15 Ways to be Frugal

Frugal people are often mislabeled as stingy. You may be one yourself! Find out which frugal habits you already practice.

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When my cousins and I were younger we’d joke about how our parents came up with different ways to be frugal.

Words that came to mind when thinking about how they handled their money: stingy, cheap, a homebody, etc. They had habits that were unlike everyone else.

Little did I know these behaviors are also unique to those with a high net worth.

Don’t pay

This just means avoid spending money on certain things.

1) Avoid credit card fees. Be mindful of your debit card balance to prevent overdraft fees. Don’t use ATMs that charge you to withdraw your own money.

2) Never pay interest. Pay off your credit cards in full before interest is tacked on.

3) Don’t pay for monthly subscriptions. With the exception of an affordable gym membership, is it necessary to pay $10/month ($120/year) on a subscription box?

4) Don’t pay for meals. Bring lunch from home every day for work.

5) Don’t pay for snacks. Just like every grandmother out there I recommend stuffing your bag with snacks “just in case.”

6) Don’t pay for water bottles. Invest in a good quality, reusable water bottle. You’ll be more consistent with hydrating yourself, save the environment, and save $2.49 by not purchasing a 1.5L Fiji water at Starbucks.

Be cheap

AKA find a less expensive alternative.

7) Use coupons. Saving a few cents is better than saving no cents. 

8) Don’t buy new clothes. Shop at Goodwill or other consignment stores.

9) Calculate cost per wear/cost per use. I wear those ugly nurse clogs. They were $150! However, I’ve used this 3-4x/week for 5 years and counting. Cost per wear = $0.14-$0.19. Read about calculating cost per wear here.

10) Stick to your budget. The fastest way to rule out a purchase is to determine whether it fits in your budget or not.

11) Don’t give lavish gifts. I love giving gifts! Common gift themes were inside jokes and sentimental items. Since being on a budget, my gifts are more so DIY. Read about my frugal Christmas gift giving here.

12) Shop at the dollar store. Dollar Tree is BAE (Before Anyone Else). If you need to buy something try the dollar stores first! Read about the essential items to get from there.

13) Research what you want to buy. Google search what you’re thinking of buying, read reviews, look at photos, etc. The more you know about a product you’ll be less likely to buy something on a whim. You either won’t buy it at all or maybe you’ll find it somewhere else for cheap.

Be a homebody

Learn to embrace the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO).

14) Find a hobby you can do at home. Writing and at-home workouts are my favs. Best part, they don’t cost a thing!

15) Plan your outings. You don’t have to limit yourself from a social life, but be mindful about your budget. Plan for the cost of parking, drinks, food, and whatever else you may get into that night. If within budget, go for it! If not, take yo ass back to the house fam. Wish I told myself years ago, read about how much FOMO cost me.

Be Frugal

Frugality may have some negative connotations, but everyone is frugal in certain ways. It’s not a bad thing! I own the fact that I’m frugal because it’s getting me closer to paying off student loan debt.

Now the joke’s on me and my cousins because even though we poked fun at our parents, we’ve adopted their frugal habits and developed our own!

Millennial Challenge

  • In what ways are you frugal?
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