Frugal Living Saves Money and helps to create wealth. Don’t believe that Frugal Living is a Tightwad or Cheap lifestyle. Frugal Living is a lifestyle where any of your spending is done with thought and purpose. All savings are then put to work for us by becoming and then staying debt free and investing our savings. It is a proven method to advance our wealth.
I always say that to retire early you can really jump-start things by embracing frugal living. The goal is to find that sweet spot and live what I call a smart-frugal and balanced life. You only live once and you don’t want to live a life where you are constantly feeling like it is a deprived life.
Determine your frugal living thresholds and live the most financially responsible life you can. Everyone’s frugal living threshold is different.
Some people who have retired in their 30s and 40s live what many consider an extreme frugal lifestyle. While for them it does not feel like they are deprived of anything as they focus on what really makes them happy, many others may cringe at the thought of living their version of frugal living by dumping their car and riding a bike everywhere or moving into a tiny home.
For others their idea of a smart-frugal and balanced lifestyle may be a much scaled down frugal living version from the extreme examples. Yet many others would never consider living that way either.
The goal is to make sustainable cuts from you lifestyle budget because we want to be in this for the long haul. Frugal Living is about creating YOUR lifestyle and being able to escape the rat race is your reward.
How frugal living saves money and creates wealth
By having the ability to create a sustainable and happy frugal living lifestyle means being able to build the nest egg to cover your lifestyle expenses and become financially independent. Financial Independence is another word for Freedom.
On the Leisure Freak, Smart Frugal Balanced Living Tips page I have detailed a number of tips to save money on your essential frugal living expenses which includes:
- Home (shelter)
On this page I want to share some money-saving examples for non-essential frugal living expenses.
Frugal Living Money Saving Tips
Below are some Smart Frugal Living examples that I have successfully used to Save big bucks on non-essential items:
TVs and Appliances–
I had purchased a beautiful top of the line RCA color console TV in 1985 that was a floor model. It had only been on display for a short time and the furniture store had it marked way down. It had a great picture and stereo sound system. Like I said, top of the line in 1985. It was the source of my pride and over the years my friends and family’s mocking.
The TV finally died in 2010 after 25 years of service. It was March and no real sales being advertised anywhere. So I thought I would try it again on a top of the line Flat Screen that was on display. This happened to be an independent Sears store. I looked at the cost of the lower priced, lower optioned, and I think lower quality TVs and asked for the manager. I asked how long the set was on display and asked if they would consider selling it to me.
It just so happened that they were getting ready to display the new TV sets coming out soon and I ended up getting it for less than the cheaper models. After calculating how long it had been displayed, running and the price, it was well worth it.
Also, the early fatality test for new electronics had been passed so there were no worries about that. It cam with a new TV manufacturer warranty which started with my purchase date. My fugal tip, always consider display units or refurbished when buying TVs or Appliances.
Think Online First for Purchases–
Whenever I need buy something I usually price-check and then think about it for a while before pulling the trigger. For instance, I will always look on eBay or Amazon before buying from any store.
I needed a GPS unit for a road trip we were taking to San Antonio Texas. Being that everything in the retail stores were over $100 I went to eBay. I purchased a slightly used Garmin for $24 and $6 shipping. That was 4 years ago and we are still using it for every vacation.
Have you ever shopped online and at the checkout you see a box that says Promotional code? I always hate that when I didn’t first look to see if anywhere on the web there was a promotional code for what I was looking for.
I will open another browser window and start Google up to find that answer. Not long ago I had gone through the process to buy a very specialized automotive part and got to the checkout seeing the promotional box. I Googled my part’s name with “promotional code” and I came to an auto forum discussion where someone mentioned a promotional code for the part I was buying. I plugged it in the promotional box at my checkout and saved $25 just like that.
Don’t buy books, movies or music. Get a library card. You can check-out DVDs and finally watch all those movies that you never had a chance to watch when you were working and its FREE.
Explore different types of music that you haven’t spent time listening to before by checking-out CDs.
Read the classics that you never took the time to read, libraries still actually have books and some support downloading to your electronic reader too.
All the signs that they have on the library windows to encourage kids also apply to adults. Only buy books that you can’t get through the library system.
If you have decided Cable or Satellite TV is now on the chopping block to save money, you can either reduce your channel package or cut it completely out. We find that we watch mostly network TV anyway which is free over the air. If a portable antenna isn’t working to get all the local channels then check out www.antennaweb.org to see what programming is available for your address, the spectrum band (color) it is in and the recommended antenna types to get all the available stations.
You can combine your local viewing with movies from the library, Red Box or the Netflix mail to your home plan. If you have broadband you can also use Netflix or Hulu as examples to your viewing.
Keeping but reducing paid television viewing
If you want to keep your Cable or Satellite TV viewing options wide open then one cost reduction strategy is to change providers as soon as your contract ends. Most providers offer deep discounts to new customers or returning customers for a period of time. Some require you sign a contract. Make sure the discount isn’t lost with any remaining time paying the contract specified full price to finish the contract.
Once the contract ends find the best deal and switch providers again to get the new customer contract deal. When changing providers also take advantage of any new customer discounts, for TV, Cell, bundling discounts, etc.
Speed costs more. Look at what you use your internet for. Gaming and watching HD movies over the internet will need high speeds. Especially if you have multiple users hitting it at the same time in your home. Surfing the web, email, a few You Tube videos or sticking to occasional SD videos and you can get by with a slower 1.5 meg speed for a lower cost.
Final thoughts on how Frugal Living saves money and helps us to create wealth
Frugal Living is a way of looking at our spending and making it a part of our everyday lifestyle. It’s a way of slowing down for just a minute and asking if the purchase is necessary and if it is, could I do better than pay this amount.
It is not about starving ourselves of all pleasure, freezing in the winter, or wearing shabby clothes. It’s about spending with purpose and control within a plan to meet our financial independence goals.
Frugal Living works to help us increase our wealth because it is a sure way for us to generate a high savings rate sufficient enough to create our wealth portfolio. The prize is financial independence and early retirement from having to work another day in our lives.