Living frugally isn’t as easy as what others might think.
But it’s certainly achievable and most frugal people find happiness in this kind of lifestyle.
Living frugally because you want to is a lifestyle choice many of us can adapt to. I was forced into becoming frugal, having lived on a mere $50 a week for 4 years. Basically we were struggling because of circumstances and I certainly don’t want to be in that same spot again.
Money is difficult to come by and extremely easy to throw away. I know! Before being forced into Frugality I may have splurged on some unnecessary items. But come on, we’ve all had mum moments when we’ve made it rain in Kmart.
So, today I’m sharing with you 30 things frugal people DON’T do!
It doesn’t necessarily mean going without – it’s about prioritising and we can all do that if we try.
1. We don’t turn down FREE offers
Whether it’s a friend offering you a meal treat or anyone for that matter, just accept it! Offers are FREE unless of course there’s strings attached (if you know what I mean (winky face)). Frugal people don’t let free items pass them by. Instead they grab these opportunities..because they’re genuinely free!
2. We don’t ignore sales
Who doesn’t love “sales” and “discounts”, right? And with that, frugal people always have their eyes on items with great deals. This means you can usually get what you’re after at a fraction of the cost. This way you’ll get to spend the money you saved on other things you need.
3. We don’t use coupons just because we have them.
Regardless of whether or not they have coupons, frugal people don’t necessarily use it to buy items they don’t need. Frugal people ONLY BUY what they NEED. Know that coupons are a marketing tactic and these exist because it can get you to buy products where you can save more money. It’s usually only a rare occasion that frugal people will be able to use their coupons to purchase items that they’re going to use.
4. We don’t ditch items we could sell
If you’re wanting to change to living a frugal lifestyle, you might want to consider selling your pre-loved items. Before throwing out items such as TV, old couch, clothing etc., always try to sell it on Craigslist or at a yard sale. One mans trash is another mans treasure.
5. We don’t buy the newest or latest
We’re so guilty of believing in this saying, “out with the old, in with the new” most especially when it comes to material items and gadgets. Here’s what I mean. Whether it’s smartphones, laptops or any other of the “newest and latest” in technology, fashion etc., the prices of these things will eventually drop usually just a few weeks or months following it’s public availability . So, guard your savings for now and witness more price drop and reap the benefits afterwards.
6. We don’t pay for expensive coffee and meals
As busy as we can be, we’re always in a rush to prepare ourselves to go to work and do our everyday routine. Quite often we just drop by at the nearest coffee shop or cafe to grab our meals. But think of this, what we can eat and drink from these places is just the same as what we can prepare from our house, right? It’s just that they have prices!
So instead, just make the coffee and meals yourself. It saves you time and money. And to be honest, it’s a bit too much for frugal people to splurge money every single day for meals and drinks.
7. We don’t skip and pay for due or late fees
Frugal people always pay their fees in advance of their payments’ due date. Because when you skip a payment, especially on credit cards, you don’t only pay for the late fee but you also pay for the interest. Hence, I always make sure that I pay my dues more than its minimum payment and that I can get out and keep from adding any to my debts.
8. We don’t spend paychecks without putting some away ready for rainy days
Almost ALL frugal people make sure that they get to put money into their savings after receiving their paychecks. And most of us, I guess have practiced the 50/20/30 rule:
- 50% for fixed expenses (mortgage, insurance, food, living expenses)
- 20% for savings and financial goals
- 30% for wants or fun like entertainment, hobbies, clothings, items, etc.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to strictly follow this rule because we have different budgeting minds and spending habits. If frugal people can save at least a percentage from their paycheck, why can’t you?
9. We don’t buy in to brand names
Branded items, clothing or whatever, serves no purpose to frugal people Unless of course the quality of the brand name product is better than the quality of the generic product. And let’s ditch this kind of thinking that we have to buy branded items to make impressions. Other’s opinion’s are irrelevant and certainly don’t pay your damn bills. It’s a NO-NO to frugal people.
