What is frugal spending?
Frugal spending is not about always finding the best deal. It is about being conscious of your spending and your money. Frugal spending is about maximizing the money you are willing to spend and not spending it on things that are not important to you.
This doesn’t mean you can’t buy designer clothes or food. It just means that you spend more on the things that are valuable to you and less on the things that are not so important.
It doesn’t mean that you will never have good toilet paper or that you will only ever eat generic brands. Frugality simply means making conscious choices about what you are willing to spend more on and what you are willing to spend less on.
Are frugal and cheap the same thing?
Spending frugally is not the same as being cheap. A frugal person will go to the shop and buy the cheapest thing anyway.
A frugal person will go to the shop and look at the value of the items before they buy them. They will not necessarily spend the least amount on something they want to last a long time.
Benefits of spending frugally
If you want to get ahead on your financial journey, spending frugally definitely pays off.
Chances are you have big goals for your money. Perhaps you need to become obligation free or have the option to travel. Maybe you want to retire before you turn 55. Frugal spending allows you to say “no” to the less important things and “yes” to your financial goals.
Frugal spending allows you to find ways to save more money in your daily life so you can put money aside for the things that are important to you.
How to start spending frugally?
The idea of completely changing your spending habits in an instant can be overwhelming. The best way to start spending frugally is to take it one step at a time.
Instead of deciding to follow all of these frugal tips at once, pick a few to implement in your life this week. As you start to feel more comfortable, add more of these frugal tips into your life.
The truth is that your frugal spending journey will be unique to you. It won’t be the same as everyone else’s, and that’s okay. Over time, find the frugal spending tips that work for you. Stick to the things you like and leave the rest.
Be more aware of where you go through your cash. Before you buy something, consider whether it is worth the money. Ask yourself if you can find better value elsewhere.
Frugal spending is about being more conscious of what you spend your money on. Instead of automatically swiping your debit card or clicking “add to cart”, ask yourself if the purchase is worth it. Is it something you really want or need? Can you find better value for money elsewhere? Are you willing to spend your money on this item rather than saving it for your bigger financial goals?
Ideas for frugal spending
- Instead of spending $20 on a trip to the cinema, consider having a “game night” at home with some friends. You’ll have more contact with your friends and you’ll be surprised at how inexpensive – and fun – a game night can be.
- Get a snack before you go to the movies. Popcorn, sweets, and nachos are expensive. So if you’re full before you go to the cinema, you’ll be more likely to skip the food stall and leave your money in your wallet.
- Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions. With the advent of the internet, we can easily access news, information, and entertainment online for free, making expensive subscriptions just that: expensive.
- Go out for lunch instead of dinner. Lunch menus are usually cheaper than dinner menus, and most restaurants also offer lunch deals. To lower your bill further, use water instead of wine and skip dessert.
- Eat out less often. Cooking your own meals is another great tip for frugal spending, and it’s also healthier because you have better control over what goes into your meals and what doesn’t.
- Price matching. Most shops have a price-matching policy. So if you buy an item and later see that a competitor is offering it at a lower price and you bring the flyer, the shop will usually adjust the price and refund you the difference.