Control your financial future with these top 6 habits of frugal people
Getting your spending under control isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s a daily struggle! If you’ve ever wondered what makes frugal people so good at being… well… frugal, you’ve come to the right place.
There are a lot of smaller behaviors we can change to increase our financial control. For my husband and me, we conquered our savings goals by setting up our savings account at a separate bank and doing an automatic direct deposit to the account every paycheck (you can’t spend what you don’t have, right?). And it’s no mystery that smaller adjustments, like quitting your Starbucks addiction and packing lunch from home, will go a long way to realizing your financial goals.
But there’s got to be more to it than that, right?
What if there were specific habits you could incorporate into your lifestyle that would almost guarantee you succeed at living a frugal life to the fullest? Creating a habit is like building muscle – the more you do it, the stronger you get.
Here are the top six frugal habits you need in your life now.
Break Free from the Norm
It might be normal to spend $200,000 on your first house or to update your wardrobe every season, but that doesn’t mean you have to! There’s always a cheaper, more frugal route to explore. Breaking free from the norm and learning to be happy with what you have is the building block of a happy, frugal life.
Over time, you’ll automatically ask yourself if there’s a way you can get the item or experience you’re about to spend money on for less, and save money with hardly any effort at all.
Make “No” Your Go-To Response
Frugal people are very good at saying no, though you can bet they didn’t start that way. Learning to let go of instant gratification is tough, but frugal people work hard to master the art of discipline.
Behind every frugal person is someone who was hurt by a bad financial decision who knows that saying “no” now will benefit them in the long term. It’s as simple as checking to see if something is in the budget and, if it isn’t, the answer is a solid “NO.”
Learn from Your Mistakes
Everybody makes mistakes. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s completely blown their budget?) The trick is to learn from your financial mistakes and make a better choice next time. Spend too much going out to eat? Next time, make a meal plan and only eat the food you make at home.
Don’t stay stuck or get lost in a pity party when you make a mistake.
Check…. and Check Again
There’s always a better deal, a coupon code, or a way to save or make money when buying something new. Often, a simple Google search like “Walgreens coupon code” will save as much as 40%. It also pays to shop through affiliate portals like Ebates and earn cash back on your purchases.
Another great way to make sure you’re getting the best price is to know the prices of things you buy regularly, whether by memorization or by keeping a list.
Frugal people are very specific about their money. Spend $1.87 on a pack of gum? You can bet they write it down, record it in a budget app, or hang on to the receipt. You have to know where your money is going because, if you don’t, the small things will catch up to you and derail your long-term plans.
Setting up a budget and mapping out your financial goals to create specific and measurable milestones will help you on your path to frugality.
Build Frugal Friendships
It’s often said that you are the average of your five closest friends. That means the trick to maintaining your frugal lifestyle is to find friends who are also frugal and form a tight social circle with them.
When you see other people in your life spend money freely on things like going out to eat and paying high prices for entertainment, it’s harder for you to make frugal decisions. But when your close friends are frugal, money-saving habits become self-reinforcing and your frugal lifestyle becomes second-nature.
Mastering a frugal life might take some practice and there’s no one way that works for everyone. The important thing to remember is: don’t give up! If you learn from your mistakes, you’re sure to reap the rewards of frugality and achieve your financial goals much easier than you would have otherwise.