10. We don’t waste items or food
Frugal people are known for being notorious about not wasting anything – from food to items. As much as possible, they squeeze the very last of the toothpaste, ketchup and beauty products from its tubes. We freeze leftovers to save cooking for the next few days and re-purpose unused items into functional items. We are legends at making more soap from those tiny little pieces everyone leaves in the shower.
11. We don’t pass up the chance to make negotiations
For the frugals, every price of the items they will likely purchase is up for negotiation. I always feel amazed when I go out with my friends for bazaar shopping or purchasing items in yard sales. They’re really good at haggling and paying for the full price is almost never required. Bring in the barter I say and bargain up your purchases.
12. We don’t skip clearance sales
Clearance sales in stores rings a bell to frugal people. That is why, when there’s a clearance sale, frugal people always find great items at clearance prices. This is also true for grocery stores as well. Plus, it’s a bonus if you are able to find clearance items in coupon programs because this is where frugal people can really save big bucks. It feels exactly like paying for one bag of chips in the vending machine and 2 fall down. Bingo!
13. We don’t shop at the last minute
It’s a no-no for a frugal person to shop last minute, whether or not they need items for the upcoming holidays or enjoying a vacation. It’s because most of the items and food products are on sale during holidays. That way frugal people aren’t forced to shop when the items they’re after are at their most expensive. We make a list in advanced for just the things we need to buy.
14. We don’t get worked up too much and ignore our health and sanity
Frugal people never ever sacrifice their health or welfare of themselves or their family just to save money. That is why, they don’t overwork because it would affect their health and ignoring that can lead to large medical bills. Hence, they opt to undergo regular check-ups and save big money. My body is a god damn temple.
15. We don’t spend lots of money just to be entertained
We all have different plans when it comes to entertaining ourselves. Some of us would go on a vacation, others would hang out with friends. But for frugal individuals, they’d rather enjoy free events instead of splurging money on concerts, shows and any other leisure activity. Frugal people always find enjoyable ways to lighten their mood and have fun.
16. We don’t spoil children with material items
A frugal family will likely have raised frugal children that know the value of every dollar. Rather than spending the money on expensive toys, gadgets, clothes and other items, a frugal parent will likely spend on craft supplies and books that add valuable learning and can hone special skills to their children.
I’ve known some parents that teach their kids to earn money for items they’d really want. They’ve established a reward system in their family. And most of these children have developed their business-mindedness that during summer or holidays, they’d put up their own small business and earn their own money.
17. We don’t purchase pre-cooked and microwavable foods
When I visited a friend’s house because she invited some of us to hang around, we decided to cook some meals. I noticed that most of the items in the fridge were not pre-cooked or microwavable. Instead everything is fresh from the market. Though there are leftovers, my frugal friend enjoys preparing her own food. I asked her why and she just said that she’s enjoying cooking her own food rather than spending on expensive pre-cooked foods. She even showed me her meal prep containers! Admirable indeed!
18. We don’t let products go bad
Frugal individuals enjoy fresh and organic products. They don’t let anything in the fridge or in the cupboard go bad. And to be honest, we are all so guilty when it comes to this! This time last year I threw out a tin of peaches that had expired in 1994… no judgement.
19. We don’t waste leftovers
Frugal people are so good when it comes to meal hacks. My friend experiments a lot in her kitchen and I must say that she really can cook. Even if it’s the same meal for the next few days, employing some meal strategy can help you from spending more on food items not on your grocery list.
20. We don’t over utilise electricity, heating and ACs
When it comes to energy savings, frugal people don’t over utilise their consumption of energy and ACs. They are diligent in saving energy usage like turning ACs and lights off when not in use and if it’s a little chilly, they’d put on sweaters instead of turning on the heat. They use natural light to brighten areas within their home and usually solar panels are a must on their homes.
