Frugal money saving tips help create frugal budgeting habits that will, in turn, allow you to lead a less stressful life.
The average family in the U.S. is only one month away from financial disaster. These families often own several cars, live in houses they cannot afford and carry $10,000.00 or more in credit card debt. In a difficult economy more of us are willing to listen to frugal money saving tips that we might have ignored in times of greater prosperity.
A benefit of these “belt-tightening” times is that we have the opportunity to but have largely been forgotten in recent years.
There is some wonderful free personal finance software that can be the right place to begin to create a healthy financial future.
Below are five frugal money saving tips that deal with all aspects of our financial health. Frugality is a state of mind. It’s simply living in a more disciplined and controlled way.
The following five strategies may seem simple or even simplistic, but they work!
Frugal Money Saving Tip 1 – Awareness
The first step to financial health is awareness. Where does your money come from? What are you spending it on? How much, if any, do you save?
Financial stress and worry often lead to avoidance. As strange as it may seem, in our society at least, many people deal with lack of money by spending more. We are addicted to “things” and feed that addiction with easy credit.
Have the courage to face the reality of your financial situation. Courage will stimulate the clear, focused thinking you need to begin to manage, and use wisely, the money and other resources that you have.
Frugal Money Saving Tip 2 – A Balanced View of Money
A frugal person wouldn’t buy it on credit but rather save their nickels and pennies and buy it when they had the money. Frugality is by no means a lifestyle that involves profound self-denial.
Money is not “the root of all evil.” What that Bible verse actually says is that “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10 KJV) Neither is money the ultimate source of happiness.
Money is a resource that can be squandered or used as provision and blessing—for you and for others.
Three Perspectives on Money
Poverty perspective: Advocates of a poverty perspective believe possessions are a curse and reject materialism in every form. The person who thinks one must be poor to be humble is mistaken.
Prosperity perspective: Advocates of a prosperity point of view believe that wealth is a mind game—that you can “think and grow rich.” Others offer a spiritual version that attempts to create a binding transaction with God in which He is obligated to bless you. Adherents to this approach often live materialistic lifestyles.
A balanced perspective—Stewardship: This point of view recognizes that possessions are a privilege not a right. Being a steward is an attitude, a way of looking at life as a caretaker, and sharer, of what has been given.
Frugal Money Saving Tip 3 – Make A Plan
Here’s a corrective strategy that can immediately begin to reduce your financial stress: Cut back spending by 20 to 25%.A frugal lifestyle of course involves a budget but let’s break out of the stereotyped thinking for just a moment.
Anyone can learn to handle money more effectively. It starts with spending less than you make. Ignoring this simple truth plunges many people deeply into debt.
Take a careful look at your life, and you’ll find this is possible. Pack a lunch, stop eating out, get a video instead of going out to a movie, repair things rather than replacing them. Live more simply!
It’s essential that you track your cash flow, and take control of your spending. Create a budget and stick to it! If you’re living on your credit cards, something has to change. You’re racing down a dead-end street, and might need some professional help.
Some people end up creating money-challenged lifestyles because they refuse to be responsible for how they handle their money. This can be corrected by simply changing how they manage their relationship with their money.
Frugal Money Saving Tip 4 – Save
Most financial experts recommend that you “pay yourself first” by saving a minimum of 10% of your income. But the amount you save is not as important as developing the habit of saving! Even if you can only save 1% of your earnings, just do it! And once you commit to your savings strategy, stick to it every payday.
Frugal Money Saving Tip 5 – Invest
While you are building up your savings, commit some time to learning about investing. Many community colleges have courses on stocks, real estate, commercial property, starting a small business, and even investing in coins or collectibles.
For the average person, investing can be a mystery. Terms like price to earnings ratio, market cap, and return on equity, can be a bit confusing to say the least but, in reality, are about as simple to understand as basic arithmetic. The first step to building your portfolio is to open a brokerage account. These accounts allow you to purchase stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments by paying professionals to buy or sell the items you tell them to.
There are many online sources of investment information. You can scroll through the sites and learn about investing whether you sign up or not. When opening a new account, the minimum investment can vary, usually ranging from $500-$1,000 (and even lower for IRA’s and other retirement and education accounts). Most offer the option of either having an application form sent to you, or allow you to fill them out online, print them, and mail them in with a check. The process is easy and can be done fairly quickly at almost all financial institutions.
Frugality Has Its Reward
Lack of money and out of control debt create tremendous personal stress, erode relationships at every level and contribute to high divorce rates. Businesses collapse due to poor money management and entire societies collapse due to poor distribution of all kinds of resources.
Life on earth is relatively short. Some live their lives without pleasure, constantly saving every penny for a future they may not ever see. Others live only for the moment, never saving anything for a future that may be longer than they imagine. True wisdom is finding that balance that will allow both present satisfaction and the possibility at least of a secure future. And while we invest in ourselves and our needs, we have the privilege and the responsibility to give to, and to invest in, those who need us.
Take the first steps toward to a new way of dealing with your finances with these frugal money saving tips and strategies.