Frugal living. It’s a double edged sword. On one hand if you are trying to live your best frugal life then in my view it’s a great thing to be doing. You are careful with your money, you seek value in everything you buy, your time and resources are always put to good use, you get to cut a corner to two and brag about it!
On the other hand Frugal living is an awful phrase. It sounds terrible. It sounds like a miserable existence. I mentioned before that some unkind folks reckon that frugal living with the aim or retiring early, is living a miserable existence so that you can retire early and live a miserable existence.
I don’t agree with this. I’d much rather take the view that frugal living allows me to pursue my financial goals, while not cluttering up my life with things I don’t need.
So with that in mind, I asked my Twitter followers for their very best frugal living tips and this is what they came up with.
There were some familiar ones, some common sense suggestions, some new ones (for me anyway) and a few fresh perspectives on things you might already know, so without further delay, let’s get into them.
Ok – so this is a pretty good one. So much has been made of clothing waste recently. Big retailers coming under fire for creating this throwaway clothing culture. To be fair, I see a few fighting back but I thought this was a great tip. I hope it doesn’t come across as a bit sexist but I think it’s fair to say that this represents a better opportunity for the ladies compared to the men – the girls are often under pressure to have a new outfit everywhere they go, where as I can get away with a new shirt at a push, so this tip from Katie is a great one. Get some new accessories or amend some old garments in some way – happy days, a fresh look and money saved.
This is so true. Cooking at home is a lot easier than people think. I know it might seem like a bit of a drag after working all day, that you don’t want to stand making meals but hear me out!
When you cook at home, you know exactly what you are putting in your meals. Every supermarket has discount shelves too, so you can pick up meat, bread, tins, pretty much anything. If you can’t use items that day then buy stuff you can freeze and keep. You will save so much money compared to constant take-aways full of salt, fat, that might well be cold by the time you get to eat them.
Better meals leave you feeling better too.
Further since you are making your own grub, you can make as much or as little of it as you want – so make extra! Batch cook, save time, buy in bulk, make more meals than you need, but freeze them, and then the next time you need a good meal, just lift one out of the freezer.
It’s so easy – I can definitely get behind this one from the Wealthster.
These suggestions from Joney are classics. If you aren’t doing some of these things then you should be. Asking for discounts is easy, and you would be surprised how often this works. Sales people everywhere have discretion, be it new customers offers, student offers, or just trying to get the sale.
But how you spend your own money is such a tough topic for someone else to comment on, right? Where one person sees value, another will see as a waste of money, so things like making your own coffee vs buying out or what wine you order will always be contentious. The principles are sound and Darren touches on it below.
Spend mindfully. Be aware of how you are spending your own money and sleep on big purchases before you dive in. That is such a good tip – you will prevent yourself from potentially wasting big bucks on an impulse buy.
Look at what Elliott has to say:
Elliott has taken the decision to mindfully treat himself to a nice meal out rather than haemoragging his money of take-aways. I get this… it’s worth spending money on a good experience and again, where you find value.
This next one is certainly food for thought:
Remote working! Wow. It might be a big departure but I think a lot of folks could relate to this one. Look at the savings! Commuting, fuel costs, insurance, work clothes, awkward work obligations if you aren’t a fan! If your line of work allows it, it could definitely be an option. I’m a programmer so there are loads of companies offering remote working and in many ways taking one of these jobs could effectively be an instant payrise if you aren’t already working at home. The savings could be huge given your own circumstance… yeah… Interesting one.
This suggestion is a fresh look at a frugal staple. Ah… Money Twitter, frugalistas, money savers and peddlars of the same old, same old will tell you that you need to get rid of subscriptions you don’t use, cut the direct debits and clean up the bills you have accumulating because you are too lazy to do something about it!
That’s a bit unfair, because it’s good advice. Why would you spend money on stuff you don’t use? Well you wouldn’t. So how do you know if you use it or not… and I mean beyond the sort of “yeah I use it” wishy washing notion…
Track your time!
Clock the hours you spend using what you are paying for and at the end of a couple of months you have some data to back you up. You get to decide on £/hour or whatever basis you decide, whether it’s worth what you are paying.
Keep what is, and get rid of what isn’t.
Some great suggestions in there and definitely worth a bit of thought. Don’t forget to follow these guys on Twitter for more content like this, and if you want to share some tips yourself, do so in the comments below, on the original twitter thread, or indeed in the Youtube comments.