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Frugal living is a lifestyle that many people scoff at and there are good reasons for this. Not everyone will be ready to forego living large all for the sake of saving money?
The fact that there are so many people supporting an extravagant way of living doesn’t make it easier. It may seem hard, but if you want a comfortable lifestyle, frugality is the way to go.
The perk is, you don’t have to get right into it at once. Start small to give yourself time to adjust and get bigger as you progress. Even when you manage to save $10 on your first try, congratulate yourself for it.
Additionally, it isn’t a lifestyle for some people. Anyone, including you, can do it. You need to have the right attitude and some motivation.
If you’re staying alone, tell a friend what you’re up to and have them support you. It helps to pick a pal that understands what you’re doing. The wrong one may discourage you out of your plan before you start seeing results.
You may be up for the change but don’t know where to start. It’s all sorted out for you, so don’t sweat. Just follow these ways to be frugal, and you’re well on your way to a happier life:
1. Let Someone You Trust Cut Your Hair
Most people don’t think twice about paying a visit to the barber two or more times a week because they want that perfect shave. In the process, they end up spending a ridiculous amount of cash.
On average, a haircut costs from $10 to $100. This, of course, depends on the barber’s level of experience, the state you live in and the services offered at the barbershop. If you’re among those who go for a regular haircut, do the math on how much you spend in a month.
There’s a better and cheaper option. Why not let a friend or family member get rid of the locks for you?
Sure, they may not have the skills, but they help you save on a whole lot of money that you can put into better use elsewhere.
When choosing someone to cut your hair, it’s essential that they should know how to use a shaving device otherwise you’ll get a nasty cut on your head. Here are some other benefits of letting those close around you shave your hair:
1. It’s Convenient
Driving to the barber contributes to fuel usage. Even when you choose to walk, you waste so much time at the shop, especially if there are many customers there.
If you live with your friend or loved one, you don’t have to go through that hassle.
2. You Get a Haircut Whenever You Need It
Most barbers have a busy schedule, which means that they may not be of help when you need an emergency haircut.
With your pals and loved ones, if one is busy there’s bound to be another who can spare some minutes for you.
2. Get the Windows in Your House Replaced
How long have you lived in your crib? If it’s for months or years, it’s about time you had the windows replaced. The same applies if you’ve moved into a house whose windows aren’t up to date.
Window replacement may seem like an expensive task at first. But in the long run, it’s a worthy investment for several reasons. Here’s why:
- Most new windows are easy to clean and they’re easy to maintain. An occasional wash can keep them looking great as well.
- If you live in a noisy neighborhood or love peace and quiet, have your windows replaced as soon as you can. New windows help reduce or keep off noise from outside your home. Quality windows such as Sound Control Glass and Pella’s Laminated have this convenient feature.
- They maximize the security of your home. Laminated glass, for instance, has a polymer interlayer. This holds its pieces together in case it shatters, which comes in handy when burglars try to break in.
- Old windows can cause precious items in your home such as paintings and furniture to fade. They let UV rays into your home. In contrast, Low-E insulating double and triple-pane glass with argon protects your home from UV rays. Think of them as sunscreen for your home.
- They lower your electric bill. Old windows let in air from outside. They also release the air in your home, which causes your heating and cooling system to work more. This, in turn, translates to a high electric bill.
3. Wash Your Car
Paying someone to wash your car is a quick way to clean it without lifting a finger. What’s more, you don’t have to go through the trouble of getting it done yourself.
It’s no wonder that many people don’t mind parting with a couple of dollars to get their car cleaned.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of frugal living, washing your car is one of the things you have to do. Sure, you might be too busy to do it, but you can’t be working on a 24/7 basis.
On Saturday afternoon, you can use that time to clean your vehicle.
You may have bought your car recently and don’t know how to go about washing it. Washing a vehicle is not so difficult as long as you have a bucket, some detergent, a sponge and some water, then you’re good to go.
Washing your car also has some therapeutic benefits. It helps to relieve stress and relax the mind. Here are some dos and don’ts of car washing that every new car owner should know:
- Don’t use glass cleaner or hand soap on the paint of the car as this may strip off the wax. Do use a cleaning product that’s specifically for vehicles.
- Don’t wash the car when it’s hot from, for example, being parked out in the sun for too long. Do use two separate sponges for the body and wheels.
- Don’t move the sponge in circles as you clean. This will create unpleasant marks on the car even after rinsing it. Do pour plenty of water on your vehicle before starting to wash it to remove loose debris.
4. Cancel the Gym Membership
Staying fit is healthy, but is that gym membership really necessary? Not if you’re looking to live using as little cash as possible. Dump it if you have one already.
