Building wealth requires a focus on frugal living, frugal habits and prioritising what is really important to you. This is not the same as being cheap or stingy! Being frugal means spending money on what you place value on.
We all know to bring lunch from home, make coffee at work and have pre-drinks before a night out. But, what habits will truly make a big impact?
Here are some of my frugal habits that have completely transformed the way I live in life.
Top 5 frugal habits
- Switching to free or low cost hobbies. I used to enjoy Melbourne’s wonderful dining scene at least three times a week. My wallet did not. Now on my weekends, I enjoy doing yoga in the mountains, knitting while chatting to a friend, painting and even recently went back to the local library to start reading again. Yes, your library card stops working if you haven’t used it in six years. “Free” hobbies can be just as if not more enjoyable than more costly ones, so why not try something new this weekend?
- Stopping buying things new. Save the planet, save your wallet. If I need something, I will never go out and purchase it brand new from a store. I will see if I can make it, borrow it or purchase it second hand. This includes my car, furniture, kitchenware, jewellery and yes, all my clothes. Did you know that Fast fashion is second only to oil as the world’s largest polluter? Yikes, I think I’ll stick to my local op shops.
- Develop skills. I taught myself skills that interested me, which also could save me money. I cut my own hair, grow my own herbs, thread my own eyebrows and can do a thing or two with a sewing machine. Still learning everyday, I am constantly trying to develop new skills. That being said, do go to a professional when you need to. I tried to service my own car, and let’s just say – I’ll leave that to my mechanic.
- Look before you spend. Before embracing the frugal lifestyle, I would choose restaurants and events oh a whim. Now, if I am about to have a meal in the area, want my annual massage – I’ll hop onto Groupon and see if there are any deals I can take advantage of. It is always worth it to take an extra minute to search for deals online before making a purchase.
Sign up to Groupon: https://bit.ly/2Ow3xpL
- Using cash back and promo code services. My online shoppers, this one’s for you. Did you know that there are services that give you a small percentage back on all your online purchases? I personally use Honey and Shopback as they both cover different websites. While the percentage amounts are small, it is an easy way to get cash for items that you were going to buy anyway, such as groceries or contacts.
Honey is an awesome service, that is a two in one. It allows for a plugin to be installed to your browser and searches the web for coupons. I used to manually hunt for coupon codes on Google but not anymore, thanks to Honey. I spend $300 on contacts annually and use Honey to find promo codes while also getting a small percentage of cashback. It is automatic so you don’t have to remember to use it, either.
And, here’s my secret for ultimate frugality. Shopback gives cash back on Groupon. Which means getting even more cash back on products and services that are heavily discounted. Can’t beat that.
What are some frugal habits that have changed your life?