Frugal living doesn’t necessarily have to mean giving up on all the fun things in your life. A lot of people assume that having healthier finances means looking for ways to reduce the money that they spend. While cutting costs is obviously part of the battle, you’ll also need to think about how you can make better decisions when you do spend money.
After all, few people can live their lives without spending any money at all. The cash you earn from your career is there for you to divide among your wants and needs. Become a frugal person simply means knowing how to balance your expenses. Here are some top tips to follow when spending your money wisely.
One of the biggest misconceptions that people have when they start budgeting is that the best way to save is to buy the cheapest version of the things that they need. However, the least expensive option isn’t always the best. There’s no point in spending money on a cheap pair of shoes that cost £20 and last a month if you could have bought a £60 pair that last a year.
Instead of looking at value just in terms of pounds and pence, think about how much genuine value you’re going to get out of the item you’re buying. If you can rest assured that your investment is going to last – it might be worth the expense.
While sometimes it pays to spend a little bit more on things like clothes, cars, and computers, that doesn’t mean that you should be looking for brand labels everywhere you go. For instance, when it comes to food shopping – the cheaper you can go, the better. The chances are you won’t be able to tell the difference between some of the name-brand and generic labels in your local supermarket.
Pasta is the same whether you spend £5 or £2 for it. If you compare the ingredients on some of your favourite foods, you’ll quickly discover that all you’re really paying for is a label and packaging when you go branded.
We’re all guilty of occasionally buying more food than we actually use. However, if you’re constantly buying fresh food that ends up in the bin at the end of the week, you might want to ask yourself what you can do differently. Planning out your meals for the week and sticking to your schedule is one of the best ways that you can make sure that you don’t waste too much food.
There are other ways that you can reduce waste in your house too. For instance, take a bath instead of a shower to save water. Consider getting rid of paper towels and replacing them with kitchen cloths that you can wash and reuse instead.
Coupons and vouchers aren’t just there for when you want to justify spending extra on a big purchase. People tend to wait to look for voucher codes until they’re spending a fortune online. However, the truth is that you can apply discounts to more purchases than you might think. There are endless websites that you can search for coupons on, or you can consider downloading a plugin that automatically sorts through your voucher options and applies them for you.
If there are no coupons or vouchers available for something that you want, consider whether you might be able to get the item for cheaper elsewhere. Something as simple as comparing prices for your next big purchase can save you a lot of money.
Retail therapy can feel fantastic when you’re in the middle of it, but when you come back and realise that you don’t have enough money left over to pay your bills, things start to get a little more worrisome. Instead of allowing yourself to fall victim to the pressure of temptation, force yourself to patient when you want to buy something.
Go home and give yourself 24 hours before you make any major purchases. This also applies to when you’re thinking of taking out a loan. The extra time you have can be used looking up better deals online. If you decide it’s not worth the purchase after 24-hours, you save yourself some serious cash. On the other hand, if you decide to go ahead and buy the item anyway, you may have had enough time to find a better deal.