Living a frugal lifestyle is not something that just happens overnight. But over time you can make lots of little changes that will all add up to more money in your bank account. Here are some my top tips for living a frugal life, let me know your tips in the comments.
Get your finances in order
- Start Investing and not just Saving – Using a “savings” account to save money over the long term isn’t very smart. You actually end up losing money due to inflation and the low interest rates. You’re better off investing. There are lots of different ways to start investing and the good news is you can start with as little as $10.
- Setup an Emergency Fund – An Emergency fund will help you in the future when unexpected expenses come up. Setting up an emergency fund is simple and is something all young people should do.
- Set yourself saving goals – It’s hard to be frugal if you’re not working towards a bigger goal. My partner and I recently decided to buy a house together. So we have a goal of saving the deposit. This energised my saving efforts. Come up with a bigger goal that you want to work towards and record your progress over time.
- Pay off your debts – Before you start investing or savings, it’s often smartest to pay down or pay off completely your debts. It’s easy to put them to one side and forget they exist, but you’ll be much happier if you actively try and work on any debt.
- Stop gambling – Gambling in Australia is a huge problem for many young people. In the long run, you’re never going to make a profit gambling. There are services available to help you stop gambling – even if you don’t think it’s a problem. If you want to gamble, do it on something like Bitcoin where at least you have a chance of making money in the long term.
Get Cashback on your Shopping
Did you know you can earn cashback every time you shop!
- Save money on Travel with Shopback – You can get cashback when you book hotels and even flights with an app like Shopback. You should like you usually would, but you earn a little bit of money on the side when you make a purchase. There really is no reason not to!
- Get cashback straight into your investment account – You can also earn cashback using investing app Raiz. Instead of getting cash into your bank account like Shopback does, the money gets deposited into your Raiz investment account. This way you’re much less likely to spend it and you’ll be investing in your future at the same time.
Declutter your home
You can make money by selling your old stuff online. A clean and orderly space can also make you less likely to fill it with things you don’t really need.
- Sell your unwanted stuff online – you can sell furniture, old electronics, clothes and more online. In Australia Gumtree works really well and you can also sell on eBay. Some people even make a full-time living flipping second hand goods. You’re house/room is probably filled with more value than you think.
Review your Entertainment
There is no point in being miserable and having a bit more money. We all need entertainment and we shouldn’t feel guilty about going to the movies or having a night out. But there are some things you can do to reduce your spending in this area
- Check your PayTV subscriptions – if you’re paying for Foxtel or another paytv service, check to see if you can get similar channels through your ISP which is often cheaper. You can also pull the plug completely and move to just Netflix or Stan. And if you already subscribe to a number of online streaming services, have a think about whether or not you really use them, or whether you could cancel and just buy the box-sets of the shows you keep rewatching 😉
- Track your “Night Out” spending – Figure out how much you spend on an average night out, and ask yourself if it’s really worth it. Come up with a number that works for you and just have it in the back of your head the next time you go out.
Reduce your Food Expenses
There’s a misconception that healthy cooking requires you to spend lots of money. But the reality is you just need to learn how to cook the right dishes.
- Have Meat Free Days – Meat is usually the number one expense in a shopping basket. Add a couple of meat free days to your week. This doesn’t mean buying expensive “meat alternatives”. Just cook something as simple as pasta with a fresh tomato sauce. Filling and good for you!
- Make use of leftovers – Leftovers are a great way to save money. Especially if you buy lunch at work. Just cook a little extra the night before. Get out of the habit of throwing away food. Even if it’s a little bit – you can combine a couple of leftovers into a lunch or another dinner. And be creative – for example a beef chilli could also be a jacket potato or nacho topping. Two meals in one!
- Have a pantry day – Go through your pantry and try and come up with a meal using just these ingredients. This will help you cut down on food waste and get the most out of each shop.
- Learn some budget meals – Healthy cooking doesn’t need to be expensive! Make use of items like frozen veggies, tinned chickpeas and beans and pulses like lentils. These ingredients are super cheap but also important for your diet.
- Skip UberEats and Deliveroo – these service, albeit convenient are super expensive. Take out in general is so much more expensive than cooking at home. Keep a couple of “ready meals” in your freezer or fridge for times when you don’t want to cook.
Add Extra Income
The easiest way to save more money is to add extra income. That’s easier said than done – but there are a number of side-hustles you can do to boost it by a bit:
- Complete online surveys – It’s a pretty boring way to earn money, but it does work. You can make money completing surveys on a site like Swagbucks. It won’t make you rich but you can make $100 a month.
- Start your own blog – blogging is a great make money online. It can be difficult to get going, but once you find your niche you can make hundreds of dollars a month (pro bloggers make thousands a month, but they treat it like a full time job)
- Sell your skills on Fiverr – Fiverr is a marketplace for services. Thinks like designing a logo, transcribing audio, or drawing a caricature. If you’ve got some skills, you can sell them!