Let’s face the facts; the COVID-19 pandemic changed many things, including money habits. Now that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are slowing down, it is a no-brainer to start focusing on a few financial priorities. So, if you need to create a frugal lifestyle and looking for the best tips, you’ve come to the right place.
Today we’ll be looking at the best frugal living tips. That means you can start being purposeful with your money and making sustainable financial choices without looking cheap. Try incorporating one or all of these frugal living tips, or rotate them out. With determination, you will see the difference.
What is the Difference Between Frugal Living and Being Cheap?
What does the term frugal mean to you? Many people think it is denying yourself things or gifts for your family, never going on vacations, and making yourself and the people around you miserable. Well, frugal living is a way to find the best value and prudently spend money on specific priorities.
On the flip side, a cheap lifestyle is one where you focus on the lowest price tag without caring about quality. For instance, refusing to heat your home when it is cold or skipping family reunions because you’re penny-pinching doesn’t mean frugality.
Frugality is intentional and prioritizes spending your money on things that matter. Satisfaction and value over time drive your spending habits. In contrast, a cheapskate aims for the lowest price without considering spending impacts.
Benefits of Frugal Living
Frugal living has tons of benefits, but the biggest is allowing you to achieve financial freedom.
Also, learning to maximize your resources allows you to save and invest more money than you spend. What happens when you have a nest egg and several investments thanks to your frugal lifestyle? You get out of debt and end the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.
45% of Americans are stuck with more and more credit card debt, with 30% seeing no hope of getting out of these debts.
If you struggle with savings, you’re not alone. More than half of Americans wouldn’t be able to handle an emergency that costs more than $1,000, and this means that most people would need a payday loan or credit cards for an emergency.
Frugal living is excellent for the environment, and it might seem counterintuitive, but think about it. Frugal living can help lower consumption and produce less waste. Reusing and upcycling can cut the need to buy new stuff and make trash valuable. A frugal lifestyle can reduce landfilling and help protect natural resources.
How Can I Be Frugal in 2022?
We’re prepared with tons of best frugal living tips and ideas if you’re ready to be frugal. Often, frugal living is as straightforward as cooking your meals at home, DIY-ing, or getting cash back on purchases.
Budgeting can help you get a grip on your finances and set money to save and invest. Try various budgeting methods to streamline your money. One popular frugal budgeting model is the 50-30-20 rule, where you divide a part of your income into needs, wants, and savings/debt payments. The 50-30-20 budgeting rule ensures that you meet your needs, wants, and saving goals.
Using budgeting apps is an even easier method to help you get started with frugal budgeting.
PocketGuard is a budgeting app for overspenders who need good financial habits. It helps you set money to pay your bills, necessities, and goals, and it offers tools for figuring out and cutting off unnecessary expenses.
Here are other budgeting apps that can help you balance spending and saving money without feeling guilty.
88% of Americans use coupons to get deals they love. One frugal living tip is to gather coupons before heading to the store or shopping online.
You don’t need to rely on cutting coupons from newspapers and magazines these days. Some apps and websites publish coupon codes, and you can check individual online stores for coupons. Try websites like Coupon Sherpa and AppGroves for printable, code, and grocery coupons. They can help you get deals on food delivery, travel, furniture shopping, office supplies, and more from your favorite online store.
3. Use Money-Saving Apps
Losing money on unnecessary expenses and superfluous subscriptions can be pretty stressful. Try an app like Truebill to help you take charge of your spending. Truebill helps you gain insights into your spending habits. You can save money, get insights, manages subscriptions, budget money, track your credit score, and negotiate bills hassle-free.
Chime is another money-saving app for frugal living. It’s a free app that helps you build your credit score and manage your money. Create a Chime’s high-yield savings account to save money and earn up to 0.50% APY( Annual Percentage Yield). The automatic saving feature makes it easy to put your money into savings.
4. Lower Your Electricity Bill
One of the simplest ways to live a frugal lifestyle is cutting down on electricity. The first step is to air-dry your dishes or clothes instead of heat drying and reduce energy consumption. Get the energy star-rated LED lights instead of incandescent lighting. Better yet, you can switch to green energy.
5. Consolidate Your Debt
Are you tired of paying various loans every month? Debt consolidation is another excellent frugal living tip to try. The debt consolidation process takes a new loan to settle all other debts, making payments easy to deal with.
Debt consolidation can mean faster debt pay-off and lower loan interest. It can also improve your credit score and reduce your monthly payments. You can try different debt merging options to streamline your finances.
6. Start a Side Hustle
If you want to enjoy frugal living without looking cheap, you need to boost your income. You can start a side hustle that generates revenue and aligns with your new, frugal lifestyle. There are so many options out there that we’ve written several side hustle articles! No matter what you like to do, there’s a side hustle out there for you.
7. Get Free Stuff
Did you know that you can get free products for your word-of-mouth recommendation? Be a tester and get stuff you need without spending a dime. You can get quality products for free to review, like skin and hair care products, cleaning supplies, clothes, software, and rewards.
Ibotta is a free app for product testing and coupons. You can get a full cost rebate when you buy products and submit your receipts to Ibotta.
8. Sell Extra Stuff
Clutter can be a real problem for many of us. What better way to get rid of extra stuff in good condition that you don’t use than selling it and making money? You can sell extra electronics, clothes, shoes, appliances, furniture, and more.
