Do you want to know how to be Frugal and live more frugally? Or are you still wondering if frugal lifestyle is for you or not? There are so many benefits of living a frugal lifestyle. And being frugal means different things to different people.
I like spending my money on things that are important and you will never see me impulse buying anything. And that’s what frugal living means to me. It doesn’t mean being cheap and not spending any money at all, unlike some people think.
And there isn’t anything wrong with either and everyone’s idea is different. But frugal living will help you save more money in the long run, that’s a fact. And there’s no harm in trying, right?
How to be frugal and save money?
And maybe you do want to try out a frugal lifestyle but you have no idea where to begin. This post will help you as we are going over some frugal people habits. What is it that frugal people do that helps them have that lifestyle? And NO, you don’t have to constantly keep worrying about money. With these habits, you can save more money in your day to day life.
So, if you want to be more frugal this year, here are some habits of frugal people you need to copy. All frugal people have one or some of these habits and adopting these frugal people habits will help you be more frugal.
#1: Never pay full price:
This is probably one of the best tips to be more frugal. Never pay the full price and always shop in clearance. But while saying so, it’s also important to mention that shopping in clearance doesn’t mean you should go wild, just because something is for 50% off.
Frugal people shop clearance sales but they do so wisely. So they don’t pay the full price but also do not buy the things they do not need. So make sure whenever you are shopping during the sale season, you know exactly what you actually NEED and don’t buy things “just because”. Otherwise you’d be doing your wallet more harm than good.
Most of the stores have clearance sales at least 2-3 times a year. And most of the times you can find things for as low as 70% off. So why pay the full price when you can get it for 30% of the price, right?
#2: Shop second hand:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying second hand or pre-owned and pre-loved items.
Of course there are somethings that you’d want to buy first hand and not used. But for a lot of things, it’s perfectly okay to buy second hand. And you can save the difference.
It’s also great for the environment because otherwise most of the things end up going to landfills. So it’s more sustainable that way. And I think it’s such a win-win. And sometimes you can find really great pieces at thrift stores and vintage shops.
Poshmark is a great place to buy used clothes.
Facebook Market place is great for things like baby stuff and furniture. You’d be surprised to see that most people are willing to sell things for a fraction of the full price.
Here are some things that you can buy pre-loved:
- Clothes: I love shopping at thrift stores, especially for things like vintage denim. You can always find great items for the fraction of the price.
- Cars: New cars can be super expensive, so why not get one second hand. You could always get them evaluated before buying and save a lot of money too. this is especially great if you don’t use your car that often.
- Furniture: So often, you can find furniture at second hand shops and I love thrifting furniture pieces that I can up-cycle. Of course there’s things like couch etc that I don’t want to buy second hand but you can find statement wooden items and sometimes even decor pieces. Face book market place is also a great place to look for used furniture pieces.
- Books: Books are the perfect thing to buy second hand and if you love getting physical books, then it’s your best best. Or you could consider getting them from a library instead of buying. You could also find a lot of book exchange communities on face book.
- Baby things: Baby things likes toys and clothes are perfect to get second hand or hand me downs from friends who’ve just had their babies. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend a lot of money on clothes that you little bubba is going to grow out of in a month.
#3: Do it yourself:
Frugal people have a habit of doing things themselves. maybe you don’t have to spend a lot of money on some things that you can easily make at home. So if you have the time, consider doing it yourself.
There are so many great resources online that will teach you all about making things yourself and there’s a guide for everything and anything that you want to make at home. You could make soap, shampoo, body lotion, mostly for less than half of the price. Of course you don’t have to make everything yourself, but it’s still a great idea to try of you do have the time.
And anyway, home-made is so much better because you know exactly what is going inside a product and you can avoid all the toxic chemicals present in a lot of household items.
Here is a great list of 60 things you could make at home instead of buying from a store.
#4: Fix it yourself:
Frugal people have a habit of fixing things themselves.
