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Frugality Boot Camp: 5 Training Tips for Thrifty Living

As a child, we all have a tendency to imagine the fabulous life we will live as adults. You probably never thought you’d have to delve into the realm of living on a budget, but real life and adult responsibilities can work together to burst your bubble. Don’t fret if you have to make some humble adjustments and learn tips for thrifty living -- we are all faced with these decisions at some point!  You can survive quite well being thrifty. In fact, you may find yourself having fun with it.

Here are five tips for thrifty living that you can use right away:

 

  1. Switch to VoIP or adjust your phone plan

If you’re one of those people who still uses a landline phone, and your expense is high, you can slash it by taking a VoIP plan. The VoIP plan will allow you to talk to your friends and family members on the phone from anywhere that you have an Internet connection. Some VoIP providers offer plans that are as little as $5 a month. If you exclusively use a mobile phone, it’s probably time to look at your plan and see if there is an opportunity to save. Mobile plans can get quite pricey, and there are usually thriftier options available. Consider a pre-paid plan if saving money is your goal!

  1. Cut back on food expenses -- try the vegetarian lifestyle

Produce is typically much more affordable than meat, and it’s quite delicious, as well. Fruits and vegetables are healthy for you, and you can always create a meal for less than $5. For example, a banana smoothie only needs milk, ice, vanilla extract and the banana. Raw broccoli doesn’t need anything but a tasty dip to enhance the flavor. If you  are looking to save money, you can cut a huge hole in your expenses if you stop eating fast food and expensive restaurant meals and eat most of your meals at home.

  1. Buy used whenever possible

Part of converting to the frugal lifestyle is accepting that you don’t have to wear designer clothing or buy expensive items for your home. It’s time to go back to the basics. Think of clothing as a need, and not a want. Start frequenting thrift shops, Goodwill locations, yard sales, flea markets, and the like. You’d be surprised at the number of well-conditioned and like-new items you will find there. When you find a bargain, it can be quite a thrill, and most of the time, nobody but you will ever know that your purchase wasn’t new!

  1. Learn to Do DIY Auto Repairs

Your car is a big expense that you can learn to cut down on. Learn to save money on routine maintenance or small repairs by taking “tutorials” online and then performing them on your own. Technology is so advanced nowadays that becoming a DIY expert is easier than ever before. YouTube is full of videos that kind people post so that people just like you can learn how to do car repairs themselves. We’re not saying that you should completely abandon your local auto mechanic, however, we are saying that frugal times call for frugal measures. You can search for the parts that you need at an auto parts store, local junkyard or even online  If you have to go to an official auto parts store, you should search for coupons, promotional codes, and online-only discounts that you can use to lessen the blow to your wallet.

  1. Be a Shameless Coupon User

Many people ignore the potential savings of coupons as part of their tips for thrifty living. They either feel embarrassed to use them, or they try to avoid being “that guy” who holds up the line at the grocery store. When it comes to saving money, you can’t worry about annoying someone else. You have to make moves that are best for your situation. Coupons can be found in many different places like the circulars, online coupon pages, and even mobile phone applications. Go for it, and watch the savings pile up.

These are just a few tips for thrifty living to help you get your feet wet. Try them for 30 days, and keep track of your expenses. You should begin to see a slight difference in your budget, and you may even have some extra cash at the end of the week. Additional tips will surface over time, and you’ll start thinking of new, creative ways to save.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.

 
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