Tips for Frugal Living

It’s strange- for the first time in my entire life, I’m working a fulltime job… and yet I’m more concerned with managing my meager funds than ever before. I guess I’m realizing the gravy train won’t run forever, and I need to start saving for things I enjoy. So I’m starting to compile ways to save money. Have any of your own to contribute?

  • Cooking your own meals/Making your own lunches: I’ve done back-of-the-envelope calculations that say every day I bring my own lunch rather than buy it, I save about $2. That’s $40 a month, which isn’t huge, but every little bit counts. Eating dinner at home is an even bigger savings.
  • Conserving power: I actually turn my computer off during the day lately– my electricity bill is pretty high, what with several computers, and (biggest of all) the bright lights for my lizards’ cage.

After there is where I start getting stuck– most of my money goes to things I can’t vary the price of (rent, insurance, phone bill) or to groceries– and I need food to live! So I’m not sure what else I can do, save trying to get a tutoring job on the side or something…

Any suggestions?

8 Responses to “Tips for Frugal Living”

Back in my day, cars got 4 rods on a hogshead, and that’s the way we liked it!

😛 Ice chest, indeed.

Hmm.. what could I sell on eBay? All my junk is precious. Precious junk. 😀

Paradoxdruid - May 6th, 2005 at 5:22 am

And if you’re really lucky, other people might think it’s precious too 🙂

Teisha - May 6th, 2005 at 5:44 am

Use an ice chest instead of a freezer/refrigerator? 🙂
(Just have neighbors make ice cubs for you!)

Look for groceries on sale, of course. As you said, every bit helps.

Sell random stuff on ebay 🙂

Teisha - May 5th, 2005 at 6:03 pm

Jenny and I attacked the grocery bill a while ago (and are just too lazy to keep it up, but…):
We’d buy produce and meat from the local medium-income store (because, you know, we’ve got standards), but pre-packaged stuff from the cheap store. We also got a membership to Costco and bought non-perishables in bulk. We figured it took ten to twenty bucks off our weekly grocery cost.

Owen - May 11th, 2005 at 3:00 am

Well, I DO have a Costco membership.. maybe it’s high time I pay them a visit. Aside from that, I need to ditch my addiction to coffee-shop muffins. $1.25 for a muffin everyday is excessive.

That and get a cheaper apartment. That’s the quickest way to save a bunch of money.

Paradoxdruid - May 12th, 2005 at 12:41 pm

1) To save on car insurance, take a driver safety course. The course usually costs about $60, but can save up to 5-15% per year for 3 years on car insurance.

2) Cars are expensive, if you have 2 cars, try to get down to one car, and perhaps use a bike more often. Gas is also expensive, consider biking, carpooling or walking if it’s possible.

3) Credit cards are evil. If you tend to carry a balance on your credit cards, try to pay it off immediately–the interest will slowly drain on your finances. Try using cash instead of credit cards, as it will force you to plan for larger purchases.

4) Start saving for a rainy day. It’s optimal to have 3 months of expenses saved up at any point in time to weather through unemployment and other financial disasters.

5) Try to start saving for retirement sooner rather than later. Most people are unprepared at retirement, and putting money in IRA’s and 401k’s saves you on taxes, and can even be used later to purchase a house. If you work for a company that has 401k matching, you are throwing money away by not contributing to your 401k.

That’s it for now, if I think of more, I’ll come back.

MoRRiS - June 18th, 2005 at 9:08 am

Those all sound like really good ideas — here are some of my own additions.

In response to (2): Buses are awesome too… if they go in your area and the area you want to reach, that is. If you’re a student, you can usually get a free bus pass… but if you’re not, you can sometimes find some decent deals (especially when considering rising gas prices).

In response to (3): Debit cards are a great alternative to credit cards. But, if you can’t get a debit card, often you can pay off your credit card online… quick and simple.

Thanks for the good suggestions 🙂

Teisha - June 19th, 2005 at 6:52 pm

Bake your own muffins.

pooh - July 9th, 2005 at 12:50 pm

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