Do you barely survive, living paycheck to paycheck? Does all your income just pass through your hands and nothing is left? Do you feel afraid that when disaster or emergency strikes, you won’t be able to handle the expenses? Do you think that your income is just not enough and that maybe you need a second or maybe a third job just to make ends meet?
If you feel that what you are earning is not enough or if you do not have enough left for luxuries or for emergencies then maybe you should start studying the way you spend. Many people look instantly at their income as the source of their problems as soon as they are tight on money. What many do not realize is that, many times, the income they are earning may just be more than enough if they spend some time trimming their expenses and doing some lifestyle changes rather than breaking their backs with work but still failing to spend wisely. Frugality may be just what most of us need. If you are spending more than what you are earning then try going over your lifestyle and see if you need a financial overhaul. Here are five simple steps to achieve frugal living.
Master the Art of Budgeting
Budgeting is simply spending just within your means. It involves prioritizing the more important expenses. Spending more than you can afford will definitely put you either in grave debt, or it can even make you bankrupt at some point. Allot a specific amount from your income for expenses. Since you allotted a specific amount, it is easier to keep the expenses at a minimum.
Trim Your Expenses
List out all your expenses from groceries to utilities. Remove all the unnecessary expenses, or the things that you can-do-without. You will be amazed at how small changes, like changing the brand of your detergent or bath soap or avoiding wasting water and electricity, can make big changes when it comes to how much you spend. Avoiding the unnecessary things like extra trips to the store can help you save on gas or transportation expenses, and limiting the times that you eat out can actually do a lot for your finances. Check for the extra expenses that you do not need like extra cable service, membership to a gym or spa that you do not use, or a subscription to magazine that you rarely read. Remove all these extras that you do not need.
The best way to save is to avoid wasting anything. Using much more than what you need results in overspending. Probably the largest part of your income goes to your primary needs, which includes groceries and utilities. Wise use of gas, heat, electricity, and water coupled with buying just enough food can help you save a lot of your hard earned cash.
Save For The Future.
Your goal should not be limited to earning just enough to get by and supplying for your daily needs but also to save a part of your income for the future. Keep in mind that saving is a big step towards financial independence.
Shop Wisely, Spend Wisely
Learn to balance between need and want. Prioritize those items that you truly need. Going on a spending spree is the fastest way to flush money down the drain. Always make a list when you go to the grocery store. Check your pantry and prioritize your list from the most needed to least needed. With this way of handling it, you can be assured that you will be able to supply for your immediate needs first, and then you can check to see if you can still afford the extra items that you want.
Although a second job or earning extra from a side income is a good way to save and ease your financial burdens, you should remember that it does not really matter if you earn a thousand bucks instantly if you spend a thousand and one just as fast. There will be nothing left with that way of spending.
How do you spend your hard-earned cash?