When you say the words “I wish to lead a thriftier life”, it may not sound glamorous or sexy, but rest assured that the peace of mind that comes with the territory is truly priceless. Most people fear that mastering the art of frugality is predominantly a nightmare to deprive you of all life’s pleasures, but it can actually be a fun, rewarding experience, and an opportunity to grow.
It allows you the financial independence and reliability that will come in extremely handy in this harsh world. Making wiser money decisions also lets you become a great role model for your kids, and you’ll be a spark of motivation for the shopaholics among your friends to take back the control over their spending habits. The following methods are simple enough to implement right away, yet profound enough to make a difference almost as soon as you choose to test them – so let’s see how you can become your own financial advisor in no time!
Never shop list-less
We’re all guilty of this little crime, as once you step into a grocery store, it’s difficult to resist all the unexpected discounts on your favorite foods, or a new ice-cream flavor waiting your knowledgeable palate. This is where the discipline of shopping only for what you need saves the day.
Always make a list of the items you use daily, keep track of your stocks, and discover how big of a monthly budget you need. It’s fine to treat yourself on occasion, but if you notice that you’re doubling the bill every month, you’ll need to weed out the culprits and start tracking your spending. Luckily for you, there are apps such as Mint that help you do this stress-free.
Ditch your TV
Before you dismiss the idea, remember that everything relevant that happens in the world, news and entertainment alike, can be found online. If you stop watching TV and paying for cable, you won’t be depriving yourself of an irreplaceable source of information. Do the math: how much do you spend on your monthly cable bill and your specific subscriptions? Now multiply by 12, and you’ll instantly see how much you can save every year.
For most of us, this can turn out to be a decent sum of up to several hundred bucks, meaning that you can truly make a difference on an annual, and monthly level. Not to mention the health favors you’ll be doing your body when you cut your screen time in half once you stop watching TV.
Grow your own food
Of course, if you live in a tiny apartment, you cannot expect yourself to tend to an entire garden of fruits and veggies. However, what you can do is have a few pots of low-maintenance plants such as cherry tomatoes, carrots, lemons, or tangerines. Spices also enjoy an indoor atmosphere, so even a vertical garden in your kitchen is a possibility.
That way, you’ll be inspired to stay healthy year-long, without that excuse to skip lemonade because you’re out of lemons, and you’ll save up on your grocery bill.
Refine your investing habits
Whether you’re looking to continue your education, make major repairs or reconstructions in your home, or buy a family car, choosing the right financial source is vital. Long-term, high-interest loans may ultimately put you into debt, but a shorter commitment can help you work off your investment as soon as possible.
That is why you could consider small loans for these investments, as you’ll maintain better financial control, without spending decades paying off your debt. These short-term investments help you stay responsible and in charge of your spending, while at the same time enabling you to achieve these major milestones in your life.
Cook your meals more often
Did you know that you waste an average of $2,000 on lunch that you could have cooked at home and packed instead for significantly less money? That doesn’t necessarily mean just eating in fancy restaurants, but anything you buy out sums up to quite a pile of cash.
By organizing your monthly grocery shopping to fit your meal prepping efforts, you can cut your annual spending by a couple of thousand dollars. If you commit to making your own snacks and resist buying candy and bottled water on impulse, you’ll likely save even more. These little choices may seem irrelevant on a daily basis, but they do matter in the grand scheme of your financial freedom.
Rethink your ride
There are so many alternatives to driving your own car everywhere you go, that even just a single one of those changes can completely alter your spending habits. For example, riding a bicycle to work is the healthiest possible alternative that will save you tons of money on car maintenance, fuel, parking, and the like.
Carpooling, walking, or using public transportation are other options you can use on various occasions, but what matters most is that you can both make an impact on the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, work on your fitness, and simultaneously save hundreds of dollars every year.