Saving money isn’t that hard when you take a frugal approach to it. I know that the words “saving” and “frugal” don’t bring the happiest thoughts to your mind. And that is the number one reason you aren’t able to save any money. You have the wrong attitude. It is surprising how easy it is to change your attitude. When you succeed at saving money, you are helping yourself. Keep you goals at the top of your priorities. When you have a budget and live frugally, you don’t have less, you have more. It is all about having more money. Not less.
I know that personally, my biggest challenge is wanting more. It is something that is hard to fight. We are saturated by advertising. We see new and more expensive things all around us. Many of us struggle with issues surrounding shopping and acquiring. I have the fear of being without something I need, so I buy everything I might use someday. I have to constantly remind myself that if I don’t buy it now, I will have the money to buy it later. It is in the attitude. You can change it.
One of the easiest ways to start saving is to cut down how much you have to buy. You can stretch things out a bit. Use less cleaning supplies and soaps by diluting them with water. Save scraps and reuse old clothing as rags. Look at the uses of things that might be considered trash. If you can avoid a shopping trip by reusing something once, you are saving.
I have found that being frugal has a great side effect. You can lose weight. Start by only drinking water and milk. Cut out the sodas. Save juice for breakfast. Don’t make the sugary drinks. None of it is good for you anyway. Drink water. Cut the calories and feel healthier.
You can also cut out a lot of money, and calories, by only buying healthy foods. These are often cheaper than the prepackaged convenience foods. Instead of frozen pizza treats, have a salad or turkey sandwich. Eat fresh veggies and fruits instead of chips. Shop on sale. Don’t eat as much each meal so that it goes further for your family.
If you have the money to stockpile on sales items that you will use, then by all means, shop up. Buy enough to last you until the next sale. But don’t get carried away. Only buy items that you will absolutely use. Canned and frozen veggies, flour, sugar, tomato sauce — look for the items that are staples of your diet. In fact, if you can only buy sale items when you shop, you’ll be doing pretty good.
When you stock up your pantry and have plenty to eat, it is easy to focus on other matters. You don’t have to worry about finding the money for food. The food is already there. When you can make something yourself, make it. You can often save money by simply putting a little time into it. And it is often quite satisfying.
And my number one way to save money — pay off those debts. Take every penny you are saving and put it towards getting rid of that debt and building an emergency fund. Don’t buy things you can’t afford and don’t need. Ask yourself what is more important to you — having some item or living a stress-free financial life? Having the money you need when you need it is more important than having some gadget sitting around collecting dust.