Click to find out more

5 Tips for Frugal Living

frugal livingLiving frugally isn’t as onerous as it sounds. With a few simple changes to the way your household operates, you’ll see the difference in your transaction account in no time. Once you start saving, and begin to be excited about your results, you’ll find good money habits gain a momentum of their own. Get your whole household involved – make it a family project – and soon everyone will benefit. It’s never too early to demonstrate how to run a frugal household budget for your children either. To start you off, here are 6 tips for frugal living.

Set up a distinct savings account

The best way to save money is to keep some of it separate. Consider whether you should set up a separate account to hold your savings in. Many banks such as BOQ will offer incentives for savings account holders – lower fees or higher interest rates are often on the cards.

Shop with a list

t’s a well-known truism that when you go shopping with a list you tend to stick to the list. This is a great way to avoid overspending at the grocery store. Ensure you’ve made a complete list of everything you need though, so you don’t find yourself ducking back in for any ‘quickies’ – you can catch yourself out this way. Another piece of advice about shopping is to avoid going when you’re hungry; you will buy more if your stomach is grumbling, and it tends to be snack food. Plan your grocery trips for after lunch or breakfast.

Nothing Beats Home Cooking

Cook at home, and see how economically you can do this. Perhaps Monday’s soup can be Tuesday’s pasta sauce and then Wednesday’s marinade. Or freeze any leftovers for one of those unavoidable rushed nights so you won’t have to order in. If you’re keen on dinners with friends, invite them to your place. Perhaps everyone could bring a plate (this keeps all your costs down), and you can all have a great night in.

Make Your Own Coffee

If you’re a daily coffee drinker, consider taking a travel mug from home four days of the week. Save that one special store-bought coffee for your toughest morning of the week, or as a reward when you hit your savings goal by Friday. Bringing your coffee from home is estimated to save around $1,000 over a year, which is a pretty good motivator for most people.

Stay On Top Of Your Big Tickets

Big budget items include insurance and interest rates on any loans. Are you sure you’re getting the best deal? Review all your insurance policies at least quarterly, if not monthly; this should include home, contents, health, car, and any life or income protection policies you hold. Think about how much insurance you really need, and see if you are truly covered for the things that are most likely to happen to you.

Walk or Cycle

Walking is great exercise and it’s free. Perhaps it’s an alternative to an expensive gym membership. If you find the weather often gets in the way of walking, consider other options. Can you drive to a large shopping complex and walk around there (no impulse spending mind)? Or run up and down the steps in your office building during lunch? Giving up a gym membership can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Living frugally doesn’t have to be difficult. Most people find that, with a little focus and discipline, they rise to the challenge and achieve savings that make a substantial difference to their lives.

Got any tips for those living on a budget? Share your wisdom in the comments box below.