Try getting started Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or eBay. You could also host a garage sale in a high-traffic location and sell some items. You can repurpose the newfound home space for profitable ideas like renting it out.
9. Rent Out Extra Space
Do you have an extra room in your house? You can turn the extra space into a money machine by renting it out. No extra space? Rent out your home when you’re on vacation, family reunion, or for any period you’re not home.
There are other ways to make money off your space without letting people stay at your house. For instance, you can rent out your space as a storage room. Store At My House can be a great company to work with to provide renters storage space. You can rake in an average of $150-$500/month as passive income renting out your garage if you don’t have a car to park there.
10. Start Thrifting
Thrifting is a crucial frugal living tip to get quality products while saving money. You can get things from outfits, accessories, home decor, furniture, designer items, and everything in between at a lower price.
The thrift store isn’t the only place to get gently-used items at incredible prices. You can haggle over the costs and get quality products. Thrifting can be fun to save money and create a unique personal style as someone trying to be frugal. On top of all that, you can feel great about items you buy while thrifting because you’re reusing and recycling. Win-win!
11. Lower Entertainment Expenses
Cable TV can cost up to $130+ per month, depending on the cable plan and the provider. This can be a lot of money when trying to be more frugal. You can try more inexpensive streaming services or fun activities in your area – like free fairs, concerts, zoos, museums, and libraries.
12. Cook at Home
Frugal living can help you snowball more positive changes, such as eating healthy. Cooking at home is an opportunity to prepare healthy meals for you and your family. Try meal planning to avoid food waste and save money. A great first step is checking the food you already have before going to the store for more groceries.
13. Stick to Your Grocery List
Have you ever bought something that you hadn’t budgeted for at the grocery store? Impulse buying can drain your finances, and most of the time, you end up buying stuff you don’t need. Creating and sticking to your grocery list is a vital frugal living tip that can save you money on shopping. Try ordering ahead with Instacart or the Walmart app to avoid splurging on extra goodies.
You can start saving money on groceries. Saving money on groceries in 2021 is about cutting costs, not cutting coupons. Do you know you can start saving $100 or more every month? Follow these three easy steps.
14. Learn to DIY
Another excellent way to live frugally is to learn to do most things yourself. Whether you’re crafting, building, or repairing, tackling a DIY is one of the best ways to save money. Do you need more shampoo or soaps, or conditioners? You can check out online tutorials on how your cleaning products at home; it’s cheaper, and there’s less chance of unwanted chemical exposure.
What about home projects? There are plenty of online tutorials and TV programs on any DIY project you can imagine. Some DIY projects you can handle include landscaping, home renovations, repairs, and crafting. Do you need to overhaul a closet or the entire house? You can hire a dumpster and remove the junk or take things directly to the dump instead of hiring cleaners.
15. Plant Your Produce
Save money on groceries by farming your produce. Frugal gardening is an excellent way to use scrap food waste. Plant the seeds from produce you’ve cleaned and use other food waste to create compost to produce organic fertilizer for the garden.
Nothing is more rewarding than farming your food. Use plastic containers, egg cartons, clamshell containers, or eggshells to start your seed. You can find these items at home, so you don’t even have to buy them.
16. Eat Seasonal Food
Eating seasonal produce is another proven frugal living hack. Eating seasonal produce is cheaper compared to purchasing off-season fruits and veggies. It’s also better for the environment. Since the food doesn’t have to travel far to get from farm to store, there’s less pollution. Seasonal food is often more plentiful and nutritious, unlike the food in the stores sourced internationally.
Upcycling is an excellent way to use old or unwanted items creatively, and it helps reduce waste by reusing household items that would otherwise be garbage. Recycling breaks down waste to create a product, and upcycling creatively transforms a by-product.
Why buy home accessories when you can upcycle? Make beautiful home accessories with old stuff you have lying around. Do you have old pallets? You can upcycle them into outdoor seating or a beautiful home bar. You can also look at Habitat for Humanity for cheap materials you can use in upcycling projects. With some practice, you can repurpose junk into beautiful crafts and home decor items.
18. Drop the Single-Use Items
Single-use items are pretty common at home for many of us. Not only do they cost a lot of money, but they are also a menace to the environment.
Swapping single-use products, like plastics, for reusable materials is another vital frugal living tip. Metal cutlery can be the best alternative to plastic ones, and you buy them from your local thrift store, online, or from Habitat for Humanity.
These products are cost-effective and reduce garbage. Do you make your cleaning products at home? Reuse spray bottles by refilling them when they’re empty. Many reusable products are high quality; you won’t need to replace them frequently. For example, you will save a couple of dollars every time you refill your reusable water bottle. Additionally, non-plastic packaging and storage materials are non-hazardous. They don’t leave a bad taste, making them safer for keeping consumable products like food and water.
19. Be Content
One of the biggest struggles a beginner to frugal living faces is embracing mindfulness and minimalism. Having less stuff can make cleaning easier and offer you free space to enjoy your home. Also, choosing to spend your money on essentials only can lower your expenses and help you hit your saving targets.
Frugal Living Tips to Save Money and Change Your Life
Living a frugal lifestyle without making dramatic penny-pinching moves is achievable. You don’t have to live a cheap life to improve your financial situation. The rule of thumb is to maximize your resources, cut costs, create several income streams, and save.
These sustainable living tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Penny Calling Penny has tons of resourceful information to help you be money-smart. Sign up for our newsletter and never miss actionable tips to help you achieve financial freedom.