Millions of individuals and families have suffered because of the recent credit crisis and recession. Some of that suffering was caused by living beyond one's means and piling up debt, which a great many of us did. Learning how to live cheaply again (like when you were a teen) can prevent a recurrence of financial problems. If you decide to live cheaply again here are some strategies that can help.
Things You'll Need
- Positive Attitude
Keep Housing Expenses Low to Live Cheaply Again
Share a house with parents, other relatives or friends. Share the expenses and do more than your share of the work in the household so that no one will have reason to complain about you. If you are able to share housing costs you will be on your way to living cheaply again.
Be Frugal in Clothing Purchases to Save Money
Whether for yourself or for your children, you should buy most of your clothes from thrift shops. Your savings compared with buying clothes from retail stores will be enormous and you will live cheaply again.
Buy Nutritious Foods Cheaply
Many snack and high calorie foods like deserts, cookies, and candies are expensive. You can both save money and enhance nutrition by using fruits and vegetables as snacks. Buy staple foods in bulk and cook in large quantities so that you can freeze low cost meals to save both time and money. Avoid fast foods and junk foods to be more healthy and to live cheaply again.
Pay Cash to Avoid Debt If You Want to Live Cheaply Again
Why should you increase the cost of durable goods or other purchases by 10% to 20% or more by buying on credit? Don't use credit at all. Save up for what you want and pay cash for it to live cheaply again. And don't buy anything unless you truly need it. Ask yourself: "Can I live without this?"
Conserve Energy and Water to Save Money
There are many ways to save money by conserving energy and water in your home or apartment if you're motivated. Turn lights off when you leave a room unoccupied, unplug TVs and computers when not in use, keep the house or apartment a little cooler in the winter and a little warmer in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs, turn down the thermostat on your water heater (unplug it first), and so on. You will find you can live cheaply again.
Buy Only Used Cars to Save a Lot of Money
Because you want to live cheaply again, you'll want to avoid the substantial finance costs of buying a car on credit. You should also never buy a new car because of its high cost and rapid depreciation. Buy solid and safe used cars that are several years old, with cash, and you'll save lots of money over time.
Pay Yourself First to Develop the Savings Habit
Putting money into savings is an important habit that you must acquire. One of the benefits if you live cheaply again is that you'll be able to pay yourself first and put away significant savings year after year, either through retirement accounts or other savings and investment instruments. Take care of your future first.
Always Be on the Lookout for Ways to Save Money
Use coupons and take advantage of sales on necessities. But do not give in to sales on things you don't absolutely need. Contact your utilities for advice on conservation and saving money. Cut back on communication expenses such as cable TV and cell phone plans.
Take Care of Your Health To Save on Future Medical Expenses
Get the recommended amount of aerobic exercise (2.5 hours per week at moderate intensity like brisk walking) to get and keep your body fit. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day and get them professionally cleaned twice a year to avoid major dental expenses down the road. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds for a healthier diet. Get regular physical exams to catch any medical issues early. Remember Franklin's advice that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."