Adopting frugal living offers many benefits!
But living frugally has its own consequences. It comes as a package – Eg: Not living life insight of others, not embracing YOLO, but your view may differ and see it as the foundation to have a good life later on.
The moment I started to adopt principles of frugal living, I began to hear sentences from my close buddies “You know what! You are not living life”, You have become stingy & boring. Some raised their eyebrows, poked their nose and some walked away silently.
I warn you! It might happen to you as well; when you start changing for good. People always have things to say! Don’t they…
But I want you to be clear in your mind ” Why do you need to adopt a frugal life?”
If you get that point right, you will be rocking solid on this life-changing adventure.
To achieve the right mindset, I believe this article will help you to understand the benefits of frugal living, and how the tips for frugal living helps you to reach your goals faster!
Many of us make the mistake of considering frugal living equivalent to being stingy or cheap. No, not at all! There is a whole a lot of difference between living frugal and cheap.
Billionaire Warren Buffet lived in the same house for more than five decades. Do people call him stingy? No! Because Mr. Buffet is one of the renowned philanthropists of our time. Also, Warren Buffett is extremely frugal with his purchase on car, breakfast and hobbies too.
Many other self made millionaires, billionaires still live way below their means, some practice frugal living even after achieving multi millionaire status!
Meaning of Frugal:
You are taking ownership of your money and being mindful of where to spend it because you have a better vision and goals to achieve for your life like financial independence, living debt-free; retirement savings, Travelling, etc. At the same time, you are not allowing your emotions, buying out off impulse purchasing habits.
A frugal living can put your life in order if the financial side of your life is in not so good shape. Being frugal also aids you to start saving(if you live paycheck to paycheck), or save more and build wealth.
If you think frugality helps in save more money alone. You are wrong in your think!
Frugality impacts positively on your time, health, relationship etc.
Millions of people saved more by adopting frugal living, investing their surplus savings, and allowing it to compound over time.
Frugal Living Benefits:
If you are a person who lives on paycheck to paycheck, or addicted to impulse spending, incorporating this principle in your life can help you to think and make decisions which works for you.
Note: Its needs discipline, accountability in the beginning if you consider yourself as an impulse spender.
It improves your decision making skills by saying this favorite word “No” often! The more “No” you say for things which are expensive, puts a hole in your pocket, its saves you a lot in long run. It will be a matter of time , you will be having clarity to buy things with great bargain and without forgoing quality.
We often get stressed about comparing our lifestyle with our friends lifestyle, their pay check with ours. This causes stress, unhappy life , low self image. When you practice extreme frugal , you are now focused on your goals, your dreams.
Accomplishing a small goal can create positive image of yourself, improve confidence, less stress.
Lastly you will learn to be content with oneself.(I consider this as an expensive gift you can give to yourself:) All this factors will lead to happiness and improved health.
As a human we deeply desire for freedom! whether you from developed country or emerging country, doesn’t matter! extreme frugal living can put you in the path of freedom sooner than you think.
This will left you with more time to learn a new skill, practice a hobby and invest in nurturing relationship.
Good for environment:
An extreme frugal living leads you to spend less, consume less this will turn into less waste and land fills. Eventually you are contributing to the well-being of the environment by being frugal.
13 tips for frugal living to try:
Alright! let’s begin then.
Moving to a Tier 2/ Suburbs:
We have come across folks, who cut their Netflix subscription to save money. How much you can save actually by cancelling Netflix? 20 dollars per month. I am not against either using or canceling a Netflix subscription. That’s a personal choice.
But cancelling Netflix subscription won’t have a great impact on your living, so what shall we do then?
Why not consider moving to a suburbs of a city or a Tier 2 city? It may sound weird. Usually the rent eats away a good 30 percent to 40 percent of your salary. Due to the pandemic crisis, many companies offer their employees to work from remote locations.
My thoughts: Perhaps, You can negotiate with your boss and prove your productivity by working remotely. I am working from home for the last 5 years for my employer, never had issue in delivering results with work schedule not exceed more than 5 hours.
Because in metropolitan cities you need to pay minimum 25 to 30 percent of your paycheck for a decent 2-bedroom house in a good locality. You can afford a great housing for 10 %, 15 % rent in Tier 2 city with more greenery & great quality of living.
Moving to cheap living places:
If you are a person who is hooked to living in a metropolitan city. The best option is to look for cheap living places or downsize the size of living house. Trust me on this! Moving to a small house can have a considerable impact on your savings.
I pay 25 percent less rent by moving to a small house. I believe you can do this too!
Also I took little advantage of my landlord & real estate broker after knowing the fact that house was not rented out for more than a year due to pandemic (where people are not ready to move out of their doors). So bargained and brought down the rent as much as possible.
Also negotiated with the landlord for incremental rent not more than 5 percent on annual basis by promising to stay longer tenure! Usually its 10 % on annual increment rent.
E.g.: If you pay 1000 dollars a month in the first year, 10 % incremental annual rent will make you pay 1100 dollars from the first month of second year.
You will be paying 50 percent less with 5% incremental annual rent.
Pay Bills on time:
Start paying your bills on time! By doing it, you will avoid late fees and fines on your utility bills, credit card bills. Do you deliberately allow people to take cash from your pocket? If your answer is no, then start paying bills on time.
As a bonus, you will also earn goodwill/ trust from people and banks by paying on time. You will avoid many headaches and hassles by being committed to your payment.
It also push you to be discipline with payments , by doing this you left with improved self respect (Its a big thing!!!)
