How to spend less without dropping your quality of life
You may spend hundreds and thousands less a year and still keep your quality of life – just look around and find those magic possibilities!
One of the biggest mental barriers that most people come across when it comes to turning around their financial life is the simple idea that if they cut into their spending, they’re going to reduce their quality of life.
Usually, a person’s mind flashes to the non-essential things that they care about most. Like, for example, when you talk about cutting spending, you imagine cutting into the hobby spending. or cutting into the quality food spending, or cutting into family vacations.
Putting it honestly, that’s a pretty unpleasant vision. Those are the things you really care about in YOUR life. You don’t want to cut them out. You don’t want to lose those things that really bring a lot of joy and value to YOUR life.
Most people who consider cutting their spending go through a similar thought process. Their mind immediately flashes to the things in their life that they spend money on that bring them genuine lasting value and joy, and unsurprisingly they don’t want to cut that. Thus, the prospect of spending less seems like it directly leads to a lower quality of living and thus misery, and thus people often avoid frugality or enter into it with severe trepidation.
Now, to the tips!
1. Hobbies can be cheap or even free
Brands want to mine out the last pennies out of us and our hobbies claiming that you absolutely need these equipment, gear and appliances. Main thing here is to never ignore anything that guarantees the safety of your hobbies (helmets, high quality protection etc.)
How much do you actually need to spend for hiking as long as the trails are free? A pair of comfortable shoes with good grip? That’s probably it.
How about photography? You already have a camera in your phone right? Better invest in learning the basics of photography like books or Skillshare membership. An expensive camera is not what you might need at the beginners’ level. Think of fun things that do not involve money.
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2. So much saving on grocery shopping but keeping healthy eating
Avoid everything that is pre-cut (veggies and fruit) and pre-cooked (microwave lunches) or grated and shredded (cheese, for example. Plus, shredded cheese contains added starch to avoid chunks, so it’s less healthy).
Buying frozen and not fresh berries off season may stretch your money and you are still getting your daily dose of antioxidants!
3. Sleep well, it’s free!
No electronics, no Netflix, no videogames one hour before you go to bed, your Fitbit will show your better sleep score. And you’ll see how it’s going to impact your quality of life.
4. Patience saves money
Wait for sale when you want a new mattress or a laptop. Avoid impulse purchases. Oh, we all know that right? Still, not follow, why?
5. Use your hands and do DIY
YouTube videos, Skill share tutorials, great décor ideas, less spending! Plus, it’s a fantastic way to explore your creativity and a great method of relaxation. Try to make your first knitting scarf for your friends’ kid, you’ll see physical and emotional results. A new trend now: eco DIY detergents, you save and get a more natural and eco-friendly cleaning.
6. Make your coffee at home
Even simple coffee at your gas station costs money, not talking about fancy coffee shops. All the ingredients like syrups, plant milks and spices are pretty affordable, and you may use your own mug instead of wasting paper cups.
7. Buy gently used and pre-owned
Gucci is still Gucci when you buy it pre-loved. Services like ReBag, Tradesy, Poshmark know how to assist you with that. Tons of clothes, bags, accessories with 20-70% discounts off the initial price and still sales throughout a year.
8. Don’t allow others to dictate your spending
Oh, that’s important. If you do your own research to find out this collagen milk is a scam – skip it! Do not trust all the ads and bloggers recommendations, make your own research and examine the ingredients.
9. Libraries is a beautiful source for so much stuff
Books! Video Games! Magazines! For free! Some libraries have free events for children and teenagers, some have board game nights for adults, just check on the libraries in your area. You may also subscribe to digital magazines instead of paper magazines, it’s always cheaper.
10. Avoid buying kitchen gadgets that perform only one function
Not talking here about toasters and coffee-makers, but small appliances like spiralizers, avocado slicers, pizza scissors (yes, scissors, not rollers), hamburger patty molds with fake grill marks, and so many more. These things do nothing with your quality of life, they only clutter your pantry and counter top.
And last but not the least…
Don’t deprive yourself of joy
Staying on top of bills is a necessity, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up the things that make you happy. Leave some room for some affordable splurges at your monthly budget. If you deprive yourself of all fun things, it can impact your well-being, and may reduce your motivation to stick with your financial goals.
You can still live your life while prioritizing savings and spending goals. Just make small changes in your daily routine to spend less money and save more for the future while still having fun.
Be grateful for what you already have. Family, friends, health, shelter (even rented), food, water, electricity, access to the internet. So many people across the globe have less than half of that or even none. Don’t mean to be dramatic, just saying.