Most of us could use a little more money. And most of us also think we have to make more to have more. But guess what? Having more money in your pocket doesn’t necessarily mean making more — it can also mean spending less. Doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but living frugally doesn’t have to be complicated or boring. Take a look at these frugal living hacks to help you live with more financial freedom.
1. Buy Generic
This is especially helpful if you’re not one of those people who’s going to take the time to clip coupons. You will usually save more than using a coupon on a brand name item. We basically default to store brands or generic items all the time, and have found little to no difference.
2. Increase Insurance Deductibles
You can save significant money on your insurance premiums by increasing your deductibles for homeowners and auto insurance. If you do this, make sure you have enough money saved to pay those higher deductibles if the unexpected happens.
3. Don’t Purchase “Dry Clean Only”
If you can help it, avoid buying clothes that need to be dry cleaned. Sure, it’s only a few bucks here and there but it adds up over time.
4. Plan Meals
Instead of running to the store every day and likely buying unnecessary items, plan your meals a week in advance and buy everything you’ll need in one trip. You’ll definitely save money that way.
When you’re trying to save money, you probably don’t need all kinds of sale emails in your inbox every day. Who needs the temptation when you’re on a mission to spend less? Restaurants, shoe stores, craft stores…they’re all jus too tempting!
6. Declutter & Sell Stuff
Instead of donating everything, think about what you can get some value out of when you declutter your home. You could make hundreds of dollars just unloading stuff you never use anyway.
7. Use Cash
According to studies and many financial experts, if you use cash for all your non-fixed expenses (like clothing and groceries), you’ll spend less. It’s just harder to hand over the cash than swipe that card.
8. Cancel Your Gym Membership
These are notorious for being underused! If you don’t go that much, cancel the membership. If you must keep the membership, then make sure you’re getting the best deal you can.
9. Negotiate Your Cell Plan
Believe it or not, if you go into the nearest store or service center, you might be able to renegotiate your cell phone bill to take advantage of current specials or decide where you can cut back. Don’t upgrade just because you can, and take advantage of pay-as-you-go plans if possible.
10. Do a No Spending Challenge
See if you can go a full 30 days with spending any money on stuff other than bills and meeting financial commitments. No eating out, no new shoes, no movies. It’s only a month!