So you want to be frugal? But right now, you have no idea how exactly you’re going to do that. Maybe you’re not even sure how to change your habits, control your spending, and get your financial life back on track? When you’re in a situation like this, you can feel lost. You can feel as if things are never going to change, and that you’ll always have to be in the same kind of situation that you’re in now. But that doesn’t have to be the case. First of all, simply recognizing that you need to change, and wanting to become a lot more frugal with your financial habits is a great thing. Because the drive is already there. And now, you just need to take action. But how?
Well, you really need to work on your mindset first and foremost. It’s essential if you really want to make sure that you’re able to stick with the steps we’re about to walk you through. It’s always going to be important for you to be able to think before you spend, to really work on your lifestyle, and to find the most cost-effective ways of doing things too. Because it all adds up. So even if you think it’s going to be tough — you’ve just got to try. And here are the seven steps that will help you.
1. Track What You Spend
Rule number one is always to start tracking what you spend. It’s the best (and only) way to get things started. Because you may THINK you know what you’re spending right now, but you’re going to be surprised when you start to track it all. So set up a spreadsheet, keep your receipts, and record it all. It may sound like a lot to do, but if you’re serious about this, you need to. And it’s going to help you to control the way that you spend going forward.
2. Create A Budget
When you’ve tracked your first month, you then need to think about setting up a budget. Not only one overall budget, but also smaller budgets for categories like bills, groceries, clothing, health, socializing, and more. Just make sure that you segment all of your current spending into set categories, and then put a cap on them. Make it somewhere between what you currently spend, and what you’re happy to spend on that area. Over time, you can tweak these budgets and get them exactly where you want them to be.
3. Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
Next, you’re going to want to trim the fat. Don’t like that you spend too much on take-out? Cut it. Don’t want to waste money on subscriptions? Cut them. There are lots of easy expenses to cut if you want to bring down the amount you spend each month, so be brutal.
4. Reduce Your Bills
You should then try to bring down the cost of the bills you can’t cut. Make sure you speak to your utility providers and compare mobile phones with moneypug as a start. Look for better plans and rates on the contracts that you have. Or switch to providers that can give you a better deal.
5. Shop With Discounts
Now, with your everyday spending, you’re going to want to try and get discounts where you can. Look out for vouchers online, clip coupons, sign up to newsletters to receive sale notifications, and just start to get smarter with how you spend. This means you can even trim the fat on the expenses you’re already controlling to save more.
6. Shop With Cash
If you’re someone that swipes their card far too easily, then it’s time to change that. Why not carry cash instead? Because if you have your budget in your hand, you will be more careful about blowing it. It’s so easy to spend with a card, but if you can see your money, you’ll be smarter.
7. Set Yourself A Goal
Finally, it’s also going to help you if you can set yourself a financial goal to work towards. Being frugal can be hard — especially when you’re used to spending freely. But if you know that you want to pay off your debt, buy a house, or even set up a business, you just have to get on with it. So go on and set yourself that goal. Keep that vision in your mind and know that you’re working for something incredible — because it really does keep you on track.