Today’s post is brought to you by guest writer Katie Tejada. Consider it is still in the first few weeks of 2020, I am sure that you are toiling away on the gym and reorganizing your finances as part of your New Year’s resolutions. While you might already have an idea on how to simplify and change your habits, you might not be too sure where to start.
If you are anything like me, you want to change right now! Realistically, making small changes and taking things one day at a time is what is going to get you lasting results. Read on to find out how you can live that frugal life without having to sacrifice everything you love.
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Easy Ways to Simplify and Change Your Spending Habits
Saving money can seem hard. There are so many amazing experiences to be had in this world, that so many of us want to enjoy without giving things a second thought. But the truth is, you don’t have to completely give up the activities and materials you love just to save money—you only have to simplify and change your habits and learn how to live more frugally.
Start with the Basics
You don’t have to change your entire life on the first day. The key to living a simpler and more frugal life is to take it one step and one day at a time. To start, try working on little things you spend money on every day. One of the easiest ways to become more frugal is to alter your eating habits.
Nobody likes to be the lone brown paper bagger on their lunch break at work and be left behind in the office. But instead of paying $15 to $20 every day ordering lunch or eating at restaurants, try only getting a nice cup of coffee or an appetizer when you are out with your coworkers. Then once you get back to the office, you can enjoy your lunch while you work. If you can’t quite eat while you work, try preparing a lunch dish that you are super excited to eat every day. It will make you more inclined to eat at work, help save money, and may even make some of your coworkers stop by and join you for lunch at the office.
The same can be done for your favorite cup of Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts coffee. Whether you just like the flavor of a plain black cup of joe or a mocha caramel hazelnut iced coffee with two splendas and a shot of espresso, you can make those drinks at home to have them anytime you want. Check out the recipes online, get the syrups and coffee beans, and become your very own frugal barista!
Simplify Your Belongings
One of the biggest barriers to adopting frugal habits is being in a constant state of feeling you need more. To be honest, you probably don’t need anything more; it’s just the result of seeing hundreds of advertisements every day and seeing all the things your friends and people on social media are doing with their lives. To help combat this, simplify your home. Go through your clothes, closets, junk drawers and every other part of your house. See what you regularly use, what you need to have, and which items you totally forgot about until you stumbled across it in your search. Anything that is not essential, elect to sell or give away.
And when time inevitably comes when you feel like you need something new, wait a week and see how you feel about it afterward. Do you really need it? What will happen if you don’t purchase it? Is there another version that is the same quality, but costs less? Really thinking about every purchase before you buy may end up saving you tons of money—and closet space.
Learn How to DIY
Getting gifts and completing home projects can be a real bank buster. If you can manage to complete more expensive renovations on your own, it can save you thousands of dollars every year. Home updates tend to be a huge expense for families, but with a couple of YouTube videos, phone calls, and advice from your neighbors and the pros, you can save that money while learning how to be your own handyman or woman.
You should probably leave foundational projects or electrical issues to the experts, but try painting, repurposing old furniture, updating your kitchen counters, installing new locks, and creating your own unique home accents. Instead of opting for new decor, you can buy items at —garage and yard sales and then upcycle them to your liking – painting them or repurposing items to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. There are all kinds of ways to get into DIY, from creating your own cleaning products or doing DIY Halloween costumes to crafting and making your own jewelry for you or as gifts for friends.
Get the Right Mindset
One of the most important things to do in making your habits more frugal is understanding that being frugal does not mean you’re missing out on life. You do not have to lessen your social life, avoid fun trips, or only eat chicken and rice day in and day out. It means quite the opposite. By becoming more frugal, you are opening yourself up to more opportunities. If you were to avoid that $7 Starbucks run every day for a year, for example, you could probably save around $2,500 a year—that’s enough for a vacation!
Learning to live more frugally is setting yourself up for success to live the life you have always wanted. By learning how to simplify and change your habits, you can eliminate financial stress and start heading out on the frugal path of your dreams.
About the Author
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, former HR professional, and mother. She often covers developments in HR, business, finance, and CRM solutions, but also enjoys writing about events, DIY projects, decorating trends, and travel.