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Who doesn’t love gadgets? We don’t want to look outdated. Gadgets and technology are there to improve our lives and efficiency in getting things done.
But if you are a person who is constantly upgrading gadgets, Watch out for it! You are a buying depreciating asset, Its losses its value over time.
Get a good quality phone with reliable after sales service, stick with it for a minimum of 4 to 5 years. There is a lot of opportunity cost involved in frequent gadget up-gradation.
Get brand clothes! It may sound counterintuitive for a simple frugal living.
But good brand clothes will last for longer years with little care than buying cheap clothes. I’m not suggesting you to shop in Zara, Marcs & spencer’s. But a reliable brand with good quality and decent price.
I have friends who buy cheap clothes, without realizing they end up buying a pile of clothes and it is difficult to maintain in wardrobe. They are buying for their wants, not needs. Also, their purchase decision is justified because it is so cheap!
Get branded clothes. Be minimalistic. It is easy to maintain, gives you peace in choosing ( with less options you can choose easily than with more options to choose) and pocket-friendly.
Dining out costs you more money than preparing your own meal. There are guys who aggressively refrain from eating out to be frugal. It may not work for everyone also it can cause burnout.
Treating yourself to dine-outs & your favorite restaurant food is not wrong. But the question you need to ask yourself is How often do you want to eat out each month?
Having a well planned budget & number of pre defined occurrence to eat out in a month can save you more money without punishing your taste buds.
There was a time I spend INR 4000 rupees to 5000 INR a month to dine out. After incorporating this rule, I spend 50 percent less on dining out by keeping a pre defined occurrence of 4 times a month. (Friday Night!)
Grow your own food
If your house has garden or vacant space, use it to grow your own veggies and spices. It cuts down the expenses on vegetables on your monthly bills and it can become a wonderful hobby too.
Investment is plant seeds but the return is toxic free food, delightful experience of cooking your backyard grown vegetables , good health.
Who knows! After your need , if still vegetables is left you can sell it in your neighborhood. Who says “no” to organic veggies?
Don’t throw away
Throwing away food is equal throwing your hard earned money away in trash.
In a year, 133 billion dollars worth of food is wasted alone in the US.
You can cook less food or store it in refrigerator to eat it for dinner or next day unless its expired.
If any of your clothes, books , toys , furniture or whatever it could be.
Thumb rule: If something is not use for six months or more, its time to give away or sell it off.
You can gift it to someone who is less fortunate, list it on craigslist. Having less is less work and brings you more freedom.
Watch Movies on OTT:
Watching movies on OTT is a great deal compared to watching movies in cinema theatres. I agree we can miss those sound effects, big screen visuals, etc. But watching on OTT has its own positive side like watching at your comfort, pausing & resuming, preparing your own snacks, etc.
It also saves you from riding charges, gas expenses, parking fees, popcorn which is sold at skyrocketing prices. Overall OTT doesn’t put a hole in your pocket.
P.S: Netflix subscription fee of a month is equivalent to movie out in a cinema theatre. I am up for Netflix!
Buying your groceries at discount stores can put more in your pocket.
There are stores that offer a minimum ten percent discount from the maximum retail price (MRP) for all products.
E.g.: If your grocery bills are INR 8000 a month, saving ten percent INR 800 every month can become INR 9600 for a year as you keep buying your groceries from discount stores.
Discount stores offer buy points or cash points as a dividend as you buy. you can use the cash points accumulated at year end to purchase groceries without extra cost.
Stores like D Mart, SPAR are great! They offer cheap prices compared to other retail chain stores.
Read more about: Why emergency fund is important than investing?
Two-wheeler / Ridesharing app:
Travel by uber in cities offset the need for cars for middle-income families. Although many families prefer to have their own cars.
In India, owning a car is prestigious and it’s a status symbol. Buying a car is considered as a part of growth etc. I agree, but this all comes at the cost of car loans, service fees, fuel expenses, parking fees, toll fees, tax and duties.
I am not against owning a car, but most of the metro cities are well connected. Moreover, this blog post is about living frugally.
Having a two-wheeler is less costly to maintain, with no toll fees, less fuel expense. If you are a person who prefers to travel by car, ridesharing app like Uber can fulfills your needs.
Cycles / Home workout:
If you are a person who spends money on going Gym or would like to work out, you can consider owning a cycle or working out at home.
A good cycle may cost a little more expensive than Rs 12000, but it’s a one-time cost & little money you need to shell out on servicing once in a few months.
Overall, the experience and value of cycling offset the overall expenses. It is a fun activity that can be done with friends, your partner. It keeps your mind and body refreshed.
Owing workout equipment is also cheap. You can get it on amazon. Both these options will keep you from the recurring monthly cost of gym membership fees.
Most of the folks pay the fee, but don’t hit the gym regularly due to lack of easy access. But having a work out equipment at home makes things easy for you.
See how simple frugal living principles can be applied in different areas of your life.
First step is getting your monthly expenses on track and check the impact of adopting a simple frugal living. It allows you see the picture clearly. Even if you can save a small sum of money , consider it as a great start!
Remember, it’s the little thing that counts in the long run. Today’s little step of yours can become tomorrow’s stride in your journey of becoming a extreme frugal person.
End of the day, it is about choosing what is important to you. I hope this blog post was helpful.
Don’t start to practice all tips in simple frugal living, start with one or two which suits you. Or else, you may feel burned out and relapse.
If you have tried any other methods in your journey of extreme frugal living, please comment below. I would be happy to know!
Thank you for reading!