Living a frugal lifestyle can seem daunting, and a desire to “keep up with the Joneses” can lead us to spend money on possessions we don’t need or even really want.
So how do we escape this cycle of mindless spending? It’s simple. Find new, creative and fun ways to use what you have. Organize Anything has a few great ideas of how to avoid spending money on things you don’t really need.
1. Don’t buy new books or magazines. Read the ones you bought and never got to, and give away the ones you aren’t going to read. Magazines tend to pile up, so cancel your subscriptions and only purchase one if it contains articles you really want to read.
2. Re-acquaint yourself with your local library. Beyond books, most libraries have a comprehensive DVD, CD and EBook collections. Some libraries also offer an excellent collection of online, downloadable offerings for those of you who prefer to listen to a book than read it. And the best part? No clutter at home and it’s free!
3. Revisit old hobbies. If you’ve been itching for something to do in your spare time, take a look at the last hobby you picked up. If you gave up knitting because you didn’t have time, give it another shot. You already have all the supplies you need, don’t need to relearn how to do it, and you may discover a new appreciation for it. If you don’t it’s now time to pass along to someone who would enjoy the supplies.
4. Spare change no more. Gather all your spare change into one place and keep it in a jar. Once the jar is full, roll it up and use it to buy a treat or give it in increments to your kids for lunch money. You’ll be surprised how quickly the pennies will add up to a substantial sum of money.
5. Make your own fancy dinner. Grocery stores carry some excellent frozen gourmet meals. Pick up a few components that you can store in the freezer, so the next time you want to go out to eat at a swanky restaurant you can recreate the experience at home.
6. You collect the points, so redeem them. It seems that everyone offers a loyalty point program these days, so take advantage. Take a look at the rewards selection and treat yourself to a trip, service or product.
7. Shop from your friend’s homes. Have a clothing swap or let others know you are letting go of some articles and would like to exchange them for things that you need. You’ll be surprised by how well this works for your pocket book and it’s a fun way to connect with friends and family as well.
8. Use up those gift certificates. When you receive a gift certificate, note the expiry date in your calendar. Use them to treat yourself to a spa day or a nice dinner when the budget is a tight.
Frugal living takes a little planning, but it doesn’t have to negatively affect your lifestyle. These easy eight tips will start you on your way to reaping the benefits of a more frugal lifestyle