Get too ambitious about cost-cutting and you might have a hard time adhering to it long term. Set your sights on something more realistic — like the following suggestions on sustainable frugality.
Invest in Quality
Don’t confuse frugality with being cheap. Instead, focus on making smart decisions about your money — like investing in higher quality items that will last you longer than cheap things you would have to replace every few months. This will save you money in the long run.
Plan Your Splurges
Don’t deny yourself everything or you just might succumb to an impulse purchase that will ruin your budget. Instead, plan some fun into your monthly budget — assign yourself an allotment of money that you can guiltlessly spend each month.
Learn to Cook
Eating out all the time can really add up — but you can easily put an end to rationalizing that you need the expense because you don’t know how to cook. It’s never too late to learn how, and you can do it for free online, as there’s an abundance of videos at all different skill levels. Make this a new hobby and you’ll free up money for other things.
Buying refurbished computers present a frugal choice: you get a fully functional computer for a fraction of the original cost. What’s more, you can choose a budget-friendly device with more powerful specs than the entry-level unit has for the same price.
Some of these computers can be new in that they were unsold and returned to the manufacturers, did not pass testing, and so on. What’s important for buyers like you to know is these refurbished units undergo rigorous restoration or maintenance to look or feel brand-new.
Use It Up
Don’t replenish anything until you’ve completely used up the supply of the item you’re replacing. You don’t need the week of redundancy that results from the automated subscription services so many online retailers get people hooked on — time your replenishments down to the wire and you’ll save a bundle without suffering.
Make It Do
Somewhat related to this is slowing down the pace with which you upgrade products. Just because marketers unveil a new generation of your favorite items every few months doesn’t mean you have to sign up for it. Focus on keeping what you already have and making it last longer.
Do whatever it takes to talk yourself out of impulse purchases — refraining from looking at advertisements is one way to weed out a lot temptation. Then there’s just saying no to seemingly small indulgences that add up over time, making your own coffee at home so you don’t spring for the marked-up java sold by chain stores.
Do Your Own Sustainable Frugality
Shoehorning yourself into someone else’s frugality plan can be a recipe for failure. You’ll find the most sustainable savings practices if you begin with some trial and error.
So if you feel uncomfortable with something that others swear is a money saver, don’t agonize over it and try something else instead. You might discover something unique to your situation can save you money where others don’t realize the same benefit — double down on whatever that is.
Readers, what kinds of savings practices have resulted in the most sustainable frugality for you?