Credit Sesame with 9 suggestions on how to save money in frugal February.
Life often seems best when we’re content with what we have. Rather than focusing on everything we don’t own, we appreciate everything that brings us joy right now. This February — and beyond, if you’re up to the challenge — see if you can enjoy life’s simple pleasures while embracing a frugal mindset. You can have fun while freeing yourself of the need to spend money at every turn.
The word frugal derives from the Latin frux, meaning “fruit” or “value,” and is even a distant cousin of the Latin word for “enjoy” (frui). It means, careful in the use of one’s money or resources.” With that in mind, get started on frugal February!
1. Make a budget and stick to it.
Living your best frugal life starts with a plan. Use a piece of scratch paper or a spreadsheet program on your computer. First, confirm how much money you’re bringing home this month. Then, jot down all of your monthly recurring expenses such as a gas or electric bill, a rent payment, an internet bill or a credit card statement.
Next, allocate remaining money to specific funds for purchases you regularly make. Set aside a certain portion of your income for food, clothing and other necessities. Remember to set aside money for any fun activities you have planned.
From here, it’s pretty straightforward. Stick to your spending plan. Give yourself a pat on the back for living within your means.
2. Find expenses you don’t need anymore and get rid of them
During the budget exercise, you might encounter costs you’d forgotten about. You might spot things you don’t need anymore, such as a streaming service that’s run its course or a magazine subscription you no longer care about. Highlight these on your budget.
Then, make the call. Go online and cancel those services. Contact the corresponding helpline and ask a customer service representative to assist you if necessary. Be aware they might try to keep you as a customer. After all, it’s their job. Be polite but firm. Let them know you’re sure about your decision. Frugality sometimes requires hard decisions. It’s worth it.
3. Explore ways to save money around the house
There are easy things you can do to live a more frugal life without extra work. Turn off lights when you’re not using them to save on your energy bill. Turn your thermostat down a few notches so your heater only kicks on when you really need it. Eat what’s in your pantry before going shopping again. Refrain from going online and searching for things to buy because you’re bored.
Surround yourself with things that aren’t connected to the internet or to a credit or debit card. It’s amazing what you can find to do that keeps you frugal and within budget.
4. Build a DIY home gym
If you’re a gym member, consider doing more exercise at home. Smart TVs and mobile devices bring the world into your living room. Find a free or low-cost exercise program online. Grab a few hand weights or consider investing in a used treadmill (but perhaps not in February). Get in shape while avoiding the cost of monthly membership and a commute. As a bonus, you avoid braving the cold and the elements.
5. Make more meals and drinks at home
You don’t need to be a world-class chef or a barista to have delicious and healthy food and beverages right in your kitchen. Search cupboards and refrigerator for ingredients that sound good together. Look for easy meals online or in a favorite cookbook. Determine how much time you need to set aside to cook meals that feel enjoyable, not rushed. Then, whip up gastric greatness. As a bonus, you get to enjoy conversation with family and friends.
6. Shop with a frugal filter
Go to the store only after reviewing your budget and knowing what you have left to spend. Rank your shopping list from “must haves” to “nice to haves.” Search for deals in the aisles you frequent. Delay gratification whenever possible. Hold off on expensive or impulse purchases.
If your loved one does most of the shopping, ask them to embrace frugal shopping habits. Have a rule you both need to agree on purchases before buying anything outside the budget or unexpected. If you support each other in the quest for frugality, you can both be tireless champions of frugal February living.
7. Use the most affordable and sensible transportation option
Depending on where you live, getting from one place to another can be as simple as using your own two legs. If you live in a place where businesses and homes are farther apart, consider public transportation. Buses, subways and ride shares are among the options. Bicycles and scooters enable you to get around and also provide you with fresh air and a little exercise. If you are a senior or have special needs, search online for free or low-cost options that provide top-shelf accommodations to help you get where you’re going.
8. When it’s available, go with free
Sometimes, at least a few of the best things in life are free. Whether you’re in the market for a new microwave, a bedframe or a lawn mower, start by asking around. Do your friends or family have an item gathering dust? Might they let you borrow it — or give it to you outright for free? Then, check out online marketplaces with products that people are giving away near you. You’d be surprised at the things people simply want out of their home or yard.
9. Bargain, barter or belabor the buy
Keep hunting for clever ways to save in style. You might assume prices at the store are hard and fast, but do you really know until you ask? Find a manager and see if you can work out a deal at a lower cost than listed. Back in your own neighborhood, think about things or services you might offer in exchange for something you want. For example, if you raise backyard chickens that lay eggs,, perhaps you can give the eggs away in exchange for the use of something you need, such as your neighbor’s power washer. After all, your deck needs washing in preparation for summer barbecues and family get-togethers.
If you can’t find a cheaper option, you can just stick to your frugal February ways and wait. It’s that simple. Eventually, the right time arrives and that item you want so badly finds its way home with you.
If you enjoyed Nine Ways to Save Money in Frugal February you may like,
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Disclaimer: The article and information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.