Follow these tips for frugal living
These tips for frugal living can make it fun to save your hard earned retirement money so you'll have more of it until the economy bounces back to normal (if there is such a state.)
Living frugally just feels good!
Lifestyle Choices for Frugal Living
- Live in a modest right-sized home instead of an extravagant home to look good to others.
Please yourself first.
You'll have less to clean, less to furnish and decorate, and lots more money to spend or save for more important things, not to mention a happier life.
- Before retirement, put as much as you can into your 401k or IRA. You'll save money on taxes now, and have more for your retirement later. Investing $100 in your 401k will cost less than $100 of your take-home pay. That's free money now in tax savings, and if your employer matches part of your contributions, that's free money too. If you have both a 401k and an IRA, contribute to the 401k first.
- Buy slightly used cars and drive them for 10 years. If you need a loan, bank the car payment after it has been paid off and you'll never need another car loan. Regular (and frugal) maintenance is the key to making your car last.
- Make your holiday traditions and spending more meaningful. At our family's holiday gathering last year, we agreed that none of us really needed the gifts we shared and that we felt we were wasting our money and our time just going through the holiday motions.
We decided as a group to make our future Christmases all about the children, and we will no longer buy for adult relatives. Our plan is to use the money we would have spent on each other to do something good for the less fortunate instead. Some of us will do extra Angel tree shopping, and others will make donations to local orphanages, for example.
An added bonus is that we don't have that same stress to begin the shopping orgy. It feels great!
FREE Books - Project Gutenberg
This is one of my absolute favorite tips for frugal living!
Many of the books available from the Project Gutenberg website are provided in Kindle and other e-reader formats.
Books like The Jungle Book, Treasure Island, Les Miserables, War and Peace, and thousands more.
Authors like Shakespeare, Dickens, Dante, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, Tolstoy, Poe, just to name a few that everyone knows.
Go To Project Gutenberg
If you find this tip or others useful, could you please leave me a comment or give a Like?
How to use and buy less to save money
One of my favorites of the tips for frugal living is to get free groceries. Become an expert at using coupons to cut your food shopping expense drastically.
Most grocery stores have a savings club that gives shoppers a discount on promoted items. On top of this, many offer double value for coupons which can really add up.
The best way to find good coupons is in the Sunday newspaper, although many can also be printed from online sites. Shown here is one of my receipts where I saved $117 and paid only $134 for over $250 in groceries.
Do an internet search for "coupon mom" to learn more about doing this. The Coupon Mom is the best resource I found.
Be careful because there is a lot of spam related to this topic.
More Tips for Frugal Living
- When you only have a few dirty dishes, wash them by hand. By doing this occasionally, you can reduce the number of times you run the dishwasher. It takes less than 10 minutes, saves dishwasher powder, saves water, and saves electricity. Try to avoid running the dishwasher if it isn't full!
- Use sealable containers instead of foil, plastic bags or wrap.
- Plant a garden, either containers or on your land. This can save a lot on vegetables, fruits, or herbs depending on your preference. It has the double benefit of great exercise if you opt for a garden. You can also turn this hobby into a fun source of income, just by learning about propagation and marketing.
- Use cloth kitchen towels instead of the paper ones, especially for drying your hands in the kitchen. You'll spend much less on paper products this way, and be more green at the same time.
- Be choosy about when to use paper plates, if you use them at your house. If the dishwasher isn't full yet, go for the real dishes.
- Turn the oven off for the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking time. The oven will retain heat that long and you will reduce the amount of heat that enters your home as it cools. That will save electricity by running your a/c less, and you'll save 10 minutes of electricity for heating the oven.
- Another of my favorite tips for frugal living: Cut your "brillo" (kitchen steel wool) pads into thirds or quarters to avoid wasting a whole one to rust. This works great at my house! It only takes a small piece to clean several pots and pans after normal use, and you may get more than one washing from each piece.
- When washing dishes by hand, wash the "cleanest" ones first and the dirtiest last to make your dish water last. This way you wont need to freshen it and use extra dish washing liquid.
- If you're not getting enough exercise, wash your car, either at home or at the do-it-yourself car wash. It's an excellent workout and will save you a nice chunk of money if you usually use a car wash.
- If you always have Christmas cards leftover, get together with your friends and exchange cards. This way you will know for sure that you aren't sending someone the same card twice. You save money by not having to buy as many new cards.
- Another way to make sure you don't send duplicates is to keep a notebook with your cards. Mine has become a sort of holiday diary over the years, and I write about parties we hosted, what the kids got for Christmas that year, and anything special that happened that year.
Click here for more retirement planning articles
If you have additional tips for frugal living, please share them with us! Share Your Story