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Learning to keep track of your money and how you’re spending it is an ongoing process that can be a serious struggle for many individuals. If you’re struggling with money that seems to go out as fast as it comes in, these thirteen strategies will help you become more frugal–often without sacrificing the lifestyle you’re used to.
Strategy 1: Pay More Attention to What You Really Eat
Do you find yourself throwing away high quantities of food at the end of every week? Are there regularly leftovers in your fridge that are starting to grow fuzz? Take a closer look at what you really eat on a weekly–and even monthly–basis. Then, start buying what you’ll actually eat, rather than having food waste.
Strategy 2: Meal Plan
Speaking of food, there are a number of great ways to help save money on food and ensure that you aren’t creating food waste. By meal planning (and planning to use all of the ingredients you purchased for the week, not just some of them) and preparing lunches and snacks ahead of time, you reduce the odds that you’ll reach for the easy–but more expensive–fast food solution.
Strategy 3: Decrease Impulse Buys
Impulse buys are a surefire way to end up with a budget deficit fast. Instead of falling into this trap, teach yourself to wait at least two days to make a purchase. If you really want it, you’ll still want it in two days!
Strategy 4: Get Coupon Savvy
Coupons are a great way to save money–but not if you’re using them for things you wouldn’t otherwise have purchased! Savvy couponers know to only buy items that they would have bought anyway.
Strategy 5: Look for Used (or Older) Options
New doesn’t necessarily mean better! When you’re in the market for a big purchase, consider whether or not a used one–or an older model–will fit your needs just as well as the newest one. In many cases, this can save you a bundle!
Strategy 6: Consolidate Errands
When you’re out running errands, you’re using gas–not to mention increasing the odds of impulse buys. Decrease your trips into town and consolidate errands whenever possible to help decrease expenses.
Strategy 7: Check Your Subscriptions
Are you really using your cable subscription? What about your gym membership? If you aren’t using them often enough to get the value out of them, get rid of them! This simple tip can significantly reduce your monthly expenses and free up your funds.
Strategy 8: Save Up for Quality
When you do need a new item, do you buy the first one that’s available at a low price, or do you take the time to shop for quality? Quality items may be more expensive, but that added expense pays for itself when you don’t have to replace it within a few months. This applies to everything from appliances to shoes, so learn to take the time to do your research!
Strategy 9: Learn How to Fix Things
Instead of buying a new item when something breaks, consider whether or not you can repair it yourself. Learning how to repair things like appliances can also save you significant money on your repair bills.
Strategy 10: Keep Up with Maintenance
Know what maintenance is needed on your car and around your home on a regular basis, and make sure you’re conducting it. Keeping up with regular maintenance can save you a lot in the long run!
Strategy 11: Prioritize People and Experiences
People and experiences will always be more important than things–and keeping them at the top of your priority list can keep your budget running more smoothly. Avoid falling into the comparison trap of always thinking that you need the latest “stuff.” You’ll be surprised by how much your budget benefits!
Strategy 12: Share the Good Stuff
Going out to eat with your partner? Stopping to pick up a soda? Consider splitting one instead of buying a different plate or treat for each of you. Not only will it help reduce the cost, it will help bring you closer and add more fun to your time out together.
Strategy 13: Ditch the Bad Habits
Your bad habits could be seriously costing you–and those costs add up! Unnecessary purchases can do a number on your budget, leaving you struggling to keep up with the bills. Ditching those habits can help make you and your budget healthier at the same time.
Learning to live frugally is well within your grasp. By utilizing these 13 tips, you’ll discover that you’re in a better position to enjoy the rewards of frugality, and to spend on things that really matter to you.
Information appearing in this article is obtained from sources we believe are reliable. The information may not be a complete statement of all available data and is not guaranteed as such. Marine FCU is not responsible for the contents of this article and advises its membership to investigate claims before following the information provided.