That doesn’t mean that you should not work out. Have a friend over to motivate you to keep up with your daily routines. Or, put some lively music to give you the motivation to burn some fat.
If you don’t have a gym membership yet but would like to shed some pounds, there are many ways to do it.
Watch some tutorial videos and work out with those who are exercising in the video. You could also do some basic exercises such as jogging, running (if you’re up for it), walking or stretching after getting up in the morning.
Point to note: most people use sweating to determine if their routines have been fruitful. It’s one of the determinants. But if you want to get in shape or stay in shape from exercising, there are other factors you should consider.
You should practice these before and after workout habits to benefit from your routines:
Before you exercise:
- Drink plenty of water
- Put on the right footwear and clothing for exercising
- Get enough sleep
- Have a snack though you don’t have to if you don’t need it.
- Do a warm-up first
- Use a foam roller to help you recover
- Take a shower
- Have a healthy post-workout meal
- Keep a record of what you do in every routine
5. Wear Your Clothes More Than Once Before Washing Them
This may sound weird and gross if you have a job in an office or go to school, but it’s worth a try. Don’t worry about unpleasant odors and germs reaching you through these clothes.
If you take a shower regularly, wear underclothes beneath your clothes and use deodorant, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
The aim of this is to save cash that you’d have otherwise wasted on dry cleaning or soap and water. A bonus is your clothes look good because they don’t suffer from wear and tear that is due to frequent washing.
For best results, use these hacks on keeping your clothes looking and smelling amazing:
1. Hang them on a Hanger
Hanging not only keeps your clothes straight, but it also allows ventilation that gets rid of any odors on them. Avoid using metallic hangers as they can rip through thin cotton and silks. Additionally, when they rust, they’ll leave unpleasant marks on your clothes.
You could also hang them out in the sun to kill bacteria.
2.Brush Out Your Woolen Outfits
Clothing moths love hiding in between the fibers of your woolens. They also destroy them. To keep them off, as well as bug larvae, shake out your woolens and brush them out with soft clothes brush regularly.
3. Change Clothes as Soon as You Arrive Home
To enable your clothes to breathe and to prevent quick wear, change into your relaxation clothes immediately you arrive home.
4. Spray Some Perfume on Them
Spraying perfume helps to conceal stubborn smells that may notify others that you’ve re-worn an outfit without washing it.
6. Have a Proper Meal Before Going to the Movies
A movie can’t be complete without a bowl of popcorn, some chips, pretzels, a can of soda maybe or a chocolate bar to a majority of people.
Movie theaters know this darn well and sell a variety of treats, many of which aren’t healthy, to movie-goers. If you’ve been into this habit, it’ll probably help if you review your spending and see how much you spend on movie snacks.
As an alternative, try fixing up something for yourself that’s rich in veggies and finish it up with plenty of water.
Staying full has plenty of advantages. One of them being that you can go to the movies and not be tempted into spending money on the tempting munchies on sale.
If you need a snack in the movies, you could also make some snacks and sneak it into the movies. Check out some popular cooking websites online for recipes of easy-to-make snacks.
Of course, you should consider factors such as your allergies, if you have any, and the calorie content in every snack if you’re on a diet.
Here are some delicious snacks that you should bring along for an unforgettable movie experience:
- Nutty Grain and Oat Bars
- Crispy Spiced Chickpeas
- Caramel Corn Popcorn Balls
- Popcorn Toffee Crack Bars
- Buffalo Wing Popcorn
- Za’atar Pita Crisps
- Spiced Popcorn with Pecans and Raisins
- Crispy Potato Chips, preferably the salt and vinegar variety
- Banana-Oat Snack Cake
- Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts
7. Share a Meal Whenever You’re Eating Out
Living frugally can be difficult if you don’t motivate yourself once in a while. Whether you’ve practiced the lifestyle for quite some time or begun recently, you need a reward to keep you on track. A typical treat is eating out.
To make it a special moment, bring a special one, a friend or family member along. Even when eating out, strive to save some money by sharing a meal with the one you came with.
Though some restaurants don’t allow this, it would be torture to stuff yourself with the huge portions of food that most of them serve.
If you wish to avoid embarrassment, do some research on a restaurant before choosing to eat out in it. Do they allow sharing? How large or small are the portions of food they serve? These are some of the things you should pay close attention to.
Additional factors that you should consider include:
What’s the air surrounding the restaurant? It should be in tune with the kind of outing you expect to have.
You’re special and deserve to be treated that way. If the waiters aren’t friendly and rarely or never smile when presenting a meal, don’t take a chance. No matter how awesome the food might be.
