You can live a rich life by spending less…
Frugal living doesn’t mean skimping on what’s valuable. Instead, it’s a way to maximize value in your life.
This is the big difference with being cheap…
Cheapskates try to find the lowest price tag on everything. As a result, they often buy goods that don’t last long.
Their sole focus on price can end up costing more in time and money. A cheap mindset can also ruin relationships.
That’s why it’s vital to focus on both the price and value.
One quote from legendary investor Warren Buffett sums it up…
“Whether socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” – Warren Buffett
Like Buffett, you can build a fortune while living frugal…
30 Frugal Living Tips
The tips below are broken down into three major areas of life. You’ll find ways to save on the go, while living at home, and far into the future.
Here are some words of wisdom… no matter where you go, there you are.
Jokes aside, here are five frugal living tips for travelers…
1. Cash in Your Car
A car is the second most expensive asset most people own… but it’s only used a small fraction of the time. Cars sit motionless in a garage or in parking lots for more than 90% of their life. So rent them out or set up a car sharing plan.
City dwellers that live close to work can also live without a car. Low-cost apps like Uber make getting around easy. As a result, people are now waiting longer to drive.
2. Ride a Bike or Walk
We can all use a little more exercise in our life. Riding a bike or walking makes sense for millions of workers. You’ll save money on gas and you’ll likely pay less for healthcare.
3. Fly for Less
Plan your flight and check daily pricing on sites like Skyscanner. Once you’ve found a flight you can check with the airline directly for pricing and deals.
Some booking sites also raise prices when you visit their website multiple times. You can delete your cookies or use secure browsing to stop the price hikes.
4. Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle helps you stay hydrated and it eliminates waste. You’ll avoid the chemicals used in disposable bottles and save big bucks. Bottled water costs 300-2,000 times more than tap water.
A water bottle comes in handy on the go. You can fill them up for free at drinking fountains or in restaurants. You can also get them through airport security when they’re empty.
5. Look for Local
Tourist areas are expensive… so travel off the beaten path. You’ll find vibrant culture while saving money. The people you spend time with also tend to be more memorable than the sites you see.
A home is the most valuable (and expensive) asset most people own. Yet, there are many overlooked tricks to save homeowners time and money…
6. Grow a Garden
You don’t need much space to grow food. You can buy potted tomato plants and herbs that keep producing. Plus, they’re organic and healthy.
If you have some extra space, free range chickens are a great addition. With the right set up, they require little upkeep.
You can put food scraps to great use and supercharge your garden. A compost pile reduces emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.
You can learn how to compost at home by checking out the epa.gov website. It includes both outdoor and indoor composting.
8. Home Heating and Cooling
You don’t need a thermodynamics degree to save on heating and cooling. You can stop drafty doors with a towel, service the heater, insulate walls, grab a jacket, let the sunshine in, etc.
Technology is also improving our energy use. Smart thermostats adjust automatically based on when people are home and what rooms they use.
9. Don’t Skimp on Home Inspections
There’s a lot going on behind the facade of a house. It’s vital that you have experts check the foundation, plumbing, electrical, and other areas before you buy. It can save thousands in repairs and provide a bargaining chip.
Many home buyers misstep when it comes to home inspections. One guide from Trulia suggests getting multiple recommendations, attending the inspections, and asking many questions.
10. Cut Cable
Why subscribe to 30, 50 or 100+ channels when you can only watch one at a time? Cable companies are struggling as the internet improves.
There’s no need to pay for everything under the sun anymore. If you’re keeping a home phone landline and have a cellphone, it’s about time to cut the landline.
11. DIY with YouTube
There’s an online guide for just about anything. Many professionals provide free videos on YouTube. Check ‘em out.
12. Fix It, Don’t Replace It
We live in a replace it world. As a result, the United States produces about 4.6 pounds of trash per person every day. You can help reduce the waste and save money in the process.
13. Clean and Dry Clothes
Brand name laundry detergent is expensive. Instead, you can make your own at a fraction of the cost. The dryer also uses a lot of energy. If it’s a nice day, set your clothing out on a clothesline to dry.
14. Dishwasher Downfall
Unless you’re cooking for an army, doing dishes by hand is more efficient. Try getting in the habit of washing dishes as you cook and right after meals. You can save both time and money.
