Being frugal is not some ridiculous new fad, like the latest diet – it’s a way of living where you try to save wherever possible, avoid unnecessary expenses and make the most of what you’ve got. Living frugally benefits your financial health (obvs), but it can also have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing and the environment. What’s not to love?
Here are seven tips on how to become a thrifty budgeter:
- Embrace DIY
Learn how to do things yourself and repurpose items that might otherwise go to waste. You’ll save money, reduce waste and unleash your creativity. Upcycling can turn old furniture, clothing or household items into something fresh and functional.
- Cook at home
Meal planning and cooking at home are essential aspects of frugal living. By creating a weekly meal plan and shopping with a list, you’ll avoid impulse purchases and save money on groceries. Cooking from scratch allows you to have control over the ingredients and portion sizes, plus it’s healthier and more cost-effective than dining out or ordering Uber Eats.
- Shop smarter
Look for sales and compare prices before making a purchase. Consider buying second-hand or thrifted items and don't be afraid to negotiate for a better deal. Online marketplaces can yield significant savings on everything from clothing to electronics and household items. (Make sure to shop safely.)
- Kick debt into touch
Interest payments can consume a significant portion of your budget. Focus on eliminating or reducing your debt by creating a debt repayment plan; by paying more than the minimum amount due each month; and by avoiding new debt whenever possible. Use 22seven to track your repayment progress so that you stay on course.
- Cut utility costs
Reducing utility costs is a simple way to save money. Turn off lights, unplug electronics and invest in energy-efficient appliances. Conserve water by fixing leaks, using low-flow fixtures and being mindful of your water usage.
- Choose experiences over things
You still need to enjoy life, right? But rather prioritise memorable experiences like travel, concerts or special events instead of accumulating more stuff. You’ll be happier and you’ll have a greater appreciation for the things you already have.
- Build an emergency fund
An emergency fund is like a financial safety net for those unexpected whoopsies in life. Having one will mean that you don’t need to take out a costly loan to cover unforeseen costs. Aim to save at least six months' worth of living expenses in a separate savings account.
Use 22seven for frugal living!
Four features of the app to help you on your journey towards financial health.
- Track your expenses: Monitor your spending habits and identify areas where you can make cuts or spend better.
- Customise your categories: Create spending categories that reflect your priorities. This will allow you to allocate funds effectively and ensure you're sticking to your (frugal) budget.
- Keep track of your savings: 22seven lets you link accounts from over 120 financial institutions (and counting), so it’s easy to automatically keep track of all your savings accounts in one place and hold yourself accountable to your savings goals.
- Never forget to pay a bill: 22seven will make sure you never miss a payment. You’ll avoid late-payment fees and maintain a healthy credit score.