This factor is vital for several reasons: it helps to determine whether or not you’ll get home quickly no matter how late you leave. It also lets you know if you should risk spending fuel to get there or just walk there.
4. The Food on their Menu
Ensure that the restaurant has a meal that you and the one you’re with can eat. Most restaurants, such as Chinese restaurants, serve Chinese cuisines only.
8. Plan Your Meals
Regardless of how busy you might be, planning your meals for an entire week or more should be your priority. This helps you to know how much you’ll spend on the ingredients you need.
It also comes in handy when determining how much of them you need and which portion is enough for you, and your family if you have one.
Planning your meals not only saves on time, but it also saves on money as well.
If this whole concept sounds alien to you, here’s a simple guide to help you plan your meals efficiently and cost-effectively:
1. Plan Your Meals According to Sales
It’s no secret that groceries are cheaper when a specific produce is in season. Grasp this opportunity and shop as many of them as you can. It also helps to center your meals on items that are on special sale.
2. Look for Cost-Effective Foods and Recipes
It pays to know which recipes and foods are cheap. The internet is decorated with food sites such as We Got Real that has a list of affordable ingredients that you can use.
3. Overlap Your Ingredients
If you’ve bought an ingredient but don’t use it in cooking often, or if you’ve used them once or twice and there are leftovers, you could include it in a meal as long as it adds flavor to it.
You might as well store them or get creative and come up with a meal from them.
4. Have a List Whenever You Go Shopping
A shopping list is the most crucial bit in your meal planning quest. It helps you stick to your budget no matter what else is on sale.
9. Use Energy-Efficient Bulbs
You may have heard about the benefits of conserving electricity by turning off lights when they’re not in use. But did you know that the type of bulbs you use depends on whether your electric bill will reduce or skyrocket?
An incandescent light bulb uses far much energy than its compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and LED counterparts. One drawback of energy-saving bulbs is that they are costly. But like many other beneficial items, they prove to be a significant investment in the end.
Here are some advantages of using energy-efficient bulbs:
1. They Lower Your Electric Bill
Most importantly, LED and CFL bulbs use very little energy to produce bright lighting. To be specific, LED bulbs use approximately a tenth of wattage while CFL use between half to an eighth.
It’s quite tricky to spot this difference if you’re using a single bulb of any of these types in your home.
2. They are Environmentally-Friendly
There’s no better way to contribute to environmental welfare than to use the right bulbs. Energy-efficient bulbs lower your carbon footprint since they use less energy.
3. They Work Equally Well Under Extreme Temperatures
What sets energy-efficient bulbs apart from the rest is they have the same effect despite the season. On a hot summer’s day or during winter time, they produce less heat. They may fail once or twice, but such instances are rare.
4. They are Durable
There’s nothing as annoying as having to replace several light bulbs in your home at different times of the month or week.
Energy-efficient bulbs save you the headache. Most of them can last for a year or more, provided that you take great care of them.
10. Avoid Speeding Tickets
One of the responsibilities that come with a car is sticking to a specified speed limit, for your and others’ safety. Driving within the speed limit is also a great way to avoid trouble with the cops.
Though stating is easier than doing it, you can make the seemingly impossible possible. All it takes is self-organization.
If there’s somewhere you have to be, instead of waiting for the actual time, set an alarm to give you a heads up 15 or more minutes before the set time.
You could also use public transportation if you’re notorious for getting speed tickets.
For the sake of your finances, you need to abide by the speed limit in your state or avoid it altogether. It’s not always easy to comply with the rules and that’s a fact.
Here are some tips to help you avoid speeding tickets like an expert:
- Familiarize yourself with the speed enforcements used on the travel routes you use.
- Use Waze app.
- Pay close attention to the traffic and your surroundings as you drive.
- Use a quality radar detector
- Speed reasonably if necessary
- Use the car ahead of you if you need to speed. If it speeds up, do the same. If it slows down, follow suit.
- Know areas where police frequently issue speeding tickets.
- Use Veil Stealth Coating. It protects your vehicle from automated license plate readers. And, it buys you time to slow down if you’re spotted speeding.
- Don’t take the wheel when you’re drunk.
Frugal Living is Better Living
Have you ever thought about practicing frugality but your finances won’t let you? It’s time to take control of your life. Show some seriousness if you’re hoping to get used to the thrifty way of life.
Cut contacts with friends who derail your frugal living efforts and try as hard as possible to set aside money no matter how little it might be. In the long run, that saved cash will make all the difference.
The tips in this post plus your self-will are all you need to change your life for the better. There’s no better time to make a change for the long haul.