In the last few years, many people have had to start being frugal just to try and make ends meet. With many salaries frozen, prices rising and interest rates low some people have had to manage on less money and therefore they have learned to be more frugal.
However, there are still some people who have not yet grasped how to be frugal or have not yet had the need to be. Below are five tips on how you can start to be more frugal and they may not be as hard as you think!
Change your Attitude
It is important to make sure that you start by changing your attitude, you really need to be committed to being more frugal. You may find saving money to be easier than you think but you still need to be fully committed to the idea.
It is worth considering why you want to be more frugal and even writing these reasons or benefits down to remind yourself. Then when you find it difficult to continue with, you will have a reminder as to why you started in the first place. It might be that you have decided you want to pay off your mortgage, save up for a holiday, become a student, start a family, pay off a credit card or you just feel that you need to reign in your spending. Whatever the reason, keep it in mind to motivate you. You could even write it down and stick it up somewhere as a reminder.
Find out what you Spend
You need to start by finding out exactly what you spend and where you spend it. Look at your bank statements and note down where you are spending your cash. You may need a few months to be able to gather together all of this information. Once you know where your money is going you will be able to see where you can cut down. There might be some obvious cost savings right away, but you may be able to cut down in more areas than you think.
It is worth comparing prices on everything that you spend money on. You may think this means food, utility bills, petrol and it does. But you may also be able to get a cheaper credit card, bank account, rent or mortgage, clothing, insurance, etc. You can compare prices on absolutely everything. Obviously moving home will cost a lot of money so unless you can make significant savings this may not be worth it, but all other things are worth looking in to. Sites like Money Supermarket make it easy to compare prices and save, you may not believe but good old fashioned brokers can still offer better savings than you find online especially when it comes to insurance.
Cut Biggest Expenses
Start by cutting down in the areas where you spend the most money. This could be debt repayments, food bills, utilities or rent/mortgage. Hunt around for better deals so that you are not paying so much money. In many cases you can get exactly the same goods or services, or very similar ones for less money and if you save across all of the big bills, then this could add up to big savings overall. It will take time to research and organise but in the long run it could make a really big difference to how much you are paying out with very little difference to your lifestyle.
Decide If You Really Need To Buy Things
This is an area where you may need to consider lifestyle changes, before you make purchases you need to decide whether you think that you really need them. It can be easy to be tempted to spend money on items without really thinking. It is worth trying to decide whether what you are purchasing is something that you really need and whether it is worth the money that is being charged for it.
Think about what else you could do with that money. It could pay for some of your holiday, pay off some of your debts or whatever. Decide which is more important, your frugal goal or the item that you want to buy. If you decide that you still want the item, then buy it and enjoy it but if you are not sure then leave it and think it through harder. You could find that you end up buying less and saving more.
If being frugal doesn’t sound fun you could always try to win money, remember not to spend it until it is in the bank though.