Dictionary.com defines the word frugal as: “Economical in use or expenditure; prudent saving or sparing; not wasteful; entailing little expense; requiring few resources.”
In short, it basically means that you live a life well within your means.
Those who built their wealth over an extended period of time, are often not big spenders but rather tend to live their life frugally.
Living frugally involves specific ways of thinking and some simple yet effective action.
Below are some characteristics you would identify with a frugal personality.
- A frugal personality always negotiates better prices.
- A frugal personality always focuses on their net worth.
- A frugal personality creates a budget plan and sticks to it.
- A frugal personality does not buy designer made clothing.
- A frugal personality makes purchases using cash.
- A frugal personality buys in bulk wherever possible in order to save as much money as possible.
- A frugal personality does not purchase a brand new car.
- Finally, a frugal personality marries a frugal spouse who is responsible, loving, supportive, capable and honest.
You must, therefore, look for as many ways to save, to re-use things, to do more with less, to avoid following the lavish expenses of your neighbours and friends, and to get the most out of every money that you earn.
Living sparingly or frugally, and investing wisely is the key to a frugal mindset and way of life.
Live a Fulfilling Frugal Lifestyle
Here are a few more suggestions for living a frugal lifestyle that will at the same time assist you with reducing your levels of debt.
Create a Weekly Budget
Create a weekly budget and stick to it rain, hail or shine.
Become a Savvy Shopper
Become a savvy shopper who makes purchases based on price rather than on brand perception. Look for specials and negotiate better prices at every opportunity you get.
Once you have completed your discount shopping adventure, simply return home and spend some pleasurable time in the kitchen churning out a sumptuous home-cooked meal that will whet the appetite.
By cooking and eating from home you will effectively save at least half the money you would normally spend on eating out.
Make Purchases with Cash
Make purchases only using either a debit card or with pure hard cash. Get into the habit of keeping cash in your wallet and using only this money to make your purchases. By spending only what you have and nothing more, you will set yourself on track towards ridding yourself of your debt.
Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
Eliminate all unnecessary expenses from your life. Unnecessary expenses simply don’t fall under the category of needs. Ask yourself before you purchase something:
Is this something that I need?
Or is it something that I just want and can do without?
By being careful with what you spend your money on, and by following these simple guidelines, you will have more money at the end of the month left over to pay off the repayments owing on your credit cards and other liabilities and also invest towards the future.
Find Ways to Earn More -Simple, yet effective.
There are always opportunities out there to make a little extra money that can go into paying off your debts. Look for these opportunities, however, be very careful not to dip your feet into get rich quick schemes that ask you for a financial investment with a little time and effort.
If you are neck high in debt it is probably easier to look for a stable source of income that can guarantee you the highest possible hourly wage. Keep your eyes open and always add more value to what you do. In this way, people will credit you for your work and as a result, you may end up earning more in less time.
Peter Kwadwo Asare Nyarko
Financial Literacy Advocate | Financial Educator | Author
Contact Peter for speaking, coaching, mentoring and consulting engagements.