Being frugal can be extremely difficult at times, but it is often worth it in order to get to the level of financial security that people want in the long run. Yet cutting everything one loves out of life will certainly cause a miserable existence. It is important to find a balance between saving money and still living a fulfilling life. The following tips will hopefully help you to strike a balance and eventually get to the level of financial security you desire without wanting to give up on everything.
Do Save Money On…
If people eat out several meals a week, it is pretty much a guarantee that they are not going to be saving the amount of money that they should. However, food is a big part of American culture and getting takeout is just so convenient at times.
But the fact is that people have the potential to save big if they take the time to cook meals at home. It is also a good idea to bring a lunch to work. It helps to avoid being tempted to go out and buy something, or worse, chowing down on junk from the vending machine. Not only will making food more often save money, but it will also lead to a healthier lifestyle as portion sizes and ingredients will be controlled.
Eating more often at home doesn’t mean one can never go out, but just try to limit it. One good rule of thumb is to not eat at a restaurant unless it is also a social gathering. In other words, you shouldn’t pick up or take out just because you’re feeling lazy and don’t feel like making your own food. By eating in, your wallet will thank you.
Air conditioning, electricity, and water can be some of the biggest household expenses behind rent or mortgage payments. Since people can’t exactly just ask their landlord to pay less rent, the focus should be on limiting the usage of utilities because it can result in huge savings.
Keeping the thermostat a few degrees warmer in the summer and a few degrees cooler in the winter can make all the difference when it comes to the bill. Conserving water can be done by taking shorter showers, turning off the faucet while doing dishes or brushing teeth, or running the sprinklers less often.
When it comes to electricity just making sure lights are turned off when rooms aren’t in use can make a big difference. All these little changes are easy to implement and will show real change when the bill arrives.
Contrary to popular belief, libraries are still alive and well! So many people will buy a book, read it once, then place it on their shelf to gather dust for all eternity. There is a much cheaper way to keep up one’s bookworm status, and it may require a walk down memory lane.
Most people stopped going to the library when they were about twelve, but libraries have so many resources that one can access for free. Don’t ever stop reading but do stop spending!
Luxury items are just that—for luxury. They aren’t essential to your ability to live although they can be important in making your life more comfortable. However, luxury items are something that you can be frugal about. The great news here is that there are plenty of ways to find luxury items that will help you stay in your budget. Check out affordable luxury mattress reviews or great-value high-end watch reviews to find luxury items that will let you enjoy your life without breaking the bank.
Don’t Save Money On…
In addition to what you should save money on, there are some items that it is not worth being frugal about.
This one may come as a surprise. Many people think they will be getting a good deal if they go to discount clothing stores. Unfortunately, many times low prices just mean that the clothing is made from cheap materials.
It can actually turn out to be more economical in the long run to buy clothing that is a little bit more expensive and of good quality because it will last longer. You shouldn’t get everything from high fashion names but getting staple clothing items from reputable brands will ensure better quality.
Fixing small car problems as they come up will save so much more money than avoiding car checkups only to discover a major problem too late. Cars should be kept as long as possible in order to get the most money out of them, but that won’t be possible if they aren’t kept in great condition.
Getting an oil change every time it’s recommended and getting routine checkups, while they do cost money, will help you to avoid major engine or other problems down the road.
Many times, people don’t want to buy things that are expensive because it is painful to see large numbers deducted from their bank accounts. However, if these large purchases can lead to profits in the long run, then it is definitely worth. A few examples are attending college or downloading software that teaches marketable skills.
College is expensive, but it is a fact that college graduates will make significantly more money over the course of their life than those who only possess a high school diploma. If one is interested in graphic design and really wants to learn, then they should spend the money on Photoshop. The software could give them skills that will make them more marketable when searching for a job or doing freelance.
Home Investment and Repairs
Your home is something you don’t want to go cheap on. Of course, you want to make sure you don’t take on a mortgage you can’t afford, but a realtor can help you find a dream home with your budget.
When it comes to home repairs, you don’t always want to go for the cheapest service. The contractors who offer shockingly low prices are probably using cheap materials, which means their repairs won’t last as long as they should. Instead, you should seek a reputable home remodeling firm. Home repairs should last you years. If you don’t have enough saved to get the improvements you want, you can always consider a home improvement loan with great interest rates. Remember, when you’re shopping around for home improvement contractors, there are plenty of providers out there who offer no-obligation quotes for tennis court surfaces or free consultations for window installations. Whatever the service, there’s likely at least one contractor who will not make you pay for simple advice.
Your health is the last thing you want to trust to someone who boasts prices that are way too low—who knows if they’re even qualified? Things like guided laser eye correction surgery, for instance, might seem like a big cost upfront, but they can save you huge amounts of money down the road. Your health is something to take care of as soon as your budget allows, because the costs of not taking care of those issues will only lead to higher medical bills in the future.
The Long Run
In this world that is so centered on instant gratification, it can nearly be impossible to think of the long run. Yet saving money is all about the long run. If you live life with a focus on the habits and spending that will impact your budget, you will likely make smarter, more economical choices. Hopefully, the above list will be able to get you started to living a more economical and fruitful life.