Calling someone to repair things like leaks etc in your house can get super expensive really fast. So it’s a great idea to invest in some basic tools etc and do things yourself.
There are again, so many tutorials for everything online and of course there is a learning curve to it, but you get used to it overtime.
Of course there are some things that could be dangerous to fix yourself, and in that case, it’s best to seek professional help.
But for small things around the house, fixing yourself is so much cheaper and you will end up saving a lot of money every year.
#5: Buy in bulk:
When it comes to groceries, buying in bulk is always so much cheaper. I keep saying this in my 17 ways to cut your grocery expenses in half guide as well.
Bulk buying will always save you money because you get a good deal. But do so only for the things that you use very often, so that it doesn’t end up going to waste. I do this for things that are staples in our pantry like whole wheat flour, rice, sugar and lentils etc.
So we bulk buy those items and then do the rest of the grocery shopping weekly or bi-weekly. Also, please always do grocery shopping with a list. I never go grocery shopping without a list and I’d never buy something that’s not on my list.
Same goes with a lot of other household items as well. Things like detergent, dish soap or floor cleaners etc are cheaper when you buy the bigger packs. So there is no harm in buying those things in bulk that you use every day.
#6: Compare prices before you buy:
Things always cost different at different stores and frugal people know what to buy from where.
Frugal people compare prices before they buy and they never overpay for things that they know they can get for a lower price at another store.
Like we always buy fruits and vegetables from our local farmer’s market and never from the super market, because it’s just cheaper. And it’s fresher too.
#7: Meal plan:
Before you roll your eyes, hear me out. Meal planning is everywhere and I know people keep talking about it as a great way to save money. And that’s because it simply works.
Earlier I used to go to the grocery store at least once a week and I’d buy things we’d just run out of. And then I’d add things to my cart without having any meal ideas in my mind. And as a result, a lot of the items ended up going to a waste.
And I never used to check my pantry for what we already had and then ended up buying things that we either already had or things we didn’t need at all.
And most of the money I saved was on junk food. Meal planning helped me get my junk food purchases in check and I was saving about $100 per week.
Because meal planning meant, no longer buying microwavable means and pre-cut salads etc.
I didn’t use to meal plan and started about 4 years back. And I started because I was too busy with my corporate job and wanted home-made healthier meals. And I was surprised with how much money I ended up saving in the process.
And we were eating healthier as well. So it’s such a win-win.
If you are overwhelmed by the whole idea, start by planning one meal of the day. I plan my dinners and lunches every week and it ends up saving us so much money every month.
#8: Pack a lunch:
Frugal people don’t eat out for lunch everyday.
Coming right after meal planning is packing a lunch. Frugal people pack their lunches to work.
And the meal planning will make it easier as well.
There is no reason to buy lunch from a restaurant every single day because lunches usually cost around $10-$15, if you are eating out and it all adds up. That’s around $200 every month just for one meal.
You could instead spend that money to go groceries.
So maybe start by bringing lunch with you 2-3 times a week. There are so many recipes online and things like sandwiches and salads are super easy to make as well.
Plus, you’ll end up eating a lot healthier, so that’s great as well.
#9: Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s:
Comparison is a thief of joy. And frugal people never compare their lifestyle to others’ lifestyle. So your neighbours just bought a new car and you know they make about the same money as you do.
Does that mean you should think about upgrading your car too?NO.
And frugal people never compare because they know better. They know that everyone has different financial goals and different priorities in life.
Maybe they do not want to retire early, maybe they are buying things on their credit card. The thing is, you shouldn’t compare someone else’s life to yours and you shouldn’t make any purchases just because your neighbours or your friends did.
#10: Use coupons the right way:
Coupons are pretty simple to use right?
Frugal people clip coupons and use them to save money on groceries and things they actually NEED.
Frugal people don’t buy things just because they have a coupon. They know that’s wasting money. And frugal people know that coupons are meant to increase your savings and not the amount you are spending.
They also know how to use coupons along with other sales in the stores.
TIP: FLIPP is a great place to look for weekly coupons.