15. Rain Barrel
You can collect rain to use during dry months to water your lawn and garden. They’re easy to set up and you can collect the runoff from your roof. Although, keep an eye out for regulation against collecting it. Some areas don’t allow it.
16. Keep it Clean
A cluttered living space causes stress and lowers your productivity. So keep things clean and remove things you don’t need. Set up a garage sale to put a little extra cash in your pocket… another man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You can also take what you don’t sell to used-good stores.
Delayed gratification is one of the most important lessons you can learn. Putting in the hard work today can lead you to a healthier and wealthier tomorrow…
17. Meal Planning
Obesity runs rampant in America’s poor population. They have access to enough food but they gravitate towards unhealthy options. Instead, they can find healthier options with a lower price tag at grocery stores.
Prepping a week’s worth of meals can save hundreds of dollars. You can buy in bulk such as potatoes, tomatoes, fruit, etc. A little planning each week can lead you to a healthier and wealthier life.
For a more detailed guide (6,000+ words) on smart eating, check out Eating at Home vs. Eating Out.
18. Coffee at Home
If you require coffee, brew it at home. There’s no need to stuff Starbucks coffers with your cash. Although, you shouldn’t avoid coffee shop meetings. You can build great relationships within their walls.
19. Meatless Mondays
Meat is expensive to bring to your plate (and tough on the environment). So try a healthier vegetarian lifestyle. Start with just one day a week and you’ll start to see the benefits.
20. Invest to Maximize Your Savings
You can maximize your savings by investing in the stock market. In the long-run, it averages 8% annually and at that rate, you’d double your money in less than ten years. In 20 years, you’d be up 366% and in 30 years you’d have a 906% gain. It compounds so start early.
Anyone can set up a stock account. It’s about as easy as setting up a bank account and apps like Robinhood make trading free.
21. Retirement Accounts (401k, 403b, TSP, IRA, HAS, etc.)
The government offers tax advantaged accounts. You can save thousands of dollars each year by maxing your retirement investment accounts. Companies will often match some of their employees’ contributions. This is free money and it will help secure your retirement.
You can save a bundle by selecting better healthcare providers. So shop around because it only gets more expensive as you age. Drug companies also have different deals with retailers… I checked at three different ones for the same prescription. The same exact drug ranged from $9 to $60 (Walgreens was the most expensive in this search).
23. Avoid Late Fees
Some businesses live on late fees. Don’t feed them. You can easily avoid late fees by setting a few reminders.
24. Double Check Your Bills
There are people behind every business and they’re prone to making mistakes. Keep an eye on your bills each month so you’re not double charged. This has happened to me plenty of times.
25. Don’t Make Impulse Purchases
Stores put candy and magazines near the cash register with your psychology in mind. People impulse buy and some stores thrive on it. Heck, a $1 candy bar won’t add much to my grocery bill. Online stores also target people’s tendency to buy right after they want something.
On larger purchases, a good rule of thumb is to take an extra day for each additional $100 you spend. Take some time to look at reviews and alternatives.
26. Ditch Debt
You can make credit card companies pay you… don’t pay them. Only make credit card purchases you know you can pay off. If you don’t, you’ll end up paying more.
27. Discover Discounts
Once you know you need to buy something, browse the web for discounts. Searching online can save you a fast 10% or more.
28. Libraries and Free Education
Knowledge, like wealth compounds. It can also compound your wealth… so use the free resources in your community. You can also access world-class lessons on websites like Khan Academy, Udemy, and Corseara. Many of the courses are free.
29. Shop Out of Season
Retailers often slash their prices on out-of-season clothing. You can find deep discounts with a little forward thinking.
30. Create a Budget
It’s not rocket science to know if you’re spending more than you’re making. Take the time to create a simple list. You’ll likely find a few things you can cut back on… or it’ll motivate you to make more money.
This list is a starting place with tips and tricks. There are many other ways you can maximize the value in your life.
I urge you to pick just one of the 30 frugal living tips above. Follow it through this week. Then next week pick another one. In no time, you’ll save thousands of dollars.
A frugal mindset can maximize value in your life. The small decisions you make compound and can lead to a financially free life.
You can then maximize your savings by investing. One of the top strategies is investing in reliable dividend stocks. They keep rewarding investors through the thick and the thin.