Frugal Living in Today’s World

14
June

Living frugally in today’s world might be a lot easier said (or contemplated) than done. There are so many temptations out there – from quick lattés to fast food and internet shopping – it isn’t easy to resist the lure of temptation. And with technology advancing so quickly, spending money has never been easier.

So how do you live frugally in today’s “spend it as quick as you make it” style society? Well, it probably won’t be easy and you may not particularly like all that’s involved, but it is possible, and the results could be well worth the effort.

Keeping Away From the Joneses
Part of the issue with those who might find it difficult to live frugally in today’s world is that they are often trying to stay current with the trends of their neighbors and co-workers. They find it necessary to have the latest techno gadgets, need the best of the best, wear the latest and greatest fashions, and generally conform to the norm when it comes to whatever is currently in style.

This type of lifestyle poses a problem for those who desire to live frugally since whatever is in style is typically likely to be a bit pricey. It’s kind of like when you were in high school. There was the in in-crowd who always had the fashionable clothes, drove the nice cars, and had the best of everything, and everyone wanted to keep up with them.

Well, it may not be much different once you’re an adult and out in the real world. However, if you desire to truly live a frugal life in today’s modern society, you will likely have to ditch the trends that keep you up with the Joneses – that is unless you discover how to live a comparable lifestyle through smart shopping.

Smart Shopping
Either by gathering up the trendiest fashions for 99 cents at the local Goodwill store, or using that 50% off coupon for Macy’s, there are ways to live in the modern world without spending an arm and a leg. While you might not have everything you desire when it comes to the latest and greatest television or cell phone, if you know how to smart shop, you’ll have a leg up on the competition when it comes to smart, yet frugal living.

Coupons, dollar stores, discount and generic brands, and resale shops can make living frugally in today’s world simple, easy, and effective. You might be surprised just how far your dollar can go when you make smart shopping decisions at stores that offer quality products for minimum prices.

When you head out to shop, you can’t necessarily shop where the Joneses do. However, by utilizing smart shopping techniques such as making lists, price comparing or buying generic or in bulk during sales, you may be able to stretch your dollar and still come out with quality products in hand.

Financial Tracking
One of the best ways to live frugally in today’s world is by knowing where your money goes and how much of it goes there. In some ways this task could be considered easier than in days of yore since we have the technology to make tracking (software, internet tracking programs, electronic banking, etc.) simple. However, the number of ways in which we can spend our money (debit cards, credit cards, cash, checks, electronic payments, etc.) can at the same time make tracking our finances more difficult.

So what to do?

It you really want to make tracking your finances effective, keep track of everything you spend…everything…every penny. It won’t be fun, and it probably won’t be easy to get used to, but if you do so for an extended timeframe, you will probably find so many ways in which to save, reduce expenditures, and live more frugally that it won’t even be funny.

Wise Investments
One of the things that those living frugally in today’s world often realize when it comes to investments, is that is isn’t always the investment vehicles with the largest return that make the best bets. These same people may also realize that you don’t have to be a millionaire to invest wisely. The main thing is that you invest.

Many of those who live frugally understand that even the smallest return on the smallest investment is still a return. They would probably rather have a savings bond earning them 2% or a savings account earning them 0.1%, than give their money to a big-shot, well-educated financial advisor who might earn them 10% this year, but lose them 10% the next. Frugal livers often live in a financial world where paying off high interest debt (and sometimes any debt at all) comes first, and investing safely and wisely isn’t far behind. They might prefer a sure thing, even if it doesn’t earn them a lot in interest but keeps their money safe, as opposed to an investment with the possibilities of big returns but puts their money at risk.

Disclaimer:
The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. For financial advice, readers should consult a licensed financial advisor. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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