My friends used to call me cheap, and I would feel the embarrassment that I couldn’t disregard spending money with such nonchalance as they could. Today, I know that frugality, rather than cheapness is a virtue, and can help you maintain a healthy budget and finances.
Cheapness is refusing to leave the house in fear of spending money, it’s buying the $1 bag of potato chips instead of the $5 salad, it’s limiting yourself based solely on money. Frugality is being judicious with money: shopping mindfully, opting for cheaper options when appropriate, and rejecting cultural norms when they don’t make financial sense.
I have created a list of ways to practice frugality to live within your means while still enjoying yourself.
- Eat vegan! It’s actually cheaper, not to mention better for your health and the earth
- Use more reusable items instead of single-use products
- Find activities to do instead of spending money
- Make these 12 personal finance moves to secure your future
- Broke and want to travel? Try WWOOF – a volunteer service that lets you explore the world!
- Buy generic and at cheap grocers (Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Winn-dixie, etc.)
- Meal plan -here’s a page of super cheap, vegan meal plans
- Research tricks and tips on saving extra cash
- Eat out less – replace meals out with friends with dinner parties!
- Look into alternative forms of homeownership- whether that be tiny living, an earth ship, or other cheaper homes. Buying a home is usually one of the biggest expenses for people, so cutting the price can allow more financial freedom.
- While you’re rethinking one of the biggest expenses, look into forgoing crushing debt from university, and look at alternatives like Mission U