How To Be Frugal? How To Live Below Your Means?

how to be frugal
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Many people take frugal living for cutting spending to a minimum. In reality, it is quite the opposite.We will discuss the meaning of frugality later. Let’s find out how to be frugal and how important it is to live below your means.
You will stretch your money and save a lot of cash if you learn to be frugal early in life. And, if you go one step just not saving but also investing for goals, then you allow magic of compounding to work for you. Most millionaires in net worth will also be frugal in life. It takes a lot of sacrifice and grind to reach that level.Living frugally helps people to achieve their financial goals faster. These goals don’t need to be big. They can be as small as accumulating money in savings to buy a new phone. Sometimes, it can be big like getting out of credit card debt or accumulating more for  a hefty mortgage pre-payment. These small actions definitely add up.

After a point when compounding does its magic, you’ll be on the fastest lane to retirement. Remember, practicing frugality means your living expenses are going to be low forever. That way, early retirement is a huge possibility.

Imagine a future where you are financially stable and have savings to cope with any unfortunate medical, educational, or  other emergencies. A frugal lifestyle can provide you all these luxuries at time of need. Frugality can give you the maximum value in return for you not spending that money on random things.
Here you’ll get to know what exactly frugality means.

What Is Frugal Living or Frugality?

There are a lot of vague ideas relating to the word “frugality.”  Many of us are holding these ideas in our minds for a long time. In some cases, these vague ideas are holding back many of us to adopt a frugal lifestyle.

To clarify, a quick Google search shows frugality is all about being prudent in saving and avoiding unnecessary spending on things you don’t need.

In simple words, frugality means spending less than you earn. Frugal spending is the concept of spending only on your needs and saving up  the rest for investment or other needs.

To clear the idea of frugality in our minds, frugality does not mean cutting your spending to bare minimal survival spending mode. It’s more like controlling your finances to best suit your needs.

A frugal life is based on a balanced budget. The lifestyle lets you get the most out of your spending. The more you look for the value in return for the money, the more conscious you become about your spending.

Most of the millennial haven’t faced a depression or war. But, everyone has faced Covid-19 pandemic shutdown now and know how easy their life would have been if they were frugal in good times. People learn through adversities like losing jobs suddenly or bankruptcies or foreclosures.

Difference Between Frugal Vs Cheap

Relax! No one is going to call you a cheapskate after adopting a frugal lifestyle.

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Here we’ll tell you how living below your means does not mean to turn a cheaper lifestyle.

What is Frugal Lifestyle?

Adopting a frugal lifestyle means spending the money in such a way that it fulfills all your needs but on a more optimal level. For example, imagine you like a specific brand of snacks that provide a flagship quality snack at a high price. When you are frugal, you switch to a generic brand of the same snack at a comparable quality level.

On a Frugal lifestyle, you try to use coupons or cash back rewards credit card to lower your spend level but still go for the things you absolutely need.

What Is Being Cheap?

Being cheap means cutting down on all sorts of provisions to save some money. In a cheaper lifestyle, people usually tend to stop spending on things that are even vital for survival. Once again, take the example of the snack that you buy. Sometimes, you love to have your favorite snack as your lunch. In a cheap lifestyle, you stop buying the snack at all to save money no matter how much you carve for it.

FrugalCheap
Frugal people value experiences than material thingsCheap people care about just cost of anything
Frugal people habits only affect themCheap people habits affect them and also other people close to them
Frugal people may make you think how you can save money and make your life betterCheap people may make anyone uncomfortable by their money philosophy
Frugal people try to find creative methods to get things they need at a lower price but willing to spend a premium on things that absolutely matter to themCheap people have to get the absolute minimum deal on everything or they will deprive themselves forever
Frugal people pick and choose their important things and forego others but will be more considerate towards othersCheap people are inconsiderate. Example : going out with other people when the bill comes around $19 they will just pay $20 and not cover tax and tip

 

Some image-conscious people think being frugal may be the same as being cheap in other people eyes (and nobody likes to be called a cheapskate, right?), which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Being frugal needs some high level planning, creativity and intention. So, it is not for every one. You commit to a goal just like any other thing in life. I can assure once you learn how to be frugal, it can be a life changing scenario.

Now that the concept of being frugal vs cheap is clear, I’d like to read further to understand the advantages of frugal lifestyle.

Advantages Of Being Frugal

Frugality has a lot to offer. A man who lives below his means gets to enjoy several perks both in the present and future.

The most lucrative benefits that one gets to enjoy is a debt-free present and future. Adopting a frugal lifestyle means to keep spending under earning. Spending below your mean prevents you from pushing yourself into unwanted or unnecessary debts.

A controlled earning can save you a large sum of money to put towards your saving. In an attempt to get used to a minimalistic lifestyle, you can have an extra sum of money at hand at the end of the month. You can keep it in a saving account that offers a great return rate. It is also one of the best ways to accumulate your money for occasional big events of your life.

Everyone wants to lay down a plan where you only have your money to spend or invest rather than to use it to neutralize your debt accounts. You can plan a better financial future when being debt-free. Frugality allows you to lay down and execute a debt-free plan to give you the most out of your money.

