Practical tips and tricks for frugal living
Saving money with a frugal lifestyle isn’t showy or glamorous. It’s often not about the huge amount you saved on your tax return (though that’s important too) and more about the little amounts you save every day.
Living a frugal lifestyle doesn’t mean you have be a cheapskate.
Instead, it’s about paying attention to where your money goes and ensuring that you are not wasting your income on unnecessary expenses.
My top frugal living tips for saving money.
Save on Bank Fees.
Those pesky bank fees can add up especially if you’re not paying attention. Every year or two you need to evaluate your current bank account and ensure it matches your level of use. Many banks will waive their account fees if a minimum amount is left in the account. If you find yourself continually being dinged with transaction fees then you need to either reconsider how you’re currently using your account or the level of bank account you have.
Personally, we have accounts with two banks. The first is with a large bank where our mortgage is held and paychecks are deposited. The second is through Tangerine which offers a no-fee checking account. It’s through this bank that we pay our bills, deposit cheques and do any debit purchases.
Use Dryer Balls
I had no idea these things existed until my mother in law introduced them to me. Essentially it replaces your dryer sheets. No static and so much better for the environment. I use these woollen ones because they also dry my clothes 25% faster – saving me time and money.
Save money on utilities
Heating your house can be expensive. Save money where you can by turning down the heat before you go to bed. If you want to go a step further install a programmable thermostat so that you never forget.
Small changes can make a positive impact on your bill. Draft proof windows and door to stop cold air from coming in and make sure your fridge and freezer are maintained. Check out more energy saving tips here.
Switch out your light bulbs to LED ones when they burn out. LED lights last far longer than traditional ones so not only will you save on your electric bill but you will also cut down your cost of light bulbs.
Plan your Meals
Food costs can be one of the largest variable expenses for any family. Keep this cost under control by creating a meal plan and corresponding grocery list. Make sure to stick to this list once at the grocery store as impulse buys are often the most expensive items in your cart. Skip the processed items to save money. This could be a simple as buying block cheese instead of a bag of grated cheese.
Related: How to Spend Less Money On Groceries
Take a Lunch
If you or your partner work out of the home then make sure to pack a lunch. If your office treats lunch as a time to go out and socialize then consider building one bought lunch a week into the budget. Lunches can either be leftovers or something quick and easy such as a salad or sandwich. You’ll also have the added bonus of eating much healthier than if you were eating out every time.
Drink Tap Water
I am incredibly lucky to live in a city where our water tastes great and if safe to drink. If you want to be living a frugal lifestyle then you need to be drinking tap water (unless your local water is unsafe to drink). It’s free, healthy and so much better for you and the environment.
Pay your bills on time
This one seems so simple but it’s amazing how many people don’t do it. By not paying your bills on time (even when you can afford to) you’re paying unnecessary interest charges. Not only can those late fees add up but if you’re making a late payment on a credit card it can also do damage to your credit score. Do yourself a favour and figure out a system so that your bills are always paid on time.
Have fun for free
If you’re trying to live a frugal lifestyle it’s crucial to be creative on what you do for fun. The traditional date night of a dinner and a movie could set you back over $100. Consider alternatives instead, possibly a free art show or exhibition and skip the dinner. Look out the many outdoor options your area offers – check out the local parks, map out a bike ride or go for a hike. Many cities have multiple free events targeted at families which you should try to take advantage of. Plan out your day as well and pack a lunch if necessary. Buying lunch for the entire family could negate any savings from the free festival you’re enjoying.