If you searching for information about how to live a frugal life, congratulations! you’re in the direction of a series on frugal living and experiencing financial freedom. Living frugally helps you to manage the income you’ve had now. Taking slowly but surely is a good action to take you to financial freedom life. If you struggle, don’t quit, try another way.
Frugal living is getting more attention since the pandemic Covid 19, people are getting aware of their savings. In conditions full of uncertainty, people are increasingly aware that thinking about an emergency fund is more important than spending money on a lifestyle. The pandemic makes a person more able to measure how financial conditions, how much pension funds they have, and how strong the financial foundation is in facing economic uncertainty.
My family has been debt free for many years. We always pay for something fully payment such as college, house, and car. Our family income is low compared to the average family income in our region. Our secret is frugal living.
What does frugal living mean?
Frugal living is the concept where someone allocates their funds with full awareness (mindful), with good consideration and analysis accompanied by a strategy for achieving future financial goals. If someone adopts a frugal living concept, they will buy items based on their functions, not the trends, style, or social demands. However, frugal living can mean different to different people, but conceptually it’s almost the same.
The journey of frugal living can be started by choosing a budgeting method, financial planner, bullet journal, and spreadsheet. It might take time to find which most fits you if you’re not familiar with them. You can start by tracking your spending by categories. Once you get used to doing that, you can start to make a strategy and determine what changes to make. This may not be done suddenly, but you can start slowly with your daily habits like making price comparisons before buying.
The benefit of frugal living
Frugal living has many benefits. It will impact your future finance and your life. You’ll achieve financial freedom if you can apply frugal living consistently in your daily activity. I have realized that living frugally has improved my financial situation and I don’t live paycheck to paycheck. That means financial freedom for me. Other than that, I do never compare my finances to others. I just focus on my personal finances and don’t feel bad when my neighbor gets a new car. Live within my means and appreciate what I have.
If you want to start frugal living and don’t have any idea how to start, here are series of frugal living tips for Moms:
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Series on frugal living tips
Create a budget plan
Creating and sticking to your budget is the very first and fundamental step to living frugally and achieving financial success. Creating a budget is not something fun, but it’s a critical piece to take. With your budget, you can determine the priority. You’ll be more aware of monthly spending. Living with your budget will make you spend money carefully and track the money going in and out.
Make a meal plan
It is often the biggest variable expense in a person’s budget to purchase groceries. So, a wise strategy is needed to overcome this. You can start by making a meal plan for every 3 days, weekly or monthly. Instead of ordering food for lunch or dinner, you can start to make it by yourself. Apart from saving money, cooking by yourself is healthier for you and your family.
Allocate emergency funds
Living in a world where the economy changes unpredictably is a challenge for a Mom to be able to organize family finance. Mom has to balance the family’s income and spending but not forget about saving for emergency funds. You’ll never know what type of situation may impact your family’s finance. Having an emergency fund can avoid you from the stress that requires you to spend more money on unpredictable situations.
Reuse and repurpose clothes in your closet
Before deciding to buy new cloth that only wore once or twice, try to find treasure in your closet. Shopping for new fabulous clothes and shoes is a fun activity, but you will unconsciously spend your money on things you already have with the same function. You can use the items you have with a few modifications to create a new style. You’d better save the money for the things that you really need or for emergency funds.
Buy used items
Buying used goods is one alternative so you can save money. Buying used goods is not a bad thing, as long as the goods still function well and have the same quality. You can modify it into a new look. The second-hand items that you can buy are furniture, utensils, sports equipment, bicycles, vehicles, children’s toys, books, baby strollers, and more. You can get these used items from friends, neighbors who are moving, online shops, social media, or e-commerce.
Use ingredients leftover in the kitchen
Use the ingredients in the kitchen until they run out, so nothing ends up in the trash. Create dishes with these ingredients, if you run out of ideas, use the internet to find recipes that you can apply. Besides that, you can also dry herbs that you have such as cilantro, basil, and thyme so that they can last longer.
Be sure to check your bank account frequently online
By checking your bank account regularly, you can see your expenses and the left money you currently have. So that it can help you to be able to control spending and find out the amount of money spent on each transaction. In addition, if there are fraudulent charges or a transaction does not come from you, then you can immediately find out and report this to the bank.
Gather with people who have a frugal lifestyle
To do a habit, you need support not only from yourself but also from the people around you. So it’s better to hang out with people who adopt a frugal lifestyle. So you don’t feel alone in doing it. You can also share tips and ideas for saving money in daily activities. Imagine if you hang out with people who follow trends, and spend money on the latest cellphone, then you will have difficulties living frugally because you want to have the same items as theirs.
Sell your unused items
Selling items that are no longer used in addition to helping free up space in your home, you can also make money doing it. Instead of letting it become more and more damaged over time so that it can’t be used. You can open a garage sale in front of your house, offer it to friends, or sell it online through eCommerce or social media.
Before doing weekly or monthly shopping, do some research online to compare prices, and see discounts and ongoing deals. This will help you to save money. So that your expenses will be lower than what you budgeted before. You can visit the official supermarket website that you are going to visit or any website or app that provides info on discounts and deals.
Buy generic product
Basically, generic products are produced by unknown companies, but usually, the products have almost the same composition and quality as well-known brand products. Although not all generic products have the same quality as well-known brand products, most of them have identical ingredients. You can buy generic brand products for bottled water, spices, baking supplies, frozen foods and vegetables, milk, and more.
In general, generic brand products have low prices but almost the same quality as well-known brand products. That’s because they have to pay for marketing, packaging, promotions, and so on. So that these costs are charged to the buyer in the form of the price of the goods.
Take snacks, foods, and beverages from home
When you are traveling or just going somewhere out of home with family or by yourself, bring a drink or snack from home. It helps you to avoid spending money on snacks. Sometimes, we might think the money spent is not too much. However, if it is run continuously, it will have an impact on your expenses, and mess up your budget plan.
Give understanding and train your family members to be frugal
Give an understanding to each family member about the importance of living frugally. Teach them to do it gradually. If all family members are able to live a frugal life, it will be easier to do it together. Teach family members to distinguish wants and needs, and show them to make a personal budget plan from their allowance. Help them to save money before buying items they need. Teach your kids from a young age, so understanding of frugal living will develop over time that makes them easier to practice once they’re adults.