Do you love the feeling you get when you have a huge savings safety net in your account?
Are you looking for ways to save more? There are some easy knacks and hacks that can help you adopt a frugal lifestyle and potentially save thousands. All you need is dedication, a clear vision, and the reason why you want to prioritize saving, along with a little guidance to help you reach your destination.
Here are 12 frugal hacks to help you save more and live better this year.
1. Set-up Reminders And Alerts To Track Due Dates
One of the easiest things you can do to save money is to track payment due dates and avoid any late payment charges.
Organize your financial life as you organize your social life. In order to keep your finances on pace, set-up calendar alerts or reminders for everything related to finance such as paying your bills, rentals, tax payments and even check for credit report once every 4 months etc. You can even check out free services like Mint.com that will send you a notification a few days before a bill or credit card payment is due.
2. Keep a track of your money
An essential frugal tip is to keep a track of your money before it’s totally spent. A “budget” would sound more of a sacrifice or deprivation so let’s not name it that way. In a better way, a budget can be termed as a tool that tracks your money to make the best use of it on the important things like rent, mortgage or retirement.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Budgeting
3. Prioritize Retirement Savings
Start investing this year if you haven’t already. If you already to invest or contribute to retirement, consider bumping up your contributions.
If you have access to a 401(k) you can automatically contribute pre-tax dollars before you paycheck even hits your amount. Investing can literally save you tons of money and boost your retirement income so long as you start stashing funds away early.
When you use a robo-advisor like Betterment to invest, you can open an individual retirement account or brokerage account and pay little to no fees. Plus, Betterment invests your funds for you based on your preferences so all you need to do is set it and forget it.
4. Start Using the 48-Hour Rule
Do you hesitate before you make a purchase? You should. Stop and ask yourself questions like: Do I really need this? and Could I hold off on buying this?
Give yourself 48-hours to “sleep on it” and really think about whether the purchase would add value to your life and be usable long-term. If after the 48 hours have passed and you either forgot about wanting the item or realized you would be fine without it, you’ll have your answer and more money in your pocket as well.
5. Keep An Eye On Coupon Codes!
There’s no harm in being a coupon person. It also doesn’t mean you have to have a house full of newspapers and sort through folders of sales papers all day long.
Use coupons the modern way by using sites like Groupon and apps like Ibotta and Flipp. Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is another cool site you can use to earn cash back on your online purchases and receive coupon codes and offers for major retailers whenever you visit their website. Ebates gives you a $10 gift card when you sign up and make your first online purchase.
6. Cut The Unwanted!
Cut out expenses that are of no use to you to simplify your life. Many times, we have added up expenses that we don’t utilize much and still end up paying for it regularly like memberships, monthly service fees etc. Go through your budget line by line (at least quarterly) and decide if there are any unnecessary expenses you no longer need.
Also, determine if you’re paying too much for something and should reduce your spending in that area or negotiate a better rate.
7. Cook More Meals At Home
If you dine out for lunch each day and spend an average of $5-7 per meal, you’ll easily wind up spending over $1,000 per year. Hence, you could save thousands by eating more meals at home and only treating yourself with cafe coffee occasionally.
Once you start making your meals at home, you’ll realize how much you money wasted on eating out. It’s healthy, easy and cheap option. Cooking at home can help you handle your money better on meals.
Check out the $5 Meal Plan to help you prepare healthy, affordable, and delicious meals for your family. Each week, you’ll get healthy and affordable recipes and shopping lists. The $5 Meal Plan also has gluten-free and picky-eater-friendly recipes, plus you can try it out for free for 2 weeks. You’ll love it!
8. Keep a Record of Your Credit Report
Check your credit report annually and maintain a good score so you can save thousands of dollars on interest rates if you were to make a large purchase like a car or home. I use Credit Sesame to monitor my credit regularly for free and prevent identity theft.
9. Use the Resources You Have
Frugal people are great at being resourceful instead of spending up all their hard-earned money. This isn’t to say you have to DIY everything but if you have certain skills and talents, why not? Instead of buying something new, try to fix or find what you already have at home. Instead of dining out for convenience, learn new recipes to prepare a delicious meal at your house.
If you can borrow it from a friend, do that instead of buying something new. The internet is also a great resource you can use to save money. Look up tutorials and check out resources if you’re looking to learn something. For example, when I travel, I always look up savings tips so I can utilize the best practices and avoid spending a ton of money on my flight, lodging, etc.
To save money in the long run, it is very important to prioritize your spending. Think before you buy and if it something worth the money. Compare prices on every small thing you wish to buy and get the best possible deal.
Related: Best Personal Finance Resources
10. Choose Needs Over Wants
Frugality helps put your needs before your wants by prioritizing what is most important to you. It’s also important to be content with what you have. Greed and frugality do not mix well. Greed can often leads to debt, feeling overwhelmed, and never being satisfied.
Commit to paying yourself first and taking care of your needs and values first, then you will naturally save more in the long run.
11. Take Care of Yourself
Health expenses can be super costly especially when you don’t have the right coverage.
Maintaining an adequate amount of medical coverage is very important, no matter the cost. Eating healthy foods, exercising, and going to regular check-ups can help prevent costly medical problems in the future. Also, give yourself a much-needed break every now and then.
12. Stop Comparing and Giving Up Too Soon
It’s not always easy to adopt a frugal lifestyle what one thing that can make it more difficult is comparing your situation to others. Being frugal means something different to everyone so someone else’s situation is bound to look much different from yours.
Determine your own goals and values and develop a system that you feel comfortable with. If you try to cut too much or do what you see everyone else doing, you may become unhappy and give up before you can truly start to see the benefits of having a frugal lifestyle.
It’s not easy to live on a budget and be frugal about every expense you make, but remember one thing, in the end, you’ll have a better financially secure future. So, never give up.
Summing It Up
Being frugal is not bad if it can help you save more money. These 12 frugal tips would have given you an insight on how you can save more money however you will not know until you try it on your own.
What are your thoughts on frugality? Will you be trying any of these things to save money?
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