#11: Budget their money:
Read any post about managing money and doing your finances and this is what you will find in every single one of them. And that’s because budgeting is super powerful. And Frugal people ALWAYS budget their money.
Frugal people know exactly how much they are making and what their expenditure looks like.
This allows them to see where they can cut their spendings and save money. Frugal people always know their budget and will never make a purchase that they know they can’t afford.
Frugal people know the importance of living within their means. If you are making $30,000 a year but living a lifestyle like you’re making $60,000 , you are not exactly living frugally, right?
And all frugal people know this. They know how to live below their means and they do so everyday. They know how to manage their money, the importance of saving and investing and they keep themselves updated about new ways to save money.
#12: Find joy in small things:
Frugal people find joy in small things. Going on a date for a movie, then eating out and then getting drinks can get really expensive, right? So why not try cheap at home date night ideas instead?
Or find joy in small things like taking a romantic walk around your neighbourhood. Star gazing from your backyard or simply a day at the beach. And when you start living for these small moments, you will see that you’re happier and more content as well.
We love packing up a picnic on days when the weather is nice and going to our favourite picnic spot. We love getting to spend time with each other and simply enjoying a good conversation.
There is no reason why you should spend hundreds of dollars for every date night.
#13: Keep communication open:
Frugal people keep communication open with their partners. They aren’t afraid of discussing money. They sit together and set financial goals and make a plan to achieve those goals. I and my husband have these discussions about twice every month, sometimes maybe more. We discuss bills and how money is going and makes plans accordingly.
#14: Don’t fall for name brands:
Frugal people do not fall for name brands. They see the things for their value and not for the brand. A lot of the times brand names cost more than double for the same thing, if you were to buy it from a local brand that isn’t that huge. I have seen this difference multiple times, especially in clothes. You can find better quality clothes from your local brands at a much cheaper price than if you were to get them from a “brand” at the mall.
But also at the grocery store. You can find same groceries for a cheaper price when you are not buying name brands. I often don’t do this for things like sauces or spice mix etc, but for anything else, like lentils etc, it works great.
#15: Quality over quantity:
One of the most common habits that frugal people have is valuing quality over quantity. People who live frugally know that it is wiser to invest in quality items than to have low quality items. They find it better to buy 2 pieces of clothing than to buy 10 that aren’t good quality.
Investing in quality items that will last you a long time makes more sense, financially, instead of buying something that doesn’t last you that long. This is especially true for tools etc like drill machines etc.
It is in fact the exact opposite of tip #14. When it comes to such items, buying name brands that have good reviews makes more sense than buying things just because they’re cheaper.
#16: Set financial goals and work towards them:
People who are smart with money and live frugally make it a point to set financial goals. They know exactly how much money they need to save in a year and what their financial goals are. And frugal people work towards achieving those goals because they know their priorities.
They understand the importance of setting financial goals and making a plan to achieve those goals. they know that goals are nothing if they do not have a set plan to work towards them. And while everyone’s financial goals can be different from others, but every frugal person has some goals.
And having these goals helps them keep their spending in check. Let’s say your goal is to save for a house, then you’d think twice before buying a designer handbag. because you know what’s more important to you. This helps keep impulse buys in check too.
#17: Side hustles:
Frugal people never shy away from starting a side hustle as a way to make more money. it could be overtime at their current job or something entirely different. In fact most of the people start blogs as a side hustle too.
Frugal people understand the value of diversifying their income sources and making multiple ones. They know that they should have some source even if their major source of income goes away somehow.
Last year, due to the pandemic, a lot of people were laid off, and frugal people are always prepared for any such circumstances.
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And speaking of being prepared for such circumstances, frugal people always have an emergency fund. Because they are smart about money and they know emergencies come up every now and then.
And instead of paying for those things from a credit card (which will accumulate a lot of interest later on), they will pay from their emergency fund.
There you have it. 17 Frugal habits of frugal people you need to copy. What would you add to the list? Do let me know down below!