21. We don’t max out our credit cards
What is more admirable for frugal people is that even if they have credit cards, they don’t have this thought of “I’ll pay for it later.” With credit cards, we can easily get the items we purchase even if we are low on cash. But for frugal people they always consider that it’s not necessary to buy items in a rush and where possible always have extra money if needed to buy it.
Just remember don’t go snowballing on all of your payments! Credit card debt is a bitch and the interest alone will kill you.
22. We don’t pass up a side-hustle
Frugal people know the value of having a side-hustle. Whether it’s blogging, dog walking, baby-sitting, etc., they don’t shy away from it especially when these things can give them extra income so long as it doesn’t interfere with their regular job. Every day I’m hustlin.
23. We don’t put off investing
When you don’t have investments, it can certainly put you in a rough financial situation in your later years. In fact, some older people are still working when they could have already started enjoying their retirement. Now is the time to invest in something that can benefit your future. A business that provides you with a passive income for example. Frugal people love setting aside money for their future.
24. We don’t feel guilty for being thrifty gift givers
Frugal individuals don’t easily feel guilty for being the re-gift expert or the handmade present giver. Frugal people tend to only buy gifts if they’re extremely representative of the person receiving it. Gifts are often handmade and usually very sentimental as opposed to extremely expensive. They don’t try to overcompensate by giving out elaborate gifts just to make impressions. To a frugal person it’s always the thought that counts.
25. We don’t pay someone else to do things that we can do.
If it’s something that can be done yourself a frugal person will choose to do it rather than pay someone? They would rather save their dollars than pay another person to mow their lawn, paint their house or do their gardening. Trust me, it is something that everyone will enjoy! And if not, suck it up princess you’ll thank yourself later.
26. We don’t have enormous bills
I must say that at this stage, I have bills to pay; mortgages, insurance, household, phone plans, etc. and gladly I don’t have problems paying them as I do so in advance. But having such hefty bills is very, very stressful. So my advice would be to check your bills and make sure everything makes sense from a financial standpoint. Cut off those that aren’t necessary like pay TV for example. Remember, if you can’t afford to make a payment, you really can’t afford the late fee either. Eliminate the unnecessary and chill out on ongoing costs even if that means you don’t have Netflix. You can always use your mate’s profile if it’s a must (winky face).
27. We don’t have a lot of wants
Living the frugal life makes you realise choosing needs over your wants is more important. Frugal people learn to prioritise what is needed and be content with what they have. Just because you desire it certainly doesn’t mean you need it. This includes those hot red heels you saw; unless of course they look sensational on which in that case you could possibly make an exception.
28. We don’t impulse buy based on emotions.
Remember that our emotions influence our buying behaviour and it’s a huge factor in just about everything we purchase. Frugal people always keep their emotions in check. How? They always ask themselves if they truly need the item before putting it in their shopping list. Don’t catch feels for the french champagne it will cost you a small fortune.
29. We don’t overcompensate
As aforementioned, frugal people never ever try to overcompensate just to impress. It’s just no longer in our nature. We aren’t here to be labelled or deemed a certain type of person based on the clothes we wear. We aren’t into social status’s or trying to make people think we are ‘rich’. We’re not into comparing either and neither should you. Our cars aren’t representations of parts of our anatomy that are unremarkable that’s for sure. Remember; being lowkey, practical and simple is one of the secrets to living the frugal life.
30. We don’t believe that quality time should be expensive
Quality time isn’t necessarily an expensive experience. Frugal people find ways to enjoy leisure activities at a low cost or even for free! Frugal people will come up with ways that are inexpensive and are more about bonding with their kids, family and friends.
By keeping these things in mind, you can definitely give frugal living a go. There are times when frugal people are judged and negatively referred to as “cheapskates”. It will be you who has the last laugh though all the way to the bank. When those who’ve made no plans for their financial futures skip from pay to pay, you’ll be living up your early retirement. Living frugally will help develop a more positive effect on the way you manage your money and plan your finances and in the end you’ll reap the benefits.