Making Friends With Frugality

Posted at by ifydcat on category Personal Finance

Learning to live beneath your means can equate to major savings, substantial personal security and adopting amazing financial habits. Consider the following ten tips to help you learn how to get by on less.

1. Buy second-hand whenever possible. From cars to clothing, second-hand shops can save you a ton of money on practical items you need. Additionally, you can find amazing bargains on one-of-a-kind things that you’d probably never be able to afford brand new.

2. Snip or print coupons for groceries, batteries, shampoo etc. If there is a product you need, there is a discount coupon for it somewhere. Check the newspaper or online, read the fine print and always remember to bring the coupons when shopping.

3. Wait for it, wait for it…Everything goes on sale eventually, and if you wait for the sale, you will save significantly. Comparative shopping can help you find even lower prices, as most of the major retailers keep an eye on each other’s sales and will offer competitive bargains. Sign-up for email alerts that will let you know when something you are interested in buying is marked at an unbeatable price.

4. Don’t fall for extended warranty and other pitches. Unnecessary warranties, extra insurance and other add-on ploys just waste your money. Look for a reasonable price, reliable seller and existing product warranty. Any manufacturer producing a decent product will back it up in writing at no additional cost to you.

5. Keep tabs on spending. Either formulate a budget to limit spending, or spend within a certain limit. You know how much you earn, need for bills and living as well as how much you should be setting aside for savings. Keep a close watch on all of these elements, and if you find yourself running in the red or failing to meet goals, get serious and disciplined about a budget.

6. Economize your cell. Your phone needs to be smart, but not a genius or the most sophisticated one available. Consider your basic needs in terms of function and a calling plan to ensure that you are not paying too much, or paying for things you really don’t need or use.

7. Avoid banks that impose fees. We really should not be paying the banks to take our money! But, that is the trend among the major financial institutions. Shop around for a dependable credit union that will not charge you fees or penalize you for not keeping a certain amount in your account. There are also many online options in banking, but be sure to check on their legitimacy and reputation.

8. Negotiate for possible lower fees. From credit cards to utility companies, many business will allow you to negotiate lower fees and economy packages that can really shave a lot off the top. Don’t be afraid to call them up and say “I’ve had enough.” If you are a long-standing customer in good standing, they owe it to you to give you a better deal. If not, take your hard earned money elsewhere.

9. Increase the energy efficiency of your home. Seal up widows and doors and lay down insulation in the attic. Set your thermostat to save you money and put on a sweater. Invest in drapes and blinds that maintain thermal stability. Hang your clothes on a line, rather than using the dryer. There are 1001 ways to save money in and around your home or apartment. Take full advantage of them.

10. Donate. Nearly every charitable donation you make will be tax deductible, and getting rid of things that are just taking up space will improve your efficiency in spending. If you pull out 15 pairs of pants you have purchased but never worn in the last few years, you obviously are not shopping for clothes correctly! Unnecessary spending is a huge chunk of change most of us are guilty of at one time or another. Donating is also a great way to help others and keep things in perspective. When you think of how little others are getting by with, making cut-backs of your own will be clearer.

As this article demonstrates, living small can reap large rewards. Adopt some of the habits you have learned here, and watch your savings grow and financial stress shrink!

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