10 FRUGAL HABITS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Our Healthy Communities, Inc. would like to offer 10 Frugal Habits that could change your life. We hope you enjoy what you read and remember these changes don’t have to happen all at once. Pick one habit at a time until it becomes a lifestyle and you will be well on your way to financial freedom!




FRUGAL PEOPLE DON'T SHY AWAY FROM STORE BRANDS

At the store, many shoppers turn first to a brand-name item with which they're familiar. Frugal people usually select the store brand or generic brand first, trying it out to see if it does the job and sticking with it if it works. Most of the time, the store brand is similar to a name brand, so this practice ends up saving frugal folks money on lots of purchases.[i]


PLAN AND ANALYZE EVERY PURCHASE

They don’t just go out and buy things all willy-nilly. Nooooo… Frugal people make sure to plan their purchases well in advance. If there is a purchase to be made in the near future, you better believe that a frugal person has done the research for the best deal. They know where and when to buy. They also know how many discounts they can use to get the best price.[ii]


FRUGAL PEOPLE VALUE RELIABILITY AS A PRIMARY VIRTUE

This goes back to the idea of frugal people thinking long term. One of the greatest virtues for a frugal person is that something will reliably work for a long period of time. An enameled cast iron pot, for example, might cost twice as much as a normal pot, but it’s going to last basically for the rest of one’s life. The cheap one might wind up getting bent or having the coating peel off, but the cast iron will keep going and going and going. It’s a frugal purchase.[iii]


PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS…AND KEEP IT THAT WAY

While saving is important, you won’t do yourself any favors by saving a ton of money while you’ve got debts piling up on the other side of that coin. Make it a point to tackle any and all debts you’ve got against you BEFORE you get heavy into saving and investing. The sooner debts are off your shoulders the sooner you’ll have more cash available to put into savings![iv]


SIMPLIFY YOUR FOOD

One of the highest impact frugal habits is to cut down on your food costs. Try tracking your expenses for a little while and you’ll probably find that you are throwing away a ton of money on take-out and convenience food. And even though it probably tastes good and makes your day a little bit easier, when you see the huge effect it has on your finances it clearly isn’t worth it. The easiest way to save money on food is to make your own as often as possible. This does not mean you need to be an expert chef. Just learn one meal at a time.[v]

CONTINUE TO LEARN ABOUT MONEY

Frugalists (is that a word?) constantly learn about money. They read books, websites, and blogs to learn more ways to save money, make money and build wealth. This is to make the most of their money. They learn from other like-minded people and become inspired in their new knowledge to keep them on track and keep up with any changes that come up in the financial world.[vi]


FRUGAL PEOPLE TRY TO REPAIR BROKEN ITEMS

A broken toaster is an excuse to get out a screwdriver and see what's wrong, not an excuse to replace it. A plumbing issue is something to try to fix on their own (with some help from YouTube) before calling a plumber. Quite often, the problems are simple, and a bit of common sense can put that item back in working order, saving the cost of a specialist or a replacement item. Being frugal isn't just about making your own household supplies. It's an approach to life that's expressed through daily habits and routines that aim to get as much out of life as possible without needlessly spending money. The habits that result from that approach can help everyone keep a little more green in their pocket.[vii]


JUST SAY NO

Don’t be afraid to say no to your friends and family when they invite you to an expensive activity. It’s a smart idea to talk to your friends about money and your goals. When you’re invited to do something that it out of your price range – or simply a waste of money – just say no. Offer an affordable alternative. If your friends really want to spend time with you, they’ll be happy to be with you without spending so much. And if they just really want to do that expensive thing, let them do it without you.[viii]


FRUGAL PEOPLE USE COMMUNITY RESOURCES FREQUENTLY

Almost every community has a ton of free or low-cost resources that people can utilize if they pay attention and are aware of them. Take, for example, the town we live in. There’s a great library that offers thousands of books, inter-library loan for more books, DVD rentals, study rooms, and other features, including meeting space for community groups. There are several parks, some featuring hiking and bicycling trails. There are also several separate bicycling trails beyond the parks. The town offers several free community events throughout the year, usually culminating in a community festival in August that’s free to attend. The town has a food and clothing pantry for those in need of those items, too. There are several community groups in town, many of which host different community events throughout the year. There are at least two free community dinners a week.[ix]


USE EVERYTHING UNTIL YOU CAN’T ANY LONGER

If you want to start saving money fast, simply don’t spend money at all. It’s true, we both wear our shoes until they have holes in them and our pinky toe starts to stick through. Frugal people have the habit of using everything to the very last drop. This includes cars, clothing, tools, disposables, machines, appliances, and more. The longer you can use something the more money you save.[x]



[i] U.S. News and World Report, 8 Daily Habits of Frugal People, Trent Hamm, accessed 26 March 2020, <https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/8-daily-habits-of-frugal-people> [ii] Simple Money Mom, 14 Frugal Habits of Debt Free Families, Simple Money Mom Editorial Team, accessed 26 March 2020, < https://www.simplemoneymom.com/easy-frugal-habits/> [iii] The Simple Dollar, 10 More Daily Habits of Frugal People, Trent Hamm, accessed 26 March 2020, < https://www.thesimpledollar.com/save-money/ten-more-daily-habits-of-frugal-people/> [iv] The Savvy Couple, Frugal Living: 15 Ways to Live a Happier Life, Brittany Kline, accessed 26 March 2020, <https://thesavvycouple.com/frugal-living/ > [v] Happy Humble Home, 7 Frugal Habits that Will Save You Thousands, Happy Humble Home Editorial Team, accessed 26 March 2020, < https://www.happyhumblehome.com/frugal-habits/> [vi] Simple Money Mom, 14 Frugal Habits of Debt Free Families, Simple Money Mom Editorial Team, accessed 26 March 2020, < https://www.simplemoneymom.com/easy-frugal-habits/> [vii] U.S. News and World Report, 8 Daily Habits of Frugal People, Trent Hamm, accessed 26 March 2020, <https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/8-daily-habits-of-frugal-people> [viii] Happy Humble Home, 7 Frugal Habits that Will Save You Thousands, Happy Humble Home Editorial Team, accessed 26 March 2020, < https://www.happyhumblehome.com/frugal-habits/> [ix] The Simple Dollar, 10 More Daily Habits of Frugal People, Trent Hamm, accessed 26 March 2020, < https://www.thesimpledollar.com/save-money/ten-more-daily-habits-of-frugal-people/> [x] The Savvy Couple, Frugal Living: 15 Ways to Live a Happier Life, Brittany Kline, accessed 26 March 2020, <https://thesavvycouple.com/frugal-living/ >

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