Top 10 Ways to Live Frugally for Greater Freedom

by Kate on September 23, 2012

in Frugal Living, Save Money, Simple Living

Hating your job this week? Wishing you could quit and do something else? Often we stay stuck in jobs we dislike only because we’ve adjusted our lifestyle accordingly.  If you’re willing to give up a few of the luxuries you may have become accustomed to, you just might be able to quit your job (or at least not feel so stressed if you don’t get a raise this year). Even if you like your job, when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it can be stressful. So I wanted make a list of the ways many of us can save money simply by being willing to give up a few luxuries that we honestly don’t need. Even if you’re not struggling, anytime you’re looking to save money (perhaps for a house, baby, medical bills, etc), ask yourself if you can let some of these go. I’ve chosen to focus on the big ticket items, the ones that will really save you money, but be forewarned that these are also harder for most people to give up:

  1. Downsize Your Home: The average home size in the 1950s was 983 square feet. Today? It’s 2,169 square feet.
    You Save:
    It ranges, but generally downsizing is the quickest way to lower your debt and free up cash.
  2. Ditch Your Car (or Your Family’s Second Car): Planning is definitely required, but you can save a lot if you can pull it off.
    You Save:$200-500 per month in car payments. $100-200 per month in car insurance. $100-200 per month in gas. (And don’t forget maintenance!).
  3. Quit Cable: I’ve written a full article about this, but most of us don’t actually NEED cable, what with Hulu, Netflix instant streaming, and the huge amount of free entertainment online these days.
    You Save: $70 to $200 per month.
  4. Swear Off Mainstream Stores: Shop at garage sales, goodwill, and craigslist instead.
    You Save: Could be thousands. Depends on how much you shop now.
  5. Entertainment is Free at the Library: Books, Movies, TV Series’: it’s all there! No more $14 Friday night movies!
    You Save: Hundreds Per Year.
  6. Make Yourself Beautiful: Instead of paying someone else to do it. Learn to do your own nails, cut your own hair, and use only a few simple beauty products (generally too many products will cause reactions that make you less attractive anyway)
    You Save: Could be Thousands. Supposedly Jennifer Aniston spends over $100K a year on beauty.
  7. Rethink Your Travel: Travel locally to avoid paying for flights and choose to stay in smaller towns outside the area you’d like to be in where hotels will likely be cheaper. Or just opt for a vacation rental, which typically give you better bang for your buck anyway.
    You Save: Thousands Per Year.
  8. Eat the Food You Have: I could go on and on about eating out less and using coupons, but I think where people often really lose money is on the food they waste.  How many times have you said “we have no food in the house” when really, you were just being picky?
    You Save: Hundreds Per Year.
  9. Stow Away Your Credit Cards: Switch to a cash only system. It’s much easier to see where your money is going when you use cash. If you’re really dedicated, then create envelopes for each budgeted expense for the week (ie: a grocery envelope, a rent envelope, etc).
    You Save: Most Likely Thousands Per Year, if it works for you.
  10. DO Buy Things That Help You Save: If buying a new slow cooker will inspire you to cook at home more often, or a keeping the cable will keep your husband from wanting to go out so often, then those are personal decisions worth weighing.
    You Save: Varies


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*In the spirit of full disclosure, links to products in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you decide to purchase any of the products I recommend. Know that I only recommend products that I have used and love myself.

*I am not a doctor, a nurse, or any kind of health practitioner. I’m just a gal with a pretty keen intuitive sense, great research abilities, and curiosity that is easily peaked. Please understand that my advice is really just another opinion and it’s for you (and your doctor) to decide the best course for your health and well-being.

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