It’s no secret that since 2020 the financial landscape has been unpredictable. Whether you’re living paycheck to paycheck or not, everything seems to be on the line and so much seems uncertain, making money management more important than ever before.
Whether you’re looking for money saving hacks to save for something special or just want a few personal finance tips to plan ahead for financial security, budget friendly living should be on most people’s radar.
Keep reading for frugal living tips that will get you on your way to better money management and more financial control.
Change Your Spending Habits with These Frugal Living Tips
As soon as you receive a paycheck, it’s understandable that you would want to spend your money. It’s your money, so do whatever you want with it! However, it’s essential that you consider your money management habits for your urgent expenses and any unexpected emergencies.
Additionally, it’s important to make sure that you can meet your monthly expenses. If you’re not careful with how you spend your money, you may not have enough money for those significant expenses that tend to take people by surprise.
But you may also wonder, “What money management habits can I learn to control my spending?” It is really easy! Take a look at these frugal living tips that will help anyone on the path to a budget friendly lifestyle.
Establish a Budget
When it comes to personal finance tips, 100% of the time every financial planner is going to tell you to establish a budget first. Budgets can help you track your spending habits and establish a sense of accountability in your life.
It is easy to spend whatever you want, whenever you want when you are not tracking your spending habits each month. But if you have a budget friendly approach to spending, you can put spending off for a better time and plan ahead.
If you’re really serious about money management, look at your spending habits and divide your monthly expenses into two different categories: fixed and variable expenses. The best way to do this is to collect your bank and credit card statements from the last two months.
Your fixed expenses are those that will not change each month, while the variable expenses are those that will fluctuate on a monthly basis. Fixed expenses are often urgent/important things like bills, debt, and car insurance, while variable expenses often include things like entertainment, gas, shopping, etc.
One of the ways that you can limit your fixed expenses is to double-check what you are paying each month. Are you overpaying for car insurance? Can you cut back on your internet bill?
One of the most common money saving hacks is online apps that you can use to compare your rates with other providers. From there, you can see where you can cut back on your fixed bills each month.
Then, limit your variable expenses as much as you can or need to. Are you overspending in a specific part of your budget? Do you spend too much on groceries?
If so, you can consider buying budget friendly groceries like generics and sale items instead of name brands or full price items. Or, try limiting yourself to only spending x amount per week.
Additionally, you can discover a new “home base” to get your groceries each month. Some grocery stores in certain towns are more expensive than others! So be on the lookout for a new store with cheaper prices.
Another unknown among money saving hacks is to use budgeting apps available that can help you track and change your spending habits. A budget app can help you track your monthly expenses and notify you if you’re over your established budget limit.
Or, some people like to do the “cash envelope” method to budget and change their spending habits. That means you are taking your paycheck each week (or every two weeks) and paying off the necessary bills as they come.
Then, the rest of your income for variable expenses gets separated and put into envelopes. These envelopes are categorized, so you only get $30 for entertainment, $200 for groceries, etc.
It can help you establish a physical sense of your money and change your spending habits! It’s harder to spend money if you are physically paying in cash and not just swiping with a credit card. With that in mind, let’s discuss more about changing your spending habits.
Implement Small Changes to Your Spending Habits
One simple way to combat poor spending habits is to execute small changes each month. For example, you could take a homemade meal to work instead of spending money on fast food or delivery every few days.
If your friends like to go out for drinks each weekend, you can skip a couple of those hangouts. Rather than watch a movie in theaters, you can stay home one day and binge-watch some films on a streaming service or platform.
With these frugal living tips of small monthly changes, you could improve your spending habits significantly.
One of the biggest things you can potentially cut back on is online shopping. Are you overspending on Amazon? Maybe you DON’T need a new plant for your bedroom.
Just put things into perspective for yourself – one new plant could be a whole meal you could have bought! It’s easy to control spending on variable expenses, but what about fixed expenses like utilities?
Save Money on Home Utilities
If you’re looking for ways to have cheap utilities you’ll be happy to know that there is more control in this than you may think.
It can be easy to waste money at home, even if you’re not ordering food or going out. If you leave the lights on at home while you’re outside or have the heating and cooling system on full blast, your utility bills will increase.
Instead, implement a small lifestyle adjustment in your home to conserve energy. Not only will these budget friendly utility habits help save you money, but they could also benefit the environment as well!
Consider buying some energy-saving light bulbs to replace traditional bulbs. They tend to be a bit pricey, but they can be worth the upfront cost if you plan to stay in your home for a while.
If you’re not in a room, turn off the lights so you can save money. Make sure to unplug any electronics that are not being used as well.
Do the same thing with your television whenever you’re not in the living room. You can also install a programmable thermostat for heating and air conditioning.
If you implement these small changes around your house, you could save a little bit of money in the long run! These types of savings are a more long term solution and do require an initial investment, but it pays off over time.
If you start small, you could start saving big eventually!
Limit Impulse Purchases
We have all been guilty at one time or another of making an impulse purchase. It’s hard to have self control when you see something that interests you!
One way to combat that urge is to look at your shopping list and think, “Do I really need this item?” You may be surprised to know how many things you initially wanted aren’t necessary at all.
Keep that thought in mind every time you’re out spending money. You could then use that money to pay your recurring bills each month and be on your way to better money management.
Don’t Spend to Feel Better
Plenty of consumers love to spend money whenever they feel down. Whether it’s a bad breakup, work stress, or just family chaos, it’s easy to get a little rush from spending.
Although that can be helpful in some situations, it would be best to eliminate that coping mechanism as much as possible and focus more on your mental health.
Instead, talk to your friends and family whenever you’re in a bad mood. You can also take a walk outside and distract yourself without spending any of your hard earned income.
Keep those things in mind whenever you’re feeling down and save money. Your bank account will thank you!
In addition to the above frugal living tips, there are other ways to change your monthly spending habits and get on the path to better money management. Just find a strategy that works for you so you can save money in the future.
With a little self-control, patience, and investment, you can fight the urge to spend frivolously and live a healthy, frugal life. But what if you need money right now for an emergency?
If you don’t have the funds readily available in a savings account or emergency fund, you can apply for a personal loan, pull cash out on a credit card, try to get a HELOC on your home, or get a car title loan.
You can conveniently apply for a LoanMart title loan online, call your bank, or check your credit card policy for cash advances. Be sure to check the rates and have a repayment plan.