Stop being selfish and cheap and practice a frugal debt free life

By: on 2018-08-23
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Stop being selfish and cheap and practice a frugal debt free life
Stop being selfish and cheap and practice a frugal debt free life

Is frugality bad? Absolutely not. Instead, it helps you manage your finances in a better way so that you can meet your monetary goals.

Frugal living is not all about sacrifice and deprivation. Rather it is about living smartly, by securing a prosperous future and making the lives of the next generation brighter. It means smart money management, curbing all the unnecessary expenses from your lives and saving regularly for the future.

Cheap vs. frugal - How to draw the fine line

Being frugal means you stop wasting money on unnecessary things and use it for purposes that matter to you. It doesn't mean being a cheapskate or selfish.

A cheapskate person can save money for the time being but may have to spend more later. And, a selfish person loves to spend on himself/herself instead of taking into account the requirement of other members in the family.

Check out how to stop being cheap and practice frugality.

Lifestyle choices: A cheap person: A frugal person:
Gifting others Regifts a gift just for the sake of giving something Makes homemade gifts keeping in mind what the recipients will like
Free refreshments Stuffs his/her pockets to replace 3-4 meals at home Makes a meal from the available food items
Alcohol etiquette Secretly carries alcohol to a bar Opts for having drinks at home with friends before a night out
Eating in a restaurant Orders relatively more expensive food and drink but doesn’t tip Orders comparatively less expensive appetizers and dishes
Hiring contractors Accepts the lowest offer without considering other factors Researches and selects an inexpensive organization
Online subscriptions Gives out false information to subscribe and enjoy the benefits Joins a website for a month

Being selfish is not being frugal

Here is how you can try to be a frugal person and not a selfish one.

Lifestyle choices: A selfish person: A frugal person:
Buying clothes Buys only for himself/herself Plans a budget to fit the requirement of everyone
Managing household Spends more on himself/herself since he/she earns more Spends on items that are beneficial to family, even if he/she earns more
Saving money Can do so at the expense of others Will never do it at the expense of others

11 Tips to live a frugal debt free life

How can you practice a frugal debt free lifestyle? Here’s how:

1 Set a limit on how much you can spend on your needs and wants

Researchers have found that if you set a limit on your needs and wants, you can control your spending significantly.

You have to track your spending. That is what living a simple life debt free is all about.

Calculate your income and expenditure, and decide about that limit. Make sure you consider your needs and have a room for your wants as well.

Above all, savings has to be your priority.

2 Plan a budget that helps you achieve your financial goals

Whatever budget plan you’re using, you need to calculate how much you’re earning and what amount you’re spending.

If you can’t control your money, it will start controlling you.

Based on your financial goals and your earning, plan a realistic budget which you can follow without much difficulty.

3 Stop and think before making a purchase

It doesn’t apply to your ‘needs’ list but is a must do for your ‘wants’ list. Do not think you should do this only when you’re eyeing a big-ticket item; it is applicable to each and every purchase.

Even if you don’t want to wait for days to decide, at least think for a moment; if you’re a bit hesitant, take time and don’t buy at the spur of the moment.

Try to curb impulsive buying. It is often seen that many of you purchase items out of temptation. The item may not be a necessity for you, but the glamour, glitz and the allure of the shopping malls may instigate you to buy new items. The availability of credit cards also adds to your temptation to buy. Frugal living shuns away all these impulsive purchases.

4 Do not wait to repay credit card balance at the end of the billing cycle

This is a great tip for a debt-free lifestyle. You should be knowing that you need to repay your credit card balance at every billing cycle. However, take this step a little further.

I would say it’s a very good habit to use credit cards. It helps you to take advantage of the rewards programs.

Credit cards are not evil. It is the improper and unmindful usage of credit card, which has given it a bad name to it. Frugal living calls for reduction in the number of credit cards and judicious usage of credit cards.

Whenever you swipe your card, pay back the amount at the end of the day instead of waiting for the monthly bill.

