Whether you’re dealing with a mountain of debt or trying to save money for your retirement, there are numerous circumstances that can force someone to change his or her spending habits. Frugal living is typically viewed in a negative light, where the word “sacrifice” becomes synonymous with “suffering.” However, this does not have to be the case. Here are 10 frugal living tips to achieve happiness on a tight budget.
1. Keep Track of Your Spending
If you’re planning to live on a tight budget, you need to start by keeping track of all your expenses. From car repairs to that cup of coffee you buy every morning, everything must be recorded. It’s easy to lose track of how much you spend in any given week. The next thing you know, you are looking at a credit card bill that is well outside your means. So, you pay the minimum payment, which is another no-no, and the cycle of perpetual debt begins. Keeping better track of your spending can help you avoid wasting money on unnecessary expenses.
2. Change Your Spending Habits
Now that you’re keeping track of what you’re spending your money on, look through your monthly expenses and start trimming the fat. This is where people begin to think that frugal living is a complete downer compared to a lifestyle of superfluous spending. Don’t think about limiting yourself on the things you want, start thinking about cutting out the things you don’t need or waste money on. Avoiding name brand items, buying in bulk, and buying used or refurbished items are just a few examples to help you save and change your spending habits.
3. Monitor Your Money
Many people are guilty of not knowing how much money they are carrying in their pocket or purse on a daily basis. Even worse, many people are guilty of not knowing how much money they have in their bank account. How are you supposed to follow a budget if you don’t even know what you are working with? What if you dropped some cash without even knowing it? Finding random cash in your pocket is the best feeling in the world, but you should be taking better care of your money if you plan on living on a tight budget.