Living Frugally: 6 Things Every Beginner Should Know

Living frugally definitely isn’t easy. It can be especially difficult to forego that overpriced cup of coffee or a brand new pair of jeans if you’re a complete beginner at living a frugal lifestyle. As a newbie to living frugally, here are some things you need to learn:

1) Start gradually.

You can’t expect to drastically cut your budget in half and follow it faithfully on your first try. Not only will you feel deprived, but your family will feel the pinch, too. It takes a bit of practice to adopt a simpler, more frugal lifestyle. Take baby steps and gradually redirect your resources to better align with your goals.

2) Embrace your goals.

Yes, saving money is one of your goals—but you may find it more motivating to have a specific reason for your saving. Are you aiming for an earlier retirement? Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to pay off your mortgage? It will be easier for you to make frugal choices if you keep your eyes on your goals.

3) Be on the same page as your loved ones.

Don’t be the only one in the family making frugal choices. Your spouse and children need to be just as committed to making lifestyle changes if you truly want to improve your financial situation. Set common goals and discuss the sacrifices and changes each family member will need to make. Encourage each other when the going gets tough.

4) Make selective sacrifices.

Keep in mind that you’re just starting out and that you shouldn’t deprive yourself of some luxuries. If you’ve been having home-cooked meals all week, then why not treat your family to a nice lunch this weekend? Don’t be afraid to splurge and indulge from time to time.

5) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Remember that as you venture into living frugally, you will have good days and you will have bad days. Don’t be disheartened by the occasional slip-up. Understand that mistakes are part of the learning process. With practice, making frugal choices will soon become second nature to you.

6) Monitor your progress and reward success.

Monitor your progress on a monthly and annual basis. You’ll feel a wonderful sense of fulfillment after paying off credit card debt and mortgages, and from seeing your account savings grow. Celebrate financial milestones! You deserve it!

Photo Credit: iClipart

 

6 Items You Can Borrow from Family and Friends

Are you committed to living a frugal lifestyle and making smart decisions? One way to be frugal is to refrain from buying certain things when you can opt to borrow them from family and friends instead. Take note—we are talking about items, and not money. Here are some great items you can borrow and lend out to people you trust.

1) Baby items

Before you start buying things for your baby’s nursery, see if your relatives or friends have anything their babies no longer need. See if anyone has a crib, stroller or high chair lying around in storage somewhere and you might save yourself a lot of money.

2) Children’s clothes

Kids grow out of their clothes ridiculously quickly. Borrow clothes from your child’s older cousins—and pass them on to the next child afterwards.

3) Books, video games, DVDs, etc.

Looking for a new book to read or a new game to play on your computer? Trade a good book or a DVD with your friend. You can even lend a Kindle book to another person!

4) Party supplies

If you’re hosting a dinner party, why not borrow your mom’s punch bowl instead of buying a brand new one? Are you throwing a birthday party for your daughter? Your sister or neighbor might just have a Bouncy Castle lying around in storage.

5) Musical instruments

If you or your children want to learn a new musical instrument, then try asking around before purchasing a brand new guitar or drum set. If you don’t want to buy a new piano, then see if your child can practice at her grandmother’s house instead.

6) Seasonal tools and equipment

Do you need to clean your roof and gutters in the fall or clear up the snow in the winter? If you only need such machinery a few times a year, then borrow such equipment from a relative or neighbor—or if you’re purchasing something, ask if they want to split the costs with you.

Make it a point to return what you borrow and to return the item in good, working condition. Also, do your best to lend out your things, too. Borrowing and lending should go both ways!

Photo Credit: iClipart