Let’s face it – we could all do with a little more money in the bank. And your personal finances are linked to your mental health. Having savings available for a rainy day can help to reduce stress and means you will be able to cover that heating bill when it arrives. But how can you save money when your expenses are fixed?
Well, now might be the time to make some bigger changes and adopt a truly frugal lifestyle. From your vehicle to your home and your activities, there are always ways to cut costs, live more frugally and therefore save some cash to put in an emergency fund. Read through these ideas and be sure to check out my resources library of free e-books and checklists to help you get on top of your finances and find ways to save more money.
1. Become a one-car family
Take a look outside, are there multiple vehicles parked up in front of your house? If you’re honest with yourself, do you really need more than one? Can you make one car work for everything you need to do? Could you drop off your partner at work and then use the car for your own commute? Is there public transport nearby or could you walk or ride a bike?
If you’re serious about living more frugally, you may be able own one less vehicle if you really consider all the options. Sit down with your family and discuss your needs before making any decisions. But if you’re able to own one less car, not only can you put the money from selling the vehicle into your savings account, but you’ll also save the cost of road tax, insurance and fuel every month.
That said, you can also save ££s each month by choosing to keep a smaller vehicle too. Even if you’ve got the funds for a huge car, it’s time to think hard about the extra fuel it might use or the higher insurance bracket. If you’re wanting to be more eco-friendly and cut those monthly costs why not consider an electric car? ElectriX has a guide to buying an electric car that will help you understand the different types and models of electric vehicles to help you make the decision.
2. Could you live somewhere else?
While it’s lovely to live somewhere spacious, it’s also possible to downsize and still live very comfortably. And as you would expect, you’ll save lots of money in rent or mortgage repayments by doing so! I’m not saying a one-bedroom flat would be suitable for a family of four but, if there are just two of you in the home, you might not need that third bedroom and could save thousands each year if you move to a smaller house.
3. Frugal food
Many of us love going out for dinner or ordering a takeaway – especially on the weekends as a ‘treat’ after our long working week. Sure, it can serve as a chance to connect with family or friends while tucking into tasty pub grub or a cheeky drive-thru but, if you’re doing this regularly, those costs soon add up and will take a large chunk of your food budget.
So, why not give yourself a monthly treat instead and stick with tasty homemade dishes the rest of the time? Any meals that you make at home will cost a fraction of the price of a restaurant meal so all the money you save from dining out can go straight into the savings fund for a rainy day. Have a look at my budget recipes page to find all kinds of main meals, snacks and lush puddings.
4. Let go of some luxuries
Whether it’s movie streaming, e-reading, ad-free options, music services, apps, magazines or even gym memberships, subscriptions are easy to take out but hard to let go of. In fact, a lot of the time we might accidentally end up with a subscription if we forget to cancel free trials or yearly renewals etc. So, if you want to cut back and live more frugally, temporarily cancelling some of your subscriptions now may be the answer.
Although it might only be a few pounds here and there, when you work out the monthly total of all the subscriptions you have, it may add up to quite a good amount of money to save. So, why not try foregoing them for one year – or even just a few months – and could go without them? After all, there was once a time when some of these services didn’t exist and we got by just fine!
Also, I’d always say that staying fit and healthy is a good idea but I understand that gym memberships can be costly. So, it may be time to start working out from home instead – or head into the great outdoors to walk, cycle, run or use one of those community gyms in the local park.
I hope that one or more of these ideas will help you to live a little more frugally this year and that you’re able to save a little extra for your emergency fund. Although you don’t have to completely overhaul your lifestyle to live more thriftily, hopefully making one or two of these minor lifestyle changes can be a big help to your finances. Let me know what things you’ve done to save money in the comments below, I’d love to hear your frugal-living hacks.
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