Let’s talk about frugal living in Australia. What does it mean to be frugal? And, what are my best strategies to start living frugally? As a frugal finance blogger, it is a topic I am wildly passionate about.
What does frugal living mean?
We all have different definitions of what we believe “frugal” means. Some of us may take a more negative view and see it as being stingy. However, I believe that being frugal is about being mindful with your spending. Frugal life is the best life as it allows you to be manage your money better and hit your financial goal faster, without sacrificing the things you love.
The difference between cheap and frugal
“Cheap” is about cutting corners and spending as little as possible. “Frugal” is about prioritising where your money goes and ensuring every dollar has it’s place. Let’s take shoes as an example. Being frugal means understanding that a good pair of shoes is an investment and is worth spending. It is also about understanding that you don’t need fifteen different pairs of shoes – unless it makes you happy. Being cheap means buying the cheapest pair of shoes, no matter if they are ill-fitting or poor quality.
Frugal living is about value
Rather than spending the least amount of money possible, frugal living is more about value. What do you need? What makes you happy? For me personally, I know that fashion and beauty products aren’t the “best” use of money. But, they bring me joy and therefore provide me a lot of value. I just make sure I specifically budget for them and stick to it every month. I reduce my spending on other areas which I don’t value as much. For example, you may choose to bring your lunch to work vs buying it out to put money towards your next vacation.
My top frugal living tips
Frugal living in Australia, Are you ready to get started? Here are my top two tips. These two steps will help kickstart your frugal living journey.
Budgeting is a key part to frugal living. You need to understand your income and expenses to be able to prioritise. For example, if you are spending $80 on a gym membership you don’t use, you can cancel that cost and allocate it towards something else, like going out with friends. Here is one of my favourite easy and free budget planners, click here to use it.
This is one tip that has helped me save thousands of dollars over the years – buying used. Buying items second hand has may benefits. Not only do you ended paying a lot less than new, you can often get something of a higher quality. You are also doing your part for the planet by reducing waste!
I love op/thrift shops and will often buy clothes, shoes, bags second hand. Furniture can be very expensive new so most of my furniture is used or…from the side of the road. I am not ashamed to admit that! Here are some of my blog articles on buying second-hand: