Monday, September 17, 2012

5 Tips to Live Frugal

By Dawn Antestenis, Fresh Start

As many of us have to find creative ways to live well on a tight budget frugal is a word that suddenly means a lot. 

The good news is that it’s not all bad news. 

There are some real upsides to living a more frugal lifestyle.  If you spend less, there is less pressure to earn large sums of money, and you may have money left over at the end of the month to pay off debt, save or invest.  Also, not having money for the more expensive things in life gives you the chance to reconnect with the good free stuff that life has to offer : time with family; being outdoors; reading…the list goes on.

So if you find yourself in the position of having fewer dollars coming in each month but still want to live the good life then here are a few tips that can help you spend less and get more for your $s.

Tip 1:  Become a 1 car family or invest in a smaller car

The benefits are clear: less $ on gas; cheaper monthly payments; and the environment will say thank you too.

Tip 2:  Downsize your home

A smaller house means less $ on utilities, cheaper mortgage or rent, and with less space there are fewer temptations to fill your home with ‘stuff you don’t need’.

Tip 3:  Consider buying used first

The popularity of thrift stores is on the rise – there are real treasures to be found in amongst all the bargains.  And consider asking family and friends if they have the item you are looking for to borrow or maybe they no longer need it – much cheaper than rushing out to buy a new one!

Tip 4:  Eat out less

This can be a hard one, especially when it is wired into our habitual behavior.  It is estimated the average American spends more than $2000 a year on eating out – so there is a lot of money to be saved through eating at home more, taking a packed lunch to work, and saving eating out for special occasions.

Tip 5: Only shop for what you need

It happens to us all, we are feeling down and think a shopping trip will cheer us up.  Unfortunately it is these times that we come home from the store with impulse buys that we will never wear.  So only visit the mall and your local stores when you have a reason to be there, to buy something you need.  Make your purchase and get out!

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