Most people are familiar with the idea of living frugally. Some people do it in order to save money for a particular purpose. This might be a dream holiday or even retirement. Others do it out of necessity, purely because they are on a low income.
However, it doesn’t really matter why you are living frugally. The big question is how easy it is to do it. If you could spend more without getting into financial trouble, the odd slip won’t necessarily scupper your plans. The same couldn’t be said of having to live this way through necessity.
How frugal are you going to be?
One person’s idea of living frugally may be to buy value-brand products and skip eating out. Another person may not think they are being truly frugal unless they reduce (or even stop) their use of electricity and gas and use as little hot water as possible.
A lot will depend on what you want to save, or the income you have to live on. This is the ideal place to begin your deliberations, regardless of the situation you are in.
Income vs outgoings
It makes sense to start here. Ideally you should spend less than you earn, but you have to look for ways to reduce your outgoings where you can. If you can increase your earnings in some way, so much the better. Think of this as bonus money that should go directly into your savings.
Take some time to go through every area of your life in a financial sense. Time spent now will make your journey to being frugal much easier further down the line.
Reducing spending in different areas
There are many ways to save money, but the methods you choose could differ depending on your income, your circumstances and which part of your life you’re looking at.
For example, an easy area to start cutting down on would be your weekly food bill. There are many shortcuts that can be taken here. Once you start making progress here, you can look at the bills you pay. Could you switch providers or even downgrade a particular package to save money? This is more easily done with your television services and your mobile phone agreement or tariff.
Think long term
You can make lots of small changes fairly quickly, but if you get disillusioned, try focusing on the long term instead. This is where the small efforts you are making will really add up. Whatever you end up saving in a short period of time will be multiplied over a year or more. This is where you will really see some big results.
Remember why you are being frugal in the first place. Moreover, see it as a challenge you are trying to succeed in. If you do this, you might end up being far better off as a result. Whatever your financial goals may be, you have a chance to succeed if you live frugally for the time being.