There are a few incredible people out there that are born with a knack for frugal living. The rest of us have to learn tips and tricks the hard way or from Pinterest. 🙂
The Best frugal living tip ever given to me: Put your blinders on
Being married does not suddenly qualify you for a massive house, super fancy cars, a large grocery budget, and unlimited vacation funds. But it feels like it should right??? After all, that’s what the neighbors “seem” to have!
The best frugal living tip I was ever given as a newlywed was to put my blinders on and go to work. Roughly translated, that means to not compare your current circumstances to someone else’s. You have no idea if they in their beginning, middle or advanced stages financially, OR if they are faking it completely and drowning in debt.
So put your blinders on, ignore everyone else and do the best you can with what you have. You’ll be much better off in the long run and much happier too.
Have multiple savings accounts
I’m the world’s WORST gift giver. It’s not my love language so it’s hard for me to think that way, and I don’t like shopping so that’s basically a recipe for disaster when it comes to birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.
AND THEN! Holidays and birthdays are sneakier than James Bond. They used to always creep up and sink my budget. So one afternoon I got smart and made a savings account strictly dedicated to gifts.
It usually has less than $50 bucks in it, but I’m so grateful to have that extra $50 bucks there when I wake up and realize it’s my sister’s birthday but payday isn’t until Friday. #winwin
So for the next best frugal living tip, sit down and make a list of things that seem to always sink your budget. For me, it was food storage, gifts, car repairs and medical bills. What are your big hitters?
If you bank at a credit union, you can have multiple savings accounts FOR FREE BABY!
I remember reading this word of advice when I was a teenager, but I let it go in one ear and out the other.
Fast forward to married life and we now pay ourselves religiously 10% of every paycheck after we pay tithing to our church.
If you’re always living off 100% of your income, you’re never going to get ahead. If you choose to live off only a fraction of your total income, after some time what you’ve saved adds up and boy is it exciting!
We save at least 10% of every paycheck. Choose an amount that works for you and get saving!
Always get multiple quotes when doing business
This can seem like a hassle or perhaps even rude to just call around and get quotes from people, but it’s called business. An apple is an apple, but it definitely doesn’t cost the same from place to place.
We saved 4K on a sewage line, 2k on fence parts, and $600 dollars on a car repair by calling around to different companies.
Especially in the first few years of marriage, learning to compare costs will definitely improve your finances (and possibly relationship).
dONATE TO a ROTH ira
The beauty of a Roth IRA is that you donate money after tax.
I’ve heard some people say that they just can’t afford to invest more money after taxes but let me persuade you otherwise.
Say that over the course of 20 years, you put a total of 50K into both a Roth IRA and a 401K. After those 20 years, both accounts grew to roughly 150,000 dollars. For the Roth IRA, you already paid taxes on the initial 50K, but now for the 401K, you’re going to pay taxes on the 150,000 dollars.
That’s just a rough example, but do you get the point?? Paying tax on the smaller amount makes SO MUCH sense when you look at it that way. And… if you’re paying yourself 10% each month, a Roth IRA could be a great place to put it!
set frugal living boundaries
One of the biggest mistakes people make (sometimes even subconsciously) is spending money to impress other people.
The worst part, it that it’s usually people that aren’t that involved in our lives: old high school or college peers, the neighbor across the street, Instagram followers, ex-husbands… whatever.
By setting frugal living boundaries, you are safeguarding your marriage + family, your reputation and your happiness. Living by this tip can save you a lot of heartache!
Here are a few of our boundaries:
Pay God first (we pay 10% in tithing to our church and it’s the BIGGEST blessing).
Buy used cars only.
Save first, spend later.
$100 dollars per person, per month for groceries.
Pay off the credit card weekly.
Pay cash for vacations (and cars, toys, etc.).
Keep extended family and friends OUT of your finances.