Did you know you can maximize money (your hard earnings into savings) by investing yourself in the frugal living way? I was introduced to frugal living a few years back and had no idea what it really meant. Back in my early 20's and when I was single and earning, my life was all about living it and being happy. My ideology about living well, enjoying life to its fullest meant spending well. Most of my savings would go into shopping.
So my Bank Account Statement mostly looked like this
My earnings = My spending's = 0 savings.
I had turned into an impulsive buyer who would walk into a store with the idea of window shopping but eventually end up actually buying due to a lack of self-control. We all have stepped into these shoes and can relate to them. Perhaps it could be surely something else if not shopping. So when the marriage happened and we began living together it turned out my husband was exactly the opposite of me. He was all about savings, savings, and savings!
When I say savings it meant consciously spending. Spending on something which is worth it.
Cutting out unnecessary expenses which include impulsive shopping something which I definitely was struggling with. I don't mean to say that I didn't value money. I believed and valued more the idea of investing in once-in-a-lifetime experiences that came with a numeric cost.
So that's when I was introduced to frugal living by my wise husband.
A whole decade passed by debating on the topic.
Back then I remember secretly hating my husband for being my worst enemy out of ignorance and immaturity. Lack of knowledge and awareness can actually cripple your thoughts. But of course, time and experience always teach things. So I decided to make peace with my beloved husband and began to understand and study "frugal living" which surprisingly was pleasantly an eyeopener.
My 30's have seen a better version of me. Today I 'am all about frugal living!
Frugal living is a lifestyle change that can actually do wonders if you understand and implement it rightly. I still believe in living lifetime experiences but those which are sensible, realistic, and are actually worth it. My impulsive buying levels are in control and within budget limits. A simple change in thinking can actually make a huge difference. The silver lining is today we happily continue to both enjoy living and saving minus debate sessions :)
So what is Frugal living?
It's a lifestyle choice you make keeping in mind what matters most and how to meet them. The goal here is to make informed decisions on how can you meet your priorities while still keeping a check on your finances to eventually live a fulfilled and balanced life. You need to figure out hacks that tell you where you must spend, where you can save, and where you can give preference to quality over quantity which adds value to your life.
Here are some DIY tips towards a frugal lifestyle to get you going
1. It's a mind shift game: No matter what you do until you don't make this one paradigm shift in your mind all your efforts will go to waste. It is so important for you to understand and to keep in mind even before you sign up to choose it as a way to live. The right frame of mind is the need of the hour!
2. Journal your goals: Pen down your goals. Break it down into your wants, needs, and desires. Understand what are the ones you can compromise on and what you just cannot. Classify your goals and see where can you crunch and where to flex. Start working on it. Figure out ways to meet them.
3. Value money: The whole narrative revolves around how to save money by spending less. This means saying no to impulsive buys, re-assessing your goals and finances, make informed decisions and actions.
4. Allocate a budget: A good way to manage your finances is by allocating a budget. Figure out what works for you. Define daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly budgets. Set reminders to keep a tab on it. Revisit, Re-asses, and Revise.
5. Live the old-fashioned way: To adapt to the lifestyle you have to go out of the box and skip the societal way of living. Yes, you heard it right, stop being a people pleaser or worrying about societal expectations. This means probably living the old school mediocre way and primarily focusing on only basic essential needs for a living. You don't need to own a luxurious Villa, Ferrari, Mac, or an iPhone? You can still manage to live without luxurious assets.
6. Stay minimalistic: Be minimal at expenses. Yeah, I know you love both of them but for all you know one pair of shots is all you need not two? Sounds good? Buy only as much as you need. Don't stock up unnecessarily. Reduce your expense. Stay minimal. Reduce the frequency of expense. If your consumption is more? Why go thrice to a store when you can stock the same once and save fuel or taxi expense?
7. Practice healthy habits: Are you the kind you love to take their bike or car even around the neighborhood? how about walking for a change? Do you eat meals outside regularly? why not shift to home food? Eat at home. Pack home food. Not only will you stay healthier but also save a lot of bucks.
8. Do it yourself: Are you a person who is used to getting work done? Why not do it yourself? It's a great way to be independent. Save those extra bucks on dishes, laundry, dry clean, and automobile wash. If you are in a capacity to self-help sure go for it!
9. Ditch shopping: As blunt as it may sound. Learn to say no to shopping. Understand and differentiate your needs from your wants and desires. Ask yourself if there really is a need? Buy some time. Walk away from it. Sleepover it. Perhaps you may genuinely change your mind you never know you know.
10. Limit entertainment: With a little bit of tweak here you can really make a huge difference. It could be that fat bill you pay towards your social circle alcohol parties, dinners, taxis, tickets, spas, etc. Cut down on whatever, and whenever you can.
11. Go debt-free: There is no brainer to this but the best way to live a fulfilled life is to go debt-free. This means to say no to loans, credit cards, and interests and yes no late payment fees and fines, please.
12. Target sales and offers: Well we all love shopping. But does it really have to be on MRP? Look out for seasonal sales instead. Not only is it value for money but a great way to bag some good deals at throw-away prices. It surely does boost your ego and satisfaction!
A frugal lifestyle is not about sacrifices or going cheap. It's about working out ways towards living smarter to fulfill your wants, needs, and desires. Let's say if you are the kind who loves traveling, finding ways to meet your essentials and also saving enough to be able to strike a balance to your yearly travel plans is all that you would love to really do. A bit of conscious understanding and patience can really help you build a sustainable lifestyle model and fruitful ways to eventually live a happy and peaceful life. So what are you waiting for? Start living one today!