A frugal lifestyle has many financial benefits and often people attempt this lifestyle but give up before they are able to accomplish any meaningful benefits. Sometimes it is best to start small with an understanding of why and what you need to accomplish.
As a refresher, what is the essence of a frugal lifestyle?
The most basic definition is that you decide what is important and what isn’t important in your life. Then, you rearrange your finances to support those activities that are important and reduce or eliminate expenses that you don’t find valuable. For example, if you have a photography hobby, perhaps you avoid gourmet coffee shops to fund the purchase of new equipment.
Why do people struggle with embracing frugal living?
For many, they just don’t realize how they can lower expenses on things that don’t add value. For example, maybe you like to travel and not really spend much time at home. Instead of renting a big apartment, get a roommate in smaller place and pay less rent and then you will be saving more to spend on travel.
Is there a really easy frugal lifestyle action that anyone can implement right way?
Yes, the easiest is with grocery shopping. Prepare a weekly meal plan, make your grocery list from the meal plan, look for coupons and then go shopping. When shopping, look specials and avoid overbuying on perishable goods and always use the frequent shopper card. Finally, pay with a rewards credit card that you pay off monthly. This simple process for grocery shopping will be worth hundreds of dollars per year.
What will be the most difficult frugal living steps that someone will have to implement?
Downsizing living space costs and transportation costs. Downsizing your house size will reduce not only your mortgage payment but will also decrease property taxes, insurance and utilities costs most of the time. Going to one vehicle includes lower insurance, gas and maintenance costs. Getting these two accomplished will always be difficult because it is the most radical frugal living ideas.
How can someone still have fun on this lifestyle?
It all starts with planning for fun and reducing other expenses to save for this fun. Other strategies include traveling at non-peak times, asking for free upgrades and being willing to negotiate for everything. Fun doesn’t go away in a frugal lifestyle, it just means that you reduce in other non-rewarding areas so that you can have more time and money for fun.