Wouldn’t you love to hold onto more of your money? Have you ever wondered what makes frugal people so, well, frugal? Learning to live a more frugal lifestyle is one of the easiest ways to keep money in your wallet. And it doesn’t mean sacrificing everything you love. It simply means doing things a little differently and being more intentional about where you direct your hard earned dollars.
Here are some frugal living tips to save money in your day-to-day life!
1. Use the library
When was the last time you headed to your local library? Do you know about the many services they offer? Libraries are a goldmine of resources. And get this, they’re usually all FREE! The library can help you find a better job, start your own business, reduce your entertainment expenses, and even help you cut your internet bill by using the library instead of a home service.
Here are just a few of the services that may be available at your local library:
Employment Services — help with finding employment, upgrading skills, resume writing, interview prep, or exploring new career paths
Small Business Services
Piano practice rooms
Borrow a laptop for use at the library or reserve a computer
Computer learning center and digital innovation hub — learn basic and advanced computer skills
WiFi hotspots — lending hotspots or internet sticks to those who don’t have internet at home
Programs, classes, and exhibits
Inter-Library loan – allows you to borrow items from public, academic, and special programs province-wide.
Specific services for seniors and newcomers
2. Keep bad habits under control
Bad habits are the biggest money suck, and yes, they also suck. We’ve all had a bad habit or two in our lives that has hung around, been hard to break, and that yes, drained way too much money from our wallets. By kicking smoking, unhealthy eating, eating out too much, and alcohol to the curb, you could save thousands a year. Imagine that compounded over your lifetime — it could add up to hundreds of thousands saved.
We all need to eat. Plain and simple. But with the rising cost of groceries, it can be hard to eat healthily and not overspend. By taking the time to plan out your meals for the week, and even go so far as to prep them too, you’ll not only save cash, you’ll be using your time much more efficiently. Here are a few quick tips:
Consider a bagged lunch. Lattes and lunches every day add up. Take coffee and lunch to work a few days a week, and make Fridays your lunch out day.
Ditch meat a few nights a week. Let’s face it, meat is getting more expensive every day. To stretch your grocery dollars further, try a few vegetarian meals.
Eat out less. You’ll hit two birds with one stone here. Not only will you save money by eating out less, you’ll improve your health at the same time!
Do a cupboard clean-out. Do you find you’re throwing food out? If you’re tossing your money out with the spoiled groceries, try a cupboard clean-out meal BEFORE you do your next shop.
4. Price Matching
Did you know that most retailers offer price match policies — even with themselves? Yep, they do. Aside from the normal, “we’ll beat competitors by 10%” most retailers have a price-match policy so if you bought an item and later see it on sale, you can bring in your receipt and get a refund for the difference.
Another great tip is to check out your credit card perks, some may offer:
Purchase Protection – covers damaged, defective, lost, or stolen eligible items purchased with the card.
Return Protection – allows you to claim a refund up to 90 days when the merchant won’t return your money on eligible purchases made with your card.
5. Take a minimalist approach to gift giving
Okay, so you might not be a minimalist but that’s no reason you can’t adopt a few of the benefits. Minimalist gift giving offers some great frugal living tips to save money. According to The Minimalists, the duo recommends gifting your time and experiences, as well as avoiding holiday sales and hosting a holiday potluck if you’re looking to save cash and be more intentional about spending.
So, next Christmas, keep your money in your wallet and give mindfully.
6. Reduce car use and switch to public transit
According to the CAA, four in five Canadians underestimate the yearly costs of owning and operating a vehicle. To own and operate an average compact car, you’ll be shelling out $9,500 a year. Compare that to your yearly grocery costs at $5,400 a year (StatsCan) and a car is ahead of fuelling your health and wellness.
Consider taking public transit to work instead which can be 80% cheaper than owning and operating a car.
7. Find a side hustle (earn more)
You knew this would be on the list, right? Of course! And it’s a lot simpler than you think. There’s no need to sign up for an extra part-time job in retail. Earning more can be as simple as selling your stuff on eBay, making money from a hobby on the weekends, or reaping the rewards of your dog walking skills.
Find something you enjoy doing, have a little skill in and start earning! Worried that you don’t have the skill or knowledge? Get online and start learning your chosen side hustle. Maybe you want to start a money making blog — well, head online and search “How to start a blog”. You’ll find hundreds (if not thousands) of tutorials from bloggers and entrepreneurs on how to get started — and most are FREE.
Living frugally doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s a simple as making a few small changes (like these frugal living tips to save money!) to your lifestyle. You’ll be able to make more mindful lifestyle choices, allowing you to live within your means, getting you to a debt free life faster! Do as the rich do — spend less than you earn, invest and grow your money, and if you don’t earn enough, work on earning more.
Bonus frugal tip to save money:
Did you know that checking your credit score can improve your financial well-being and help you save money? In fact, a recent study from Borrowell found a positive relationship between the frequency of credit score monitoring and credit score increase over time.
Get your free credit score from Borrowell in under 3 minutes here!
About The Author
Michelle Summerfield is a professional blogger and the creative director behind The Classy Simple Life, a lifestyle design blog aimed at the 40+ woman. The blog started in 2012 and developed into a professional blog in 2017. In addition to documenting her journey to a simpler life, she covers topics such as money management, health + wellness, beauty, solo travel and thoughts on being a creative entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, and the CBC. To learn more about Michelle, visit her website here.