“Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.” – Alice Walker
Unforeseen events occur quite frequently. In fact, it happens so habitually that many people are not surprised by it anymore. Your car could break down; bad weather could damage your home; a family emergency requiring travel; medical bills that insurance won’t cover. Whatever the reason may be, we all know that everyone will have rainy days where money is needed quickly.
To help prepare for those unforeseen events, it’s important that you live frugally to save some money. This doesn’t mean being a cheap skate and a penny pincher. Instead, you could do your best to cut costs where possible but only if it doesn’t make you miserable. While saving money is a vital component of success, I also firmly believe that happiness is more important, especially when multiple cost-cutting methods exist.
Let me give you 5 simple examples and you could select the best fit for your household:
Deflate Your Rates:
First, take inventory of your bills, including mortgage, insurance, cellphones, utilities, credit cards, school loans, etc. Next, reach out to them asking if they could lower your rates. To illustrate, you could call your cellphone provider to lower your monthly data plan if you’re only using a small fraction of that data. Or you could call your credit card company or bank asking for a lower annual percentage rate (APR). If they’re not willing to work with you, research other companies that will provide you with better rates if you switch over to them and make the change.
Becoming a savvy-shopper doesn’t mean that you become a roadblock at the register because you’ve got a 100 coupons to scan. While coupons are important, it’s not the only way to save when grocery shopping. Instead, make a list so that you know what you’re going to get before you even get to the store. This way, you don’t shop on impulse and buy unnecessary things. In addition, you could also try generic brands since the quality of their goods are quite comparable to known brand-name items.
Food-fighting is a sport. One that requires you to have the will, courage, and determination to resist epicurean temptations. So don’t be tempted to eat out everyday. Although an occasional lunch and happy-hour with friends and colleagues is reasonable, doing it for the long-term isn’t. A more sustainable option is to eat food only from your kitchen. Cook dinner, bring lunch and you could even host potlucks for social gatherings. The goal is to keep your spending on food outside of your home near zero.
Removing Cable From The Stable:
While this isn’t the most popular option, there are many things that you could do that’s more valuable than watching TV. You could read, write, draw, exercise, play board games, or pursue any other area of interest that you and your family consider fun. Heck, you could even start a family business together and who knows, it may become very successful. According to Nielson, Americans spend approximately 34 hours a week watching television. Imagine what you could do with that extra time every week!
Procrastination Does Help:
When it comes to saving money, a little procrastination does go a long way. Let’s say you typically get a hair cut every month. Try extending that schedule to where you get a haircut every month and a half, or two. Or if you’ve noticed that your socks are wearing thin, rather than replacing them immediately, you could wait until holes are noticed. You could even combine errands located in the same proximity together so that you only need to make one trip, thus saving on gas.
To help you get started, here are 3 mobile apps that’ll help you save:
- The Coupons App
If you’re still not motivated enough to start saving immediately, I recommend reading The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko and you could get your FREE copy here.
Remember, saving is more of a mindset and anyone can save regardless of their income. Even if it’s a little amount now, it’ll add up over time. To end, I leave you with a quote from William Shatner…”if saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”