(OK, there is a slight possibility that I *may* have lied about it being easy)
1. Know your monthly budget
First things first, you need to calculate your monthly budget (you can use my free printable budget planner if it helps) and work out how much money you have left over at the end of the month. Then you can identify where you need to cut back and also have a better idea of how much money you have left over at the end of each month.
2. Stick to your monthly budget
Next you need to get the hang of staying within your budget. If the money you should have left over doesn’t match what you actually have left after paying your bills then you need to revisit step one to make sure you’ve included EVERYTHING. If you have then I’d recommend keeping a spending diary for a month so you can see exactly where your money is disappearing to – you’ll be surprised how quickly the odd thing adds up to.
3. Look for other ways to cut back
Now you have your budget and you know you can stick to it, start looking for other ways to cut back. To me, it’s less about doing without and more about finding ways to make the most of what we have. Meal Planning is a great example as there are so many ways you can reduce your food budget. Another thing you can do is to make sure you’re on the best prices you can get for your utility bills and that you’re as energy efficient as possible at home.
4. Change your way of thinking
Have a read of this post (it’s a short one I promise) and find out the secret to stop spending money on unnecessary purchases! It really makes you think and it definitely helps me!
5. Look for alternatives
If you see something you really want / need, ask yourself if you can get it cheaper elsewhere or if you can save money buying something similar. Can you buy the same thing second hand and save money? Is it something you might find in a charity shop or a car boot sale? Can you at least get cashback on your purchase?
Only when you know you (a) really have to have it and (b) that you have it for the cheapest price possible should you be buying it.
So that’s how to be more frugal in five easy steps.
PS There’s obviously a LOT more you can do but if you’re doing all of the above then you’re doing amazingly well!
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