Being frugal involves making a lifestyle change. It takes a lot of control to put a stopper on your wallet but, with a few tips and conscious effort, you can achieve your goal to put more money towards your future and less on your shopping bag.
With changing lifestyles, it’s extremely important to save up for your future or for a larger goal. But with emerging trends, it’s tough to hold onto your money for long. Training yourself to be more economical means redesigning your lifestyle to eliminate unnecessary spends and living at a minimal yet satisfying pace. How do you change your expensive ways? It takes a little practice but here’s how:
1. Define your goal: Why do you want to save up? Do you need to save up for something or pay off a debt you owe? Understanding your reasons for saving motivates you to be better with handling money. The goal lurks in your mind while you spend money and helps you become more frugal.
2. Track your expenses: By using apps like Wallet or ET Money, you can track your expenses. These apps show you a breakdown of the areas you spent money in and your monthly total spend. Tracking your expenses allows you to compare any increase or decrease in your expenditure and see how and where you can reduce it.
3. Find the areas you spend the most money in: Sometimes you can’t help spending a little more on food or buying an outfit you don’t actually need. Look at your expenses to see where you’re spending more and consciously cut back in that area.
4. Take responsibility now, not later: Most of the time, we have all the motivation to set aside money but not enough willpower to do it now. There’s always a ‘how about at the start of next month’ narrative playing in our head. Taking up your resolution to spend less the minute you think of it is much more effective.
5. De-clutter and sell second-hand things: Go through your possessions—from clothes and shoes to books and kitchen utensils—and make a pile of things you haven’t used in the previous three months. From this pile, throw away items that are in bad shape and put the rest up on eBay or sell them at a second-hand store.
With these tips, you can curb your spending and live a more minimal and economical life. Here are a few hacks to hold onto your money:
1. Use public transport or a bicycle to commute: One of the most effective ways to curb your spending is to stop using private vehicles or limit their use by taking public transport. Picking up a bicycle to commute is a great way to stay fit while looking after your wallet.
2. Buy your groceries after a meal: Shopping for groceries on a hungry stomach makes you more likely to spend more. Avoid impulsive purchases by going to the supermarket after eating. This can curb your consumption of junk food while helping you be frugal.
3. Shop clothes and footwear after holiday sales: While spending right before a holiday seems vital, hold off on the shopping spree until the holidays. Stores usually mark down their goods right after the holiday season is over and waiting until then will save you a handsome sum.
4. Invite friends over instead of going out: Going to a cafe or a restaurant takes a toll on your wallet. Try to limit outings by having friends over. Not only does this save money on food, you can save time and money usually spent on transport as well.
5. Avoid take-outs and stick to home-cooked meals: It may be a perfect Saturday night to order in pizza but it’s never perfect enough for your long-term goal. Avoid junk food and whip up pancakes or indulge in fruit. Your body will thank you as well.