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What is a Frugal Lifestyle?

money saving jar

A frugal lifestyle is a way of living that involves making mindful economic choices to maximise value and minimise unnecessary expenses. In other words, live well and within or below our means. It is not only about saving money. It is about maximising resources and what we already have.

Why should we consider a frugal lifestyle?

A frugal lifestyle can help you get out of debt, stay debt-free and achieve financial freedom. That is one of the reasons why people focusing on long-term financial goals often adopt a frugal lifestyle. But it does go much deeper than just financial planning and budgeting. 

A frugal lifestyle also calls for sustainability and minimalism. It affects various aspects of our lives. We learn to value and appreciate what we already own. Repurpose what we no longer need. Buy durable and good-quality items. And search for creative ways to save money. 

Many of us think that living frugally is depriving. But it is not. On the contrary, we can make smarter lifestyle choices without sacrificing anything by being more mindful of our wants and needs.

This lifestyle allows us to invest in experiences over mindlessly buying stuff we do not need.

enjoying peace and quiet in the nature

How do we start living frugally?

  • First, budget.

Budgeting is essential. We need a simple plan and tracking to understand better our spending habits. There should be a reasonable limit in all areas of our lives. Planning how much we designate to different areas will give us more control. In case of debts, a repayment plan should be put in place. 

  • Second, declutter.

Decluttering is always a good start and a first step to a better quality of life. By letting go of what does not serve us, we create space for what does. Decluttering helps us to create more clarity and serenity. 

  • Third, organise.

After we declutter, we need to organise. That means that every belonging should have its space. And that should be planned logically, not just putting things away randomly. If we place similar items together, it makes every space more efficient and easier to maintain. The goal is to simplify and minimise clutter build-up.

minimalist living room decor - clutter free frugal living
  • Fourth, maintain.

Now, a few words about maintenance. We should take care of our possessions so they last longer and are in good order. So we replace stuff less frequently.

enjoying outdoor experiences - mountain hiking

Other frugal lifestyle tips

Living frugally does not mean that we will stop buying things. But we will shop smarter. Some items could be purchased second-hand, at a discount, or borrowed. Always aim to purchase sustainable, high-quality items that are long-lasting when buying new items. Whenever possible, buy in bulk. 

There are non-negotiable monthly expenses that we need to take into account—rent or mortgage, insurance, commuting, bills, etc. We do not have much control over this, but there might be ways to save money by switching suppliers or negotiating a better payment plan.

As for the rest, like food, clothing, dining out and other little treats, we have much more control. 

Shopping trips should be planned and carried out only when necessary. Impulse buys, on the other hand, should be avoided at all costs. 

A frugal way of living will call for home-cooked meals over dining out or take-outs. It is best to meal plan and go grocery shopping with a list of missing items to avoid random and unnecessary purchases. It is likely to improve your financial situation. And overall health. A win-win.

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