Wednesday, March 30, 2011

5 things you need to do to start living frugally

There are lots of things that you can do to begin your journey to frugal living... But here are the 5 that i recommend :)

#1- Make a budget
This is so hard to do yet SO important. The reason its hard to make a budget is because no one wants to take a HARD look at how much they ACTUALLY spend every month. It's hard to look through your checkbook and add things up because it makes you aware of your bad habits. *SIGH*--we allll have them. But this is the FIRST step to living frugally. you can't save money or give things up if you don't know where to start!

#2- Clip coupons
It sounds simple. I know I thought it was. And one day it WILL be... it took about a week to get the hang of it. This is so vital if you want to save money and live frugally! You have to be able to clip coupons and take the time to look through ads, search for deals online... it's all part of the living frugal process. If you need help, i'm here to help! :) But this is HUGE

#3- Go to the LIBRARY
Every town(I assume EVERY) is equipped with a great little building called the library. I live in a town of around 50,000 people which is huge to me and probably small to you, but ours is GREAT! You can check out laptops, Ipods, movies, books, PS3 games... the list goes on. My daughter and I spent about 5 hours there last week. She enjoys the toys, books and movies to check out of course, the free movies they play on the big screen, the people, the atmosphere, and she enjoys helping me pick out magazines to read while she plays. This is a GREAT way to keep your kids actively reading! It's also a great way to avoid the movie store or redbox but still come home with a movie. And heck, you probably will come home with 10 movies that were FREE! (Just remember to take them back...). I don't buy magazines anymore. I got to cancel my subscriptions  because the library has EVERY magazine and then some right there for me to read.

#4- Get rid of it
Yes, I said those words. GET RID OF IT! How many times do you sit on your couch, or chair and look around and think "oh my gosh--look at all this stuff!" ??? I'm betting you do that a lot. You sit down at your coffee table and wonder why you have 13 decorative items on it..why you decided to save all your old magazines and use them as displays?? Yep-I stepped on your toes b/c you know EXACTLY what I mean. Hey-i'm just as guilty. Thats a work in progress for me. (Read more about living minimally HERE, HERE and HERE) Sell items on ebay, have a yard sale, give items to charity and get a tax receipt before you leave! Have your kids help. I have my daughter pick out 3 things usually on a monthly basis that she wants to get rid of. She's gotten to where she will come to me BEFORE it's time to de-clutter her room and say "I don't play with this... this can go in the pile." :) Why are you hanging onto certain things? I know my super GUILTY clutter habit is this... I don't get rid of handwritten notes from family or close friends. One summer years ago I did that to help de-clutter my teenage mess of a room, and then 3 weeks later my best friend was killed... I only had saved like 3 handwritten notes of hers which I still carry around with me in my car TODAY. How I WISH I hadn't gotten rid of those... I say that to say its OK if you have certain things you keep--you just can't keep it all! (Unless you want to be on HOARDERS)

This is not super easy til you get the hang of it--but you WILL get the hang of it :)
By planning meals ahead you will save money and time at the grocery store. I try to plan 3 weeks out which means that when I go to the store I am working on a 3 week basis. I may spend more time up front planning my grocery trip and couponing, but in the long run I have saved SOOOO much time.
Plan your outfits ahead. My friends laugh at me for doing this but it keeps my mornings from being insane! I lay out my clothes and my daughters clothes the night before and I even now sorta have the husband on board. He does it sometimes. :) This eliminates mornings of throwing clothes all across the room b/c nothing looks right or you can't find your shoes--plan ahead!
Think about Christmas in February! START shopping then! Winter items are on sale at this time so stock up for next year. Write out a list of who all you have to buy early!! PLAN AHEAD!
Plan ahead for those "Suprises" that sneak up on us. Oil changes-set money aside for those. Friends birthdays-set money aside. Know you will need a sitter over summer?-start saving for it before Christmas! Every time you earn a little extra money from selling on ebay, or having a yard sale, or have a great bonus at work--set it aside. EVERY DOLLAR YOU HAVE SHOULD HAVE A NAME ON IT! You should know where everything is going before it gets there.

There ya go. Not rocket science but it sure took me a while to get the hang of it. :) I hope this is helpful. Feel free to comment and add to it :)

No comments:

Post a Comment