In a time where people are raging about the newest technology, beauty releases, shiny cars, etc., frugal living can be a breath of fresh air. When you have less, you want less and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. I'll explain.
Sometimes, you just have to experience it to understand, but when I say living a more simple life can be life-changing, believe me. These frugal living tips come from a place I know well.
Growing up, my family hoarded stuff. My parents were very clean and organized, but there was just so much stuff. The habit melted onto me, and I grew up hoarding things, hanging on to wrapping paper, useless trinkets, clothes, shoes and more. There were reasons for my hoarding, and I used them to fill these voids inside. It's really something difficult to go through, but when I eventually let all the stuff go, I felt like I could breathe again. Let me tell you - the air felt so good.
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What is Frugal Living
Essentially, frugal living is embracing a lifestyle in which you minimize the waste of resources. It is using things for their purpose and not having more than you need at any given time.
When you hold on to things for whatever reasons, it can become really difficult to let them go. You need to decide if living frugally, or at least trying to, is something that will add more value to your life. When you live frugal, simple, minimalistic lifestyles, you make room for more of the meaningful experiences in life.
How to Start Frugal Living Tips
Like with any major life change, you start off small. I do not recommend the "chuck it all and forget about it" method, especially if you have a strong emotional attachment to your things. Decluttering can be a tremendously emotional experience. I understand this, and yes, it will hurt for a little while. However, when that feeling clears, you'll know what I mean about that breath of fresh air.
Decluttering is a huge step, and I've created a little challenge that you should take on if you decide to start living more simply. It's 15 days, and it'll take you through your entire house, one day at a time. Feel free to go as slowly or as quickly as you need to. Only you will know what pace is okay with you.
Journaling is really helpful when taking on a new journey. I like bullet journaling, because I can pick and choose what layouts I want (if I want any). I can also just scribble all over the page if that's what I feel like that day. Whatever you choose, catalogue your journey in a journal, so that you can look back later and see how far you've come.
Take a friend with you. Now, you don't literally have to take them with you everywhere you go, but maybe include one of your best friends on this journey to more simple living. Maybe they're interested in a different lifestyle too. Ask them, and you can do this together. Even if they don't want to do it with you, they can support you in their own way. It's always more fun (and a lot easier) when you know you have that support.
What You'll Need
The most important thing you will need is a sense of organization. Simple living is strongly based on good organization, especially when you will only be acquiring things you really need. The journal will be helpful in keeping your thoughts in check, and lists are also really helpful in ensuring that what you need to do gets done.
Shopping resources will change when you decide to live frugally. You will find new places and times to shop to save as much money as you can. The best shopping tips out there are:
Shop when fashion items are not in season (winter wear in summer and vice versa).
Use coupons for groceries and household goods.
Get cash back whenever you can. I've received over $300 through Ebates' cash back program*. It's free to use. Yes, they pay you to shop through their program. It's awesome!
Sign up for your favorite shops' mailing lists. They announce sales and special promotions only to their mailing lists throughout the year. So if you fancy Bath and Body Works candles, it's best to shop during their $8 candle sales.
Check out your local dollar shops and clearance aisles. Dollar Tree has some amazing home products for super cheap.
Delicious recipes for meal planning can really save you a ton of money. When you plan your meals, you go to the grocery store with a list of things you know you need. Get in the habit of only buying items that are on your list. That means you can't forget to put something you need on the list! Double check your list before you leave home. Also, make trips to the store limited to save money on gas expenses and wasted time.
Having Fun While Living Frugally
There's always a fun time when you put your mind to it. Free events are happening all the time. All you've got to do is check your local listings to see what's going down in your town. Head out and see the sights or stay in and just chill.
You get so caught up in trying to stay busy that you forget to slow down. When you're hustling and working, go hard. On your free time, take it down a few notches and just absorb your life. What's going on around you? Have your kids grown a little taller this year? Do the lines under your eyes look a little more defined (means you're smiling a lot). Are you doing what makes you happy? If not, set aside some time to do that which sets your soul on fire (or brings joy to your heart).
Frugal living lets you focus more on the experiences that you gain from life. You notice them a lot more when you don't have all the clutter - home clutter, mind clutter, tech clutter, etc. Set aside some time during the day when you're free of all of that. Who knows? You might really, really like it.
When you hear about frugal living, simple living or minimalistic lifestyle, you think it's impossible to achieve, because it sounds so different from what you're used to. In reality, it's all in the small changes here and there that make the biggest differences in life.
If you're tired of the clutter, the stress and the mess, try out these frugal living tips. If you do it and don't like it, you can always go back to how it was before. See, it's a habit that you form, and nothing is ever permanent. So why not try it out? At the very least, you'll have a cleaner home and less stress for a little while.