4 Frugal Living Tips to Keep You Debt Free
While many people think that simply earning a large income will make them wealthy, the truth is that wealth and debt free living actually have more to do with keeping your outgoing expenses low. In doing so, you will not only reduce your regular financial outgo each month, but you will also be able to build up a sizeable amount of savings over time.
In living a more frugal lifestyle, there are 4 key areas where even small changes can add up to substantial savings. These include:
Food and Other Necessities
The cost of food and other necessities are a fact of life. However, even though these bills continue to come in each month, your costs could be greatly reduced by making just a few changes.
- Meals and Groceries – Although it might sound cliché, the “latte factor” really does ring true. This refers to saving money on a regular basis by opting for the same or similar items at a reduced price. For instance, rather than stopping at Starbucks each morning, consider brewing your own coffee for the ride to the office.Likewise, eating meals out can also add up. By instead cooking your meals at home, you can not only take advantage of lower prices per serving, but you can also stretch your food dollar by having leftovers for a future meal and/or taking such items for lunch.When shopping for food, it is important to stick with a set grocery list. This will reduce impulse buying. And, by seeking out sales and coupons on items that you need, you can essentially purchase groceries at a discounted price. Even a savings of just $20 per week can add up to over $1,000 annually.
- Utilities – The cost of utilities can also add up – but these expenses can still be controlled. One way to do so is to ensure that lights and televisions are turned off in rooms when you leave. You may also keep your heating and cooling systems at more moderate levels during both winter and summer months. In addition, rather than paying for premium cable channels, you may decide to go with a more basic programming package. This alone could save up upwards of $50 per month. This post explains some useful tips to save money by saving energy.
- Transportation - Transportation is another area where costs can be reduced in a number of ways. For example, you could consider “carpooling” to work in order to save on gas expenses. Likewise, if you live and work near public transportation, this too will help to reduce your overall expenses, as well as wear and tear on your vehicle. By keeping your car or truck up to date on maintenance, you are also likely to reduce the cost of future repairs.
While it is often more exciting to attend live sporting and other events, the cost of attendance can oftentimes be quite high. Instead, you should opt for watching the “big game” at home or with friends. Not only will you save on the price of admission, but you will also save on expensive food and parking costs as well.
In addition, many of today’s blockbuster movies are often put on DVD within weeks of release. By renting these programs, you can save a great deal of money on viewing the feature film, as well as on the substantially marked-up price of movie popcorn, soda, and other goodies.
Insuring Your Assets and Your Income
Although most people do not think of paying insurance premiums as a money saving technique, having an adequate amount of coverage can actually save you countless dollars – especially in the case of a costly emergency. By insuring your home, auto, health, and income, you will essentially create a financial security blanket against unforeseen and potentially exorbitant costs.
Live On 90 and Save at Least 10
One of the most important frugal living tips to keep you debt free involves “paying yourself first.” While it is necessary to pay your rent or mortgage, utilities, and other necessities in life, it is even more important to ensure that you have an ample emergency fund, as well as savings for the future.
With this in mind, setting aside at least 10 percent of your paycheck on a regular basis will help you to build up funds for both today and tomorrow. Doing so will also help you to reduce debt, as you won’t have to rely on credit cards to finance an emergency auto or home repair.
Regardless of how much money you make, if you spend even just one dollar more, it could lead to a spiral of potentially costly debt. Yet, by being mindful of obtaining discounts where available – along with cutting unnecessary costs – you will be well on your way to a debt free life and future financial freedom.