25 Jul 2019

I wouldn't say I am living a particularly frugal lifestyle and to be perfectly honest, I wasn't even entirely sure how to start. However, after a couple of hours research and reading about other people's experiences, I realised that, for me, frugal living wouldn't just be beneficial but necessary.

Gardening means growing food

Having just moved out and starting life as a young, independent adult, I quickly realised that it's not quite as easy as I thought. So, what better reason to kickstart a frugal lifestyle for myself?

Frugal living is the result of many small changes over a period of time. It doesn't have to be one big step but more of a process which, in the end, leads to much less stress in your life and much more money in your pocket (and let's be honest, who couldn't use some extra cash?). My main worry was how to get started. Frugal living seemed great but I felt like I had already hit a wall. So, after a bit more research, here are my first few tips that I thought were a good place to start.

Create a budget that works for your lifestyle. It doesn't need to be complicated but a simple plan makes it much easier and gives you a guideline to follow, as well as an understanding of how much money you are spending and how much you are saving. I would recommend including some money for fun activities when possible so you can still afford to go out with friends or do other spontaneous activities that may cost money (frugal living doesn't mean you are sacrificing things you want to do, instead it is giving you the financial freedom to actually do them).

Save an Emergency Fund. Do you have enough money set aside if your car breaks down or you need to get something fixed? Just setting aside money for things that will need sorting straight away is a good idea.

Plan your meals. This not only saves you money but saves you time too. Remember to look at what you already have in your cupboards and freezer to start off.

Buy used where possible. If you need something, then it is almost certain someone before you has needed it too. Buying second hand isn't just cheaper, it is better for the environment. Furthermore, if you are needing it just the once or not on a regular bases, see if you can borrow it first. For example, a dress for a formal event can always be borrowed from a friend who already has one and wouldn't mind lending it to you.

Switch to homemade cleaners. Cleaning products can be expensive and cost you more money than necessary so why not make your own? A quick search on the internet will give you numerous recipes for you to try.

Get to know your local library. Not only will it give you plenty of free entertainment from all the books on offer, some even offer free internet and computer access.

Take up some frugal hobbies like gardening or jam making. Not only do these hobbies not strain your bank account but they also help your frugal lifestyle. Even other hobbies like walking, writing or blogging doesn't cost you any extra.

Frugal means different things to everyone so there is no right or wrong answer. Do what works for you and focus on the long term rewards and benefits. Frugal living is something that I'm definitely starting now and I hope this has helped you start, too, as it is something that will benefit anyone willing to give it a go.

Katia.

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