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12 Frugal Tips That Will Change Your Life (and Your Bank Account)

Life is unpredictable, and we can never be sure of what the future holds. That’s why it’s so important to make informed decisions. A user asked the forum, What is a single frugal living tip that you’ve found changed your life considerably, and how? Here is the top response.

SAVING MONEY

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Money is one of the biggest strengths of life. So, it is important to save it when you are earning well. 

“Once I start saving money, I don’t like spending money. I finally got to a place where I could open a savings account. I work two jobs and try to save $300-400 a month. I want something on hand for emergencies and when I need to take time off.”

MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS 

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We are always tempted to buy everything we see. But in reality, most of the things we buy will be of no use at some point in life. Making informed buying decisions will help you save lots of money. 

“Being extremely picky and scrutinizing potential purchases before buying. I used to buy things that were not quite what I wanted, either because I thought, “Oh well, it’s the closest thing I can find,” or just because it was on sale and, therefore, a “good deal.”

Now I won’t buy something unless it’s what I’m looking for, and also at a price I’m willing to pay for it. If I’m in a store and want to buy something I know I don’t need, I try to find some quality of the object that I don’t like (e.g., “Hmm, it’s not quite the right color’, or “It would be so much better if it was a different material” etc.) and suddenly the desire to buy it goes, poof.

And I find if I wait long enough, I usually can find the object that checks all my boxes, and then I feel happy every time I use it (“It’s so awesome, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for”).” 

FOLLOWING 48-HOUR RULES

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If you are a person who makes purchases without thinking twice and regrets them later, you can follow the 48-hour principle to avoid unnecessary purchases. 

“I have a 48-hour rule. Anything I see and think, “I want that,” I wait at least two days. If I’m still thinking about it and want it, I wait another 24 hrs. If I STILL want it, then I get it. Around 85% of the things I think I want don’t pass this test.” 

REMOVING QUICK PAYMENT METHODS 

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Quick payment methods make it easy to back our impulse purchases. Removing quick payment methods from your mobile will help you avoid unnecessary purchases. 

“I’ve removed all the quick payment methods from the sites I used to impulse purchase from. Having to physically pull out my card to type in the info is usually enough to talk me out of it.”

QUITTING ALCOHOL

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Alcohol is one of the worst addictions you must get rid of if you want to live a peaceful life. 

“I Stopped Drinking Alcohol. Everything in life is better and more affordable.”

FOSTERING A PET 

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Suppose you are a pet lover but don’t want to spend money on it. You can choose to foster a pet through an organization; it is the best option to find a companion at no cost. 

“If you want the companionship of a pet without the price and vet bills, foster them through an organization that pays for all expenses. Most local shelters have these programs and are always looking for fosters. You get to do some community service while welcoming a furry friend into your life.”

NOT GOING OUT FOR LUNCH EVERY DAY 

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Eating out is unhealthy and will also cost you excess money. It is better to eat at home and save that money for future unexpected expenses. 

“Don’t go out to lunch every day. The savings (in my case) so outpace every other frugal habit it’s nuts. It’s made me more intentional about spending, so the benefits are compounded. Nowadays, it’s more habit than intent, but when I go out for lunch, it is much more intentional and enjoyable.

MINIMALIST MINDSET 

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Opting for a minimalistic mindset will cut down your expenses to half. It not only helps you save money, but it will also pay for a way to invest in assets. 

“Learning to invest in assets that make money. Also, learning to buy simple classic clothing so that everything goes with everything and so I don’t need a million shoes or outfits for every possible situation. Just in general, having a minimalist mindset that less is more.”

COUNTING CALORIES

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Conscious eating habits will let you live a healthier and happier life. An interesting fact is that it can help you cut down the cost of eating fast food outside. 

“Counting calories. I decided to try to eat 1500-2000 calories/day because I was eating too much junk, and I figured it would save me money. It turns out the only way to make it through the day with restricted calories is to eat healthy food (the most caloric bang for the buck). I have lost a bunch of weight, bought a lot less each week, and feel healthier.”

NOT WATCHING TV COMMERCIALS 

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“I don’t watch TV commercials.

I alternate between TV streaming services every month or so and always pay the extra couple of bucks for no commercials (kind of sounds “un-frugal,” but it’s not). I prefer not to be brainwashed into thinking I need something to “keep up the Jones.”

LEARNING TO COOK

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Cooking is a life survival skill, and you will never know when it might be useful. 

“Learning to cook well. Never really fails me and comes in handy on many occasions.”

“It’s amazing how much cooking at home saves! I don’t like cooking, but I’m willing to spend an hour in the kitchen to save $50 or more on dinner.

Bread is so easy! Thai and Indian dishes, too, especially curries, which are super forgiving. I buy the ingredients at a wonderful Asian market and save TONS of money. Leftover vegetables can be thrown in so they don’t go to waste, and tofu is cheap. Having said that, my Zojirushi rice cooker may have cost five times what my Aroma cooker did, but it was one of the best investments I’ve ever made. Sometimes spending money makes it easier to save money!”

NOT OWNING A CAR

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Car is a liability and not an asset. It brings you sudden unnecessary expenses. 

“Not owning a car is probably the big one for me. It removes a source of financial & other stresses, and I’m healthier because I walk more. Honestly, avoiding car ownership would have meant I’d have way more invested/saved by now; but I’m not sure you could have convinced me about that.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.