A quick scroll down your Instagram feed would make you believe everyone’s rich and living their best lives. The numbers say most Americans are behind in saving for retirement. You might want to start living frugally if you don’t want to keep working well into your 60s.
When you live frugally, you’re teaching yourself that you don’t need too many things to be truly happy. While having nice things can feel good, you’d probably want your necessities covered first.
When you stop needlessly spending money, you’ll likely have more money saved or invested. You’ll feel more financially secure when you have a fully-built emergency fund or some assets to your name.
By living with less, you’ll find that you don’t need the latest gadgets or fancy coffee to be happy. Instead, you’ll want to spend that money on what’s really important, like an education, a secure financial foundation, or more opportunities.
You might not be the kind of woman who pictures herself working her whole life. Living frugally today and saving for tomorrow will invite your retirement even sooner.
Anyone who’s ever been in debt will tell you that it’s like having a huge weight on your shoulders. Living a frugal life is a great way to pay off any existing debt ASAP, and even avoid debt altogether.
If you want to learn more, check out my list of the biggest benefits of being debt-free.
Impulses are human nature, but impulse buying can be controlled. Whenever you go shopping, plan your spending as much as possible. In other words, stick to your grocery list—you can always try out that new snack after you develop a habit of controlling impulse shopping.
You might have clothes that don’t fit anymore or ones that you don’t want to be seen wearing. There are some ways to repurpose old clothing, like turning them into accessories or simple cleaning rags. If you feel extra creative, you can even repurpose the fabric into new styles!
Chances are you have some things lying around that you haven’t touched in months. You could turn them into quick cash if you can part ways with them. Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, and eBay are great platforms for selling mainstream and obscure items.
Not sure what sells? Check out my article on things you can make money selling.
Minimalism is in style right now. It’s a lifestyle that revolves around having as little as possible. Minimalists don’t think about what to eat or wear and instead use that energy for important things. The best example is Steve Jobs, who wore the same black turtleneck for years while leading Apple to success.
When you don’t live frugally, you likely spend money on whatever you want. Having a budget may seem boring and restrictive, but it’s necessary to keep your spending in check. By keeping track of every single cent, you’re ensuring that all of your money is working for you.
Often, people will go over budget for groceries or wants. And while doing this once or twice is relatively harmless, doing it repeatedly will hurt in the long run. If you can’t stick to your budget, you might want to figure out a budgeting strategy that works for you.
Cooking at home can be just as expensive as eating out if you’re not careful. Planning your meals out ensures you’re not spending too much on ingredients. It can also be a great way to eat healthier and plan your calorie intake.
Here are my picks for some of the cheapest (yet still delicious) meals you can make.
You might only need some of the features in your phone or have a use for that extra room in your apartment. Determine what you don’t need, and downgrade/downsize to save money. That money can be used to earn more, like by investing it.
Whether you live frugally or not, refusing to use coupons is just saying no to free money. A quick Google search for coupons and discount codes could net you cash in savings!
While buying retail certainly has its benefits, thrifting and buying used will save you the most money. With some luck, you can find high-quality clothing at thrift stores for a fraction of their retail price.
You don’t need a garden to grow your own food! There are several plants that you can grow from a windowsill and even from scraps! You could be eating homegrown carrots, onions, and leeks instead of buying them from the store.
While spending money can net you a fun experience once in a while, you don’t need to spend to have fun. Taking a walk, visiting your library, or exploring your city are all things you can do for free.
If you want more ideas, check out my list of fun things to do for free.
You don’t need an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment to stay fit. Calisthenics, or bodyweight training, is a great way to get some exercise without having to whip out the credit card. Most calisthenics exercises, like pushups, squats, and wall sits, can be done without spending a dime!
When you live frugally, you’ll have a bit of extra money. While you can use that money for many things, I recommend investing it. Invest in your quality of life, like a new mattress, if not in financial assets like stocks or funds.
There will always be new ways to save money, so you should join my money squad! It only takes a few seconds, and as a member, you’ll receive potentially life-changing financial tips every week. Sign up today!
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Dollars Makes Cents by Shaquana, Financial Coach and Wealth Expert, resources helps professional millennial women of color with the tools and skills they need to eliminate their debt, amplify their savings, and build generational wealth — without having to compromise their lifestyle.
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