It shouldn’t matter where you’re at in your financial journey. Maybe you’re retired. Maybe you’re retired early. Maybe you’re broke. Or maybe you’re in financial denial.
The fact is, any of us can start living a simple, frugal life.
One thing I’ve learned is that you just have to take that first step toward change. Even if it’s small. After that, things will start to move in the right direction.
It won’t be easy, though. You’ll have to work at it every day. You’ll have to find support from those around you. But when you’re finally able to live a more simple and frugal life, you’ll start to appreciate everything more.
Below are some tips that I’ve tried to help me work toward frugality and simplicity. They’re pretty simple and basic, so I hope you can try them out and see benefits.
If your bank isn’t giving you the absolute best customer service, get out of there. If you’re getting charged fees for things like not using your debit card 10 times, leave. That exact thing happened to me, and I left.
Find a bank that appreciates you more.
Some banks will give you a bonus deposit if you sign up for a checking account. This is a great deal, as long as the bank treats you right and there’s no fine print to the promotion.
Sometimes the bank isn’t even near you. I signed up for a checking account with a well respected bank a few years ago. They don’t even exist in my state. But the rate was amazing and their customer service was to notch. Check out Bankrate.com to find some of these types of deals and compare rates.
Sign up for every customer reward program you can
Almost every retail, grocery, or other store offers some kind of reward program. You give them your information to send you crap in the mail, they give you discounts. It’s pretty fair.
One trick is to create an email address just for the reward programs. Keep all your coupons flowing into that inbox and run a search whenever you’re in need of a coupon.
Another cool option is to sign up with Unroll.me. It let’s you mass-unsubscribe as well as group things like coupons into one daily email.
I use it on all my email addresses. Pretty sweet, and it’s free.
You should also check out this video that Unroll.me and BuzzFeed put together on some easy life hacks. This will definitely help you live a more simple, frugal life (and it’s hilarious)!
So for frugality, get on email lists and sign up for coupons. For simplicity, set up a separate email address or use Unroll.me.
Live a simple life in small and big things
When you’re comparison shopping, consider less costly items first. Just don’t skimp on quality, as it might cost you more in the long run to buy ‘cheap’ stuff. And always ask yourself if buying the item or service will add to your quality of life.
Here are some quick ideas for living simple in both big and small ways:
- Buy generic drugs
- Watch movies or TV at home instead of paying to go to the movies
- Find a less expensive, still awesome hotel when you travel
- Make your own gifts
- Send handwritten notes instead of buying greeting cards
- Make your own bread, soap, and candles
- Host a potluck instead of going out to dinner with friends
- Buy a cheap, used car
- Live in a smaller home
Sell, don’t collect
The thought that collections can bring someone riches is a often a false adage. People bought things like Beanie Babies, hoping they would make lots of money on them later. For me it was Ninja Turtles action figures. Now you can buy this stuff online at a fraction of their original price.
This is a crazy sad story that Chris Robinson put together on his family’s financial downfall from over-investing in Beanie Babies:
It’s better you declutter and sell your crap. It may earn you some cash, and it will definitely simplify your life. And remember, wanting something doesn’t mean you need it in your life.
Repair current clothes or buy used clothes
New clothing often takes a big chunk of a family’s budget. To fix this, learn to repair your clothes instead of throwing them away due to a small issue like a lost button.
A torn pant can be of use when you are working in the garden, garage or just around the home, just patch it and it’s good to go. Anyone can learn basic sewing, which can save you time and money.
This may sound gross, but don’t wash your clothes as often, either. If they aren’t dirty and don’t smell, rock those jeans an extra day or two without washing them. It’ll help them last way longer.
Living a more simple, frugal life can be easy if you put some effort into it. Saving money, time, headaches, and energy is well worth a little investment.
In what ways do you try to live a more frugal, simple life?