Let’s face it. Saving money by living thrifty is anything but sexy to the average person. Most despise the words “frugal” and “living thrifty”, but living by these values can actually make your life more enjoyable, satisfying and simpler in all aspects of life. Living thrifty does not only entail clipping coupons and scouring the flyers, but it’s also about learning new skills, researching your purchases and other fun things that can help you save money on a daily basis.
With the start of the New Year, now’s the perfect time to get into living thrifty, and possibly easy your financial pressure in 2013 and beyond. Most are looking to save money and lead simpler lives – very few are willing to admit it.
As someone who lived with debt for years and spent unconsciously, I learned the hard way that I was no high roller. I learned to have dinners on coupons, use cash over debit and credit, and I’m proud to admit that I’m still wearing the same coat that I purchased five years ago. Yes, I’m a reformed spender, and I wanted to talk to you today about reforming your spending ways en route to saving money on daily basis by living thrifty in 2013.
The secret to living thrifty is no secret at all – it’s simply understanding that more is not better. But knowing how to indulge in the occasional luxury is important so you won’t feel deprived. Finding out what’s important to you is the key and a very good start. Don’t look at others, but instead focus on yourself.
Saving Money When Shopping
When I started out on this blogging journey, I just hoped to get out of debt. In a very short period of time, not only did I get out of debt, but I also become a reformed shopaholic and learned to save money when shopping. I challenged my self to no-spend days and even went 127 day without shopping. I embraced it all, and here’s what I recommend you embrace in 2013 in order to enjoy living thrifty for the years to come:
1. Install no-spend challenges for yourself. Not only will you save a lot of money in the process, but you’ll also forgo a lot of impulse purchases, learn the differences between needs and wants and research before you buy.
2. Resist the urge to buy things just because they’re on sale, but learn how to use coupons and more importantly combine coupons with items that are already on sale.
3. Use the freebies given to you! There are many freebies throughout the year at your disposal – free calling days on your birthday, free birthday dinners and many buy-one-get-one-free sales.
Try New Things and Learn New Skills
1. Cooking for yourself or your loved ones can be your ticket to saving a lot of money. Invite a friend who knows their way around the kitchen over to cook up a storm and freeze the dishes for later.
2. Planting if you have a garden can save you a bundle by not purchasing certain veggies. Also spending time in the garden getting your hands dirty and admiring the colorful plants is also great for your mental health.
3. Do your own basic car maintenance. Leave the bigger jobs to the pros, but you can change your tires and your oil with ease. Also, many local colleges offer classes on basics of maintaining your own car and they also show you where you can get car parts online and offline at a discount. And please, clean your own car – everyone can do that.
Use Technology to Save Money
1. Read blogs for money saving tips. Read blogs such as Prairie Eco Thrifter, My Own Advisor, Give Me Back My Five Bucks and Canadian Budget Binder that offer great tips of saving money and living thrifty. Keep in mind that these are only a handful of thousands of Canadian and American based personal finance blogs.
2. Take advantage of coupon websites such as Grocery Alerts, BargainMoose Canada and Mrs. January that scour the web daily for the best deals, coupons, and freebies. Another key aspect that coupon websites offers is that they scour the flyers (online and offline) to identify the best deals on groceries, tech and more.
3. Online Videos through YouTube will show you everything from how to do things yourself to cooking and a lot more in between.
Do This Before You Buy
1. Compare the item you’re about to buy with other equally similar items or simply compare prices from one store to another. Keep in mind that most stores are willing to price-match, so make sure you take that flyer with you.
2. Save for your purchases. It’s easy to throw your new TV purchase on the credit card, but you still have to pay for it down the road. Likely the same purchase will cost you more in the future when the interest is factored in.
3. Look for used. There are many items that can be bought used or gently used. Think sports equipment, clothing and certain household items.
There are many ways you can save money on daily basis by simply living thrifty in the new year. It’s not hard, but all it takes is a little bit of discipline and some planning ahead.
Readers, how do you plan on living more thrifty in the new year?
Thanks for stopping by!