5 Frugal Living Tips to Save Money
If you are thinking about how you can get into the rhythm of saving money, then you have come to the right place. Frugal living to save money does not come naturally to everybody. Some people are great at skimping and saving money. They have a knack for finding the right deals and making on the spot calculations to get the best prices. Then, there are others, such as myself, who look for convenience over price.
I was of the mind-set that saving a few pennies here and there would not make a big difference. Boy was I wrong! Those few pennies soon end up as pounds and eventually as hundreds of pounds. Once I started using these money saving tips, my pennies became pounds.
Frugal living does not necessarily mean to skimp on everything. It means to be mindful of what you are buying and how much you are spending. The idea behind frugal living is to adopt a lifestyle that helps the environment, as well as, your target of saving money.
For some people, frugal living is a long-term lifestyle. For others it is a short-term adjustment whilst they save for a big event in their life. Therefore, whether you want to save just a few pounds or you have a big purchase in mind, such as, saving for a house, a new car or a holiday, these simple frugal living tips to save money will surely put you on the right track.
The way I see it, by adopting frugal living hacks you can continue to enjoy a good lifestyle without denting your wallet or affecting the planet.
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Frugal Living Tips to Save Money
In this blog, I will cover changes that I made when we as a family started to adopt a frugal lifestyle to buffer the 2008 recession. Not all money saving tips will work for everyone. Saving money is entirely dependent on your personal commitment to do so. If you commit to saving, you will find a way. If you are someone who ends up taking a detour whilst on your journey, then the tips below will get you back on the trail, even if it is a start to saving just pennies at a time.
Tip 1: Get Budgeting – Frugal Living to Save Money
First and foremost, start a simple budget plan. If you are new to budgeting, then start with a simple budget plan to figure out how much money is coming into the household and how much is going out. Your budget plan will help you keep track of how much you are spending. You will also see areas where you can start to reduce expenses.
Use the information that you collect in your plan to set yourself improvement targets. For example, if you spend £100 a week on groceries, then set yourself a target of reducing it by £20 a week. You will easily save almost £100 every month if you stick to the £20 reduction target. On the other hand if you over spend by £20 in one week, then you know that the second week you will need to save £40 to stay on track. By then end of the year, it is a substantial saving of £1200 or more.
Ramit Sethi, wrote an excellent book in his early years which teaches people how to budget and save money. If you are not sure how to set up a budget or plan your finances, then his book, I will Teach You To Be Rich, will be a worthwhile buy. The money you spend on the book has the potential to save you £100s in the future. Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money is another good book to read when it comes to understanding finances.
Tip 2: Balance Transfer Your Credit Card Debts
You should get into the habit of paying your credit card in full. However, our bills can sometimes escalate when unplanned expenses crop up. If you are suddenly finding that your credit card debt is gradually rising, you should consider transferring your balance to a 0% balance transfer card.
The 0% balance transfer means that you do not have to pay interest on the amount that you have transferred for a set number of months. If you have £3000 on your credit card, for instance, which you desperately want to pay off, work out how quickly you want to clear it out and how much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis. For example, if you know that you can pay £150 per month towards your credit card, then work out how long it will take you to pay the £3000 first.
£3000 divide by £150 = 20
The 20 stands for the number of months it will take to pay off a £3000 debt with a 0% balance transfer credit card. The calculation is assuming that you will pay £150 each month.
In this case it is 20 months. Therefore, consider taking out a credit card for a period of 24 months. The 4 months will give you leeway in the event that you have to reduce the payment sometime during the 24 months.
Point to Note
One point to note, there often is an initial transfer fee associated with balance transfers. However, if you use a comparison website to search for offers, you will find a card that has low transfer frees.
Make sure you pay the entire amount that you transfer before the 0% time is up. Additionally, do not use the same credit card for any other expenses until your balance has been fully paid off.
By avoiding cards with interest rate and clearing your 0% balance transfer, before the transfer offer ends, you will save yourself hundreds of pounds.
Related Article: Can a Minimalist Lifestyle Help with Becoming Debt Free?
Did you know that you can save £100s if you sign up to the right cashback sites?
Signing up to apps such as Quidco will earn you money when you purchase via Quidco.
To receive your first cashback bonus from Quidco, use the referral link below to sign up to their site. Once you start using their site to make purchases, you’ll see the money quickly adding up.
If interested, click on my Quidco Referral link to sign up and earn your initial bonus.
Tip 3: Shopping Frugally & Collecting Points
Do you collect points as you shop? Using a credit card to pay for your day to day shopping is a safer way to manage your money. I prefer to use a credit card for all my purchases, because the money is protected if anything goes wrong. You are more likely to receive your money back sooner than if you pay with a debit card or cash.
When I first applied for a credit card, I did not look into the types of cards available to me. Years later I realised that different types of credit cards give you different benefits. For example, some give you cash back, then there others that give you points. Using a card that gives you cash back or points is a really easy way to save money. The points or cash back you earn can be used to buy items without you spending any more of your own money.
A number of stores and supermarkets also offer cards which give you points every time you shop in one of their stores. For example, I have the Sainsburys nectar card which gives me points every time I shop or refuel at their petrol stations. Within months, my points add up and when I have £50 or more, I use them to buy household items or presents for the kids.
Tesco also run their own points system and so do many other supermarkets. Supermarket credit cards and points cards, which give cashback or points, are worth considering. Just remember to pay off the monthly expenditure in full so that you do not end up paying interest on your purchases.
Tip 4: Cashback Comparison Sites
One of the best ways to save money is using apps and money saving websites for cashback offers. I normally use Quidco to compare prices for items such as annual utility plans, travel insurance and appliances. I also visit main service providers’ sites to see which ones will give me the best offer. Using Quidco in the last 18 months has given me a cashback of £88.
Quidco have hundreds of practical everyday stores to shop from. The savings can be tremendous if you are expecting to make a big purchase soon, such as, switching your gas and electric supplier, replacing an old fridge or a digital gadget.
In addition to cashback from making a purchases, using my referral link will earn you an additional one off bonus amount when you sign up and use their site to make purchases. If interested, please click on my Quidco Referral link to sign up to earn your initial bonus.
Tip 5: Buy During a Sale to Save Money
My final frugal living to save money tip is to buy during a sale. However, before you buy an item, ask yourself if you really need it. Can you do without it for another 12 months? If the answer is ‘I really need it and I cannot do without it for another twelve months’, then scout online websites for sales.
Related Article: Can a Minimalist Lifestyle Help with Becoming Debt Free?
Right now is the right time to compare the prices of high-ticket items that you really need. These can be appliances, mattresses, digital gadgets etc. Due to the loss of sales during the corona virus pandemic lockdown, retailers want to recover as much income as possible in the next few months. Therefore, check the price of your high-ticket items and keep an eye out. At some point, it will go on sale. For all other items, put them on a back burner until you are happy that you have sailed through the recession. You may also benefit from saving all your points from your cards and use them to pay towards a high-ticket item.
Related Article: 6 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money
Reminder: Sign up to Quidco to earn cashback on your necessary purchases. You can earn an initial signing up bonus using my link: Quidco Referral link.
Save Money while Saving the Planet
If you want to receive last minutes offers and deals that I come across, please join our Save with Smart Money Green Planet Facebook Group. It is a brand new group to help you save money whilst on your journey to natural and eco-friendly living. I will be posting deals as soon as they become available on Amazon and other affiliate sites.
*Prices and information correct at time of post publication. For further details please read through Quidco’s terms and conditions.