Introduction to frugal living
What is actually frugal living? “Frugal living means being conscious of your spending and focusing on a few financial priorities”.
That’s the sentence I found when I googled frugal living. But to me it’s much more.
In addition to being aware of my spending, I’m concerned about the environment too. I don’t want to live like a minimalist, and I don’t want to feel I’m not allowed to do certain things, like taking a vacation abroad. It’s about finding the middle way, being conscious, but without feeling I’m poor.
I live in Norway, the common and popular couponing and house-flipping from US, are not things available here due to regulations and laws, so for me it’s been about finding other ways to make money and save money.
If you want to live frugally you need to start by asking yourself what your goal is. Why do you want to live frugally? Is it because you actually have no choice due to lack of income, or is it because you want to retire earlier and now want to save up money to do so? Is it because you want to pay off accumulated cc debt, or is it maybe because you have such a huge environmental concern that you see no other option than to reduce your carbon print?
And remember, there’s no right or wrong answer here, your reasons are YOUR reasons, and they will make it easier for you to live frugally in the long run.
4 Frugal living tips
There’s many ways to start living frugal, and you can read more tips in the blog, but let’s list a few main ones here:
- Track income and expenses. If you don’t know how much money are coming in and what you currently are spending them on, then how do you think you’ll be able to start saving money? You could risk not having enough money to pay your bills unless you get a clear view of what’s going on with your finances. It’s not enough to know that your income doesn’t match your expenses. You also need to find the hole in the bottom of the bucket, that drains it. There’s several ways to do this, but I’d recommend starting with a budget planner. If you click the link and use the code FRUGAL, you’ll get 75% off the regular price.
- Declutter. I’m not saying live minimalistic. I’m saying get rid of all the clutter in your life. Those 25 candle light holders that haven’t been used since 1990. Those books you read once and now store in boxes. Those 5 pair of jeans you’ve either grown out off or hope to grow in to some day. Those 50 half empty bottles of shampoo. You only need 1. I know it’s important to shift type of shampoo from time to time. But what that really means is when the bottle is empty, change brand for the next one. Sell the items you don’t need any more, give to charity or your neighbor. Please don’t just toss it away, without trying to find new homes for them. If you want to do a thorough cleaning session while you’re at it with decluttering, why not use this helpful cleaning binder? Click on the link and get 75% off with the code CLEANING.
- Eat healthy and use a meal plan. Many people think junk food is the cheapest option, and that that’s the reason why so many people are overweight. But eating healthy is really not that expensive, as you’ll be eating less food, gain more energy and become more happy. That means less diseases caused by overweight, less medication, more taste, and more time with your family. And by having a meal plan, you plan ahead of going to the store, that means you only have to buy the ingredients you need for your meals, not the ingredients you “think” you might need for a meal you’re planning to have.
- Reuse-reduce-recycle. This is in the spirit of the environment. If you can repair an item instead of buying a new one, choose that. If you can buy a used item instead of a new one, do that. Every country has their own websites where you can buy and sell used items, or give them away for free. It’s the same sites you use when you’re completing #2 on this list, the decluttering process. Second hand is no longer a sign of low income, it’s a sign of responsibility. To the Earth and to the people who live here. You take responsible for your own actions, and you will be an inspiration for generations to come.
So now what?
Now that you’ve read a little bit of what frugal living today is, how do you feel? Is this something you want to explore more? If so, there’s numerous blogposts here, and more to come, to dive into.