- Leave the lights off – When we leave a room, we shut off the lights. We turn off the water when we’re brushing our teeth. We turn off our heat/AC when we can. We understand that we pay for these services, and if we’re more efficient with them, we’ll pay less money each month.
- Pay for Things with Cash – Cash has been proven, in multiple studies, to reduce spending. It just hurts a little more when you’re handing over your own bills. You also avoid any interest when you pay with cold, hard cash. For full disclosure, I do not do cash clips or envelopes. I pay with my debit card, which is still my cash. I find this easier to manage.
- Budget – Every business has a budget and expense reports. Since they are running their household as a business, frugal people tend to know every line item and percentage of their monthly and yearly expenses. Budgeting is the bread and butter of a financially stable life. It’s what helps us to pay off debt, invest, purchase what we need and want. It’s a necessary part of a healthy financial life.
- Live Minimally – What I have found is that material things make me happy. You read that correctly. Becoming a frugal person on my debt free journey has meant reducing my spending on anything very material. When I do purchase something, I get giddy and love that purchase so much more than I would have if I spend my entire paycheck on shit I don’t need. Frugal people spend significantly less than others in a society where material objects are worshiped. By going back to basics, using what you have until it falls apart, and just being happy with what you already have – you’re living a minimal, frugal life.
- Save for a rainy day – Life happens to all of us, frugal or not. The difference with frugal people is that these life events are inconveniences rather than emergencies. If I have to fly somewhere tomorrow unexpectedly, I can. If my car windshield shatters, I can replace it. If my dog needs to go to the vet, I can take him. This is the first sense of security a frugal person feels on their journey to financial peace. Even if you’re not frugal, and our money views are completely different, I urge you to have an emergency fund of some sort. I recommend $1,000-$2,000. After paying off debt you should have 3-6 months of expenses saved up.