For some, frugal might have a negative connotation but the idea behind it is spot on if you are looking to save money. Frugal tips, including learning how to reduce prescription costs, getting the best and least expensive auto policy by researching car insurance quotes, and choosing low-cost experiences, will allow you to live frugally without making you look cheap.
With so much pressure to conform, average Americans are often faced with making purchases for the sake of appearances as opposed to what is actually good for them and their finances. Socializing often means spending more money and the need to get away due to stress can rack up high credit card bills. Luckily, there are ways to live frugally and still satisfy those needs.
Shop for New Insurance
Home, auto, motorcycle, renter’s…. companies are always competing for your business, so why not gather car insurance quotes to be certain you have the best policy at the best price?
Get Rid of Monthly Subscriptions
Companies know that if they can get a small piece of your income pie every month, you’re more likely to continue with their service and also likely to forget you even have it. Make a plan in the new year to review all of your monthly subscriptions (these might be services like Netflix, boxes, car wash, Kindle, food delivery, etc.) and be real about which ones you can eliminate.
Buy New to You Items
When you’re trying to save money but you still want luxurious, name brand items, it can be hard to say no to those extravagant online purchases. Instead, peruse consignment shops and thrift stores for items that are new to you and gently used. This is true also of cars. If there’s a car you love, don’t buy the newest model off the floor. Choose one that is a couple of years old, you’ll save tons of money on the slightly older model.
Get Your Friends Involved
If your friends love going out and spending lots of money on a regular basis, they might all be in the same position you are but don’t speak up. Talk to them about alternating going to the usual joints with opting for free or low-cost entertainment. Barter with each other for free child care, borrowing tools, and carpooling to reduce individual costs.
Ask Yourself: Is this a Status Symbol?
Status symbols can be defined differently by different people. Generally, the commonalities within their circle of friends and lifestyle they live in equates to having high status. Status symbols might be: a sports car, a boat, a Rolex watch, a big diamond ring, a house that is too big for the family, even a purebred pet. Stop and ask yourself if you’re making the purchase to keep up with the Joneses, if this particular (and expensive item) is something you really need – and if you can be happy with a less expensive alternative.
What Can You Do Yourself?
Everyone has varying amounts of time throughout the day depending on their responsibilities. However, there are bound to be things you can do yourself instead of paying someone to do them – if you have the time, of course. Instead of going to the expensive car wash down the road, consider doing it yourself. Can you iron your own dress shirts? Make your own gourmet meals (with help from YouTube)? And fix your own washing machine? Chances are high that you’re paying money for things that are well within your wheelhouse.
Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs
Long gone are the days of clipping coupons and handing over a pile of them when you checkout. Even stores like Target, WalMart and Starbucks have gone digital. You can obtain rewards by signing up digitally and utilizing their offers by scanning your phone or putting in your phone number at the checkout. You won’t look cheap and you’ll feel super smart.
Presentation is Everything
When you are presenting someone with a gift, regardless of what is in the box or bag, pretty it up with curly ribbons and bows, festive tissue paper and bright colors. They will be so dazzled with the presentation that whatever is inside waiting for them will be secondary.
For couples getting married, you can save money by purchasing a small yet elegantly decorated wedding cake for the guests to look at and serve an equally delicious sheet cake from behind the scenes.
Stop being afraid of looking cheap! When you cut back on frills and are realistic about your intentions, you’ll be saving more money than ever before.
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