How to Save Thousands with These Frugal Habits
Most people aren’t taught about finances at home or at school.
Not knowing how to manage money or missing life skills can cost you thousands a year.
With a few tweaks to your regular habits, you can save thousands easily.
I grew up in a frugal family where money was openly discussed and life skills such as cooking, gardening, negotiating, repairing things, everything was taught.
Here are some of the habits that help me the most.
Disclosure, this post may contain affiliate links.
1. Pay Yourself First
Treat saving and investing the same as every other bill. Pay yourself first even if it’s only a small amount to begin with.
If you don’t pay yourself and don’t invest, you’ll be stuck needing the next pay every time.
By paying yourself first, you are saving and working towards your future.
While it might feel hard to pay yourself when the cost of living is rising so sharply, there are ways to do it.
Check out these 5 savings challenges to give you some ideas.
Paying yourself first needs to also include checking what you can salary sacrifice, adding extra to your super to take advantage of the benefits and setting up a way to invest e.g. shares.
2. Compare Instead of Renew
Instead of paying the annual renewal for your insurance, compare prices.
If you pay monthly, set a date each year to check these things.
Renewals are often not the best price you can get.
Companies offer great deals to new customers so it pays to shop around.
While you’re at it, make it a habit to check your electricity, phone and internet plans and all other bills at least annually to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
I currently use RedEnergy (and did when I lived in NSW previously too). They offer a $25 bonus when you switch.
3. Know Your Real Spending
Do you know how much you’re really spending on everything?
Many of us set up a budget but have no idea of our real expenses then get disappointed when we can’t stick to our budget.
Read how to create and stick to a budget for help with budgeting.
Go over your bank statements to see how much you are spending on things.
Keep receipts and track your spending. Seeing where your money goes makes it easier to manage and to resist temptation.
You can also use apps such as ReceiptJar to track your spending and get points for your receipts.
4. Have an Outdoor Lifestyle
I’m constantly shocked at people’s power bills then I see how much they’re at home and it’s no wonder the bills are high.
Running everything 24/7 is expensive.
We have the lowest power bills of anyone we know and a huge part of that is our active, outdoor lifestyle.
Go for a walk, hike, spend time at the playground, local library and events.
We are rarely at home so we aren’t using much power.
Most of our activities are free and within walking distance too.
Find fun, free things to do in your area.
5. Money Meetings
Have regular meetings about your finances.
What are your goals e.g are you saving for a car, a holiday, a house, a medical issue etc.
How well are you going?
Look at your budget and if you’re on track.
Review past expenses and upcoming expenses and make changes as necessary.
We call our money meetings Abundance Meetings and focus on the positives, how we can improve and our financial goals.
Set aside time to learn about money and implement what you learn.
Switch what you listen to on your commute or when running errands etc. Use podcasts and audiobooks to learn.
Read relevant books, blogs and articles. Watch content that will help you learn and grow instead of binge watching Netflix.
Check out 23 books that will change your life.
7. Get Freebies, Discounts and Cash Back
I never shop without checking these 4 options first.
When doing online shopping, compare the offers from those 3 sites. Also Google for discounts.
You can find the 9 tips I use when shopping to get the best deals.
Plus these 12 tips to get a discount on everything.
8. Delayed Gratification List and Sanity Money
Instead of buying everything on impulse, whenever you want to buy something you had not planned or budgeted for, put it on a list.
At the end of 30 days, if you still want the item, work it into your budget.
Cultivating the habit of delayed gratification will save you thousands every year.
Many of us now want instant gratification. We see something and because we want it, we buy it immediately.
Doing this frequently with small items adds up and will prevent us from reaching our big goals.
Along with this list, have an account you can use to get whatever you want.
Decide how much you want to put in it each pay e.g. 10% and use that when you want to splurge.
9. Take it Further
The above habit changes are small but can save you thousands. If you want to take it even further, check out ways to reduce all your expenses.
Try these 13 tips to reduce the cost of meat.
When it comes to your car, try the tips here.
Plus read 31 ways to make and save $200+.