists, instructional videos and much more to simplify your meal process. Then when the busy weeknight rolls around rather than reaching for the take-out menu you can simply grab an already prepped (homemade!) meal out of your freezer.
If you can’t find a day out of the week to dedicate to meal planning, the $5 Meal Plan might be exactly what you need in your life. The $5 Meal Plan will help you save time, save money, and eliminate stress by efficient meal planning.
You can either use the $5 Meal Plan’s pre-made weekly meal plan and shopping list, or you can use their fancy drag and drop meal plan builder.
- TURN OFF LIGHTS AND UNPLUG APPLIANCES
If you’re no longer in a room, turn off the lights. Or if the sun provides enough light, don’t waste money by having your lights on.
Make a habit of turning off lights as soon as you leave a room – not 20 minutes later. This will help lower your monthly utility bill.
If you are not using something, simply unplug it. I understand that this can seem like a nuisance, but it will help lower your bills. It won’t be substantial, but it will be something.
4. CREATE A “ONE DAY” LIST
I understand how exhausting and discouraging it can be to always tell yourself no. Whether it be saying no to going to the theaters, no to buying clothes, no to buying certain groceries, no to a great sale, or no to going out for coffee.
When you’re trying to save money it can feel like you’re always telling yourself no. To help you with this process, create a “one day” list.
Put things that you really want but can’t afford to buy at the moment on this list. This is your one day list, and it helps encourage you to work towards your goal.
If you’re choosing to live frugally, there shouldn’t come a certain point in your life where you decide you’ve saved up enough money so now you’re going to go blow any money you earn on things you don’t need. That’s not what this list is.
This list helps you see whether you really need something or not. By putting things on your one day list, you’ll be able to look back at it one day when you do have a bit of money to spend, and you’ll be able to decide what one thing you’d like to buy off of the list.
You might be pleasantly surprised by the number of things on your list that are completely of no interest to you anymore. Things that you almost wasted money on. Phewf. Aren’t you glad you didn’t waste money on that?
5. ASK YOURSELF THESE THREE QUESTIONS
Before you make a purchase ask yourself these three questions: Did I need it yesterday? What will happen if I don’t buy it? Will I still be using it in 1 year from now?
These are three very important questions you should be asking yourself before you make any unnecessary purchases.
- DID I NEED IT YESTERDAY?
Would it have made your day easier if you would have had it yesterday, or did you not even know about it yesterday? If you didn’t need it yesterday – do you need it tomorrow? What about a week from now? What about half a year from now? How will it be benefiting your life then?
- WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DON’T BUY IT?
If you don’t buy it today, what will happen? Will your world fall apart, or will it go on just like before you knew about it? Is it vital to your everyday life, or is it merely a want?
- WILL I STILL BE USING IT IN 1 YEAR FROM NOW?
Picture your life 1 year down the road. What do you see? Whatever it is that you seem to need right now in this moment, will you still be using it next year, or will it be lost, ruined, or stuffed into the back of a closet and completely forgotten about?
Life is full of decisions, don’t blow purchases off as something that doesn’t need to be thought about. Think about the decisions you make, whether they’re big or small. Do you really need that TV or dishwasher? Do you really need that cup of coffee or phone case?
Whether you have money or you don’t have money doesn’t define you or your life. Money shouldn’t be that one thing in life that you long for, thus focusing on nothing else.
It’s all the moments in life that make it worth living, and thankfully you don’t need to be a millionaire to be able to create meaningful moments in life.
What is your reason for making these frugal lifestyle changes? I’d love to hear from you.
10 Frugal Living Ideas to Try This Year
How to Coupon for Beginners
15 Reasons Why Your Budget is Failing
6 Ways to Save Money When You’re a Natural Spender
5 Common Financial Mistakes People Make + How to Avoid Them