This way, you’ll have a clear idea about your financial situation since you’re spending in that month itself.

5 Feel happy to say ‘No’ when you need to

You can’t make everyone happy. So, when you’re out with friends and you’re on a limited budget, say ‘No’ if doing something crosses your budget

It is after all your money; so, it’s up to you how you’ll spend it.

Do not succumb to peer pressure.

6 Make living a simple debt-free life your priority

‘Debt’ should not be a word you should worry about in your life. Make ‘debt’ your friend.

How?

Take out good debt. A mortgage loan helps you build an asset, your home. By taking out a student loan, you earn a degree that helps you earn your livelihood.

However, a good debt can be a bad one if you can’t manage it properly.

7 Have an emergency fund worth 2-3 months of your income

An emergency fund can save you from experiencing debt problems. You can’t predict your emergency spending, and so, you can’t include that in your budget.

However, you can have an emergency fund to tackle such expenses.

8 Eat out less

Each of you needs to eat outside sometimes as it provides huge refreshment to your family. But at the same time, eating outside is very expensive and creates a hole in your pocket. So do not eat out very frequently. Rather curb your temptation and eat outside only occasionally.

9 Visit library

You may be passionate about watching movies or you may be a connoisseur of books. But, frequently visiting movie theatres or purchasing books is very expensive. One way to hobnob your passion is to get memberships of movie/books library where you can find latest books/movies of your choice at minimal charges. This can indeed save a lot of money for you.

10 Stay fit and healthy

One major reason behind rising cases of personal financial misery is the escalating medical bill. The rising hospital and medicine expense, hit your finances badly. So, it is important to do exercise, eat well and remain healthy. This helps significantly reduce your expenses.

11 Cut down your power and telephone bill

Learn and make all your family members learn the utility of energy saving. With honest efforts from all your family members you can sufficiently cut down your energy bill. You can also reduce your mobile bill by stopping the unnecessary calls that you make and by getting away with the value added services.

So, what do you think? It isn’t that difficult to practice a frugal debt free life.

5 Frugal living mistakes often committed by people

Many people commit certain mistakes while trying to live frugally. Here are some common frugal living mistakes often made by people and how you can avoid committing them.

1. Practicing extreme couponing

While practicing extreme couponing, beware you don't clip wrong coupons. For example, in order to take advantage of a dollar discount, you can actually clutter your kitchen store with grocery items which you may not at all require. Moreover, is it worth clipping each and every coupon your get in your mail? Clip discount coupons which you require; it'll also help you to take out the right one when you need it.

2. Getting enticed with the word "free"

It is human nature to get enticed to items that are offered free of cost. But remember, very rarely things come in this world for free. So, beware of hidden costs when you come across a ‘free' thing. It is usually pure sales promotions and you get a free one when maybe you buy two of the similar items.

3. Buying grocery items in bulk

Sometimes, the grocery stores offer certain items at discount rates when you buy them in bulk. However, make sure you check the expiry dates to ensure that you'll be able to consume them before the expiry dates printed on the label. Otherwise, the food items will be wasted and you'll lose significant amount of money.

4. Messing up your DIY projects

It is not easier to do each and every thing on your own so as to save money. For example, take up the job of painting your home only if you have minimal skill in it; otherwise, there are chances you'll spoil it and in turn, it would cost more money to fix it.

5. Buying an item since it is offered at discount rate

Often people get enticed to buying items since they are offered at discount rates. In the process, they don't realize that they're spending huge amount of money. So, look for items at discount rates only if you need that; otherwise, simply walk past that section.

Most importantly, check out the ingredients before you go for value menus in order to save money. Most of these foods are loaded with saturated fat and are high in cholesterol. So, if you think hard, the health benefits and the associated financial costs will outweigh the savings you have today. So, it can be said that you should definitely analyze before you lead frugal lifestyle, especially when your health is concerned. Doing so, you can have long term benefits of leading a frugal lifestyle.

Last Updated on: Thu, 23 Aug 2018

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