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Living frugally is not easy. Let me get that to straight to you! There’s absolutely no doubt about it.

But, the advantages of living frugal far outweighs challenges. Let’s quickly conclude the advantages of living a frugal life

  • Saving money for your goals will be a breeze
  • Find creative and fun ways to cut cost without degradation in quality
  • Paying off debt sooner – I suggest debt avalanche method if you are in this path
  • Financial goals are more achievable and not a constant struggle
  • Living on reduced or one income is a possibility when spouse wants to do business or something they love
  • Start valuing experiences rather than material stuff in life
  • Pass on huge inheritance and valuable skill of being frugal to children for a successful life

Habits And Qualities of Frugal Folks

I love people who are frugal since there is always some thing to learn directly from them. Adopting a frugal lifestyle might not turn out to be an easy option for financial sustainability. If you find it hard to stick to your prudent budget, then here are some simple and easy habits and qualities of frugal folks that will help you kick off your frugal routine.

Track Your Spending

If you haven’t started tracking your spending, then we suggest you get the hang of this new and efficient habit as soon as you can. It helps you to filter out necessary spending apart from the one you do while submitting to compulsive buying behavior.

Do Savings

Saving is your only best and reliable source to turn to when you need money for any an occasional event in your life. Try to do saving so you can use these rather than the debt with a massive amount of interest rate on them

Negotiate Your Bills

It does not matter whether you are good at negotiating or not. Start by negotiating your smaller bills and work your way up to your credit card interest. Negotiation can save you a lot of money at the end of the month.

Get The Most Out of Your Resources

Be resourceful or get the most value out of your resources. It is a habit that will not only teach you to be frugal but also make you more conscious about the return on you resources or spending. The habit will ultimately pay you money when you start
considering what you spend verse what are you getting.

Goal Oriented

Frugal people are generally goal oriented. They try to do whatever it takes to achieve their goal in budget (time and money). That is a great side product of being frugal.

Simple minimalist lives

Most frugal people are also minimalists by nature. They use minimalism to save for future.

Frugal people don’t have to impress others and will buy only things they need. They are not generally influenced by others. For instance, I have been having only one work table, chair,  a small couch and a bed in the entire apartment. I like no clutter and keep the home nice with ample space with all black and white. I absolutely enjoy what I have.

No keeping up with Joneses whatsoever!

Grateful

They appreciate things they have in their life and try to make do with it. Not compromise in quality but change in mindset totally. They just say no to wasteful consumerism and put high importance to valuable memories and experiences.

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Great Planners

One natural skill they achieve through pursuing frugality is becoming great planners. They know how to do meal planning, buying groceries with credit card rewards, Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts in advance or booking activities early to grab the best deal.

Resilient

Frugal people become resilient over time following Frugality. You cannot get them down with any level of economic deprivation. From facing a lot of challenges and figuring out solutions to them, they become resilient over time.

 

20 Frugal Tips To Help Save Money

Once you adopt the habits and qualities of a frugal person, it’s time for you to gear up for the actual frugal lifestyle.

Here are the top 20 tips recommended by the experts in financial management, in a nutshell:

  1. Buy with cash rather than credit
  2. Avoid and resist compulsive buying behavior
  3. Make savings
  4. Always follow a budget
  5. Pick up a side hustle
  6. Downsize your home
  7. Ask yourself before every purchase “Is it really worth the money?”
  8. Avail the sale discounts and vouchers
  9. Do not spend on show-off stuff
  10. Predict and pre-plan the future spending
  11. Make segments of earning to spend a specific portion on a certain need
  12. Set up an emergency fund to avoid debts
  13. Use public transport
  14. Plan each month’s budget after every paycheck
  15. Set goals to direct your spending
  16. Keep your budget a little flexible to adapt to full fill an unplanned need g. repairs
  17. Learn to resist against the tight situations
  18. Buy previously owned or second-hand appliances
  19. Use durable products that last longer
  20. Always compare products to get the best value for your resources.

 

How To Be Frugal And Happy?

The best way to be frugal and happy is to set up a reward system for yourself. Give yourself a little treat of dinner from your favorite restaurant after saving a specific amount of money at the end of the month. A reward can also be other things like your favorite tech gadget or an article of clothing.

A reward system not only motivates you in achieving the new and extended goals of being frugal but also the occasional rewards will help you prevent the feeling of being deprived.

Frugal and Happy is the end goal of every Frugal person’s life. Being Frugal and saving money is only to their happiness. But, a happy life is the ultimate measure of quality of life.

Conclusion

Being frugal or living below your means demands you some lifestyle changes. The improved habits and qualities can benefits you for the longer term by saving you from debt. Always seek guidance and motivation from tips and techniques recommended by the experts.

Use your inner conscience to manage your financial situations. Always stick to your plans and stay motivated while achieving better financial stability.

Learn how to live below your means and you will achieve all your goals while staying happy in life!


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13 thoughts on “How To Be Frugal? How To Live Below Your Means?”

  1. Thanks for helping me understanding the benefits of being frugal. Learning to live below your means is the best thing you can learn in your young adult stage.

  2. I lost my job due to Covid but since I practice frugality and I have my nest egg intact, the situation is not that worse. Thanks for writing this.

  3. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

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