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For some people frugality is a necessity, for others it is a lifestyle choice. Either way, being frugal is a good way to help your finances stretch that bit further, especially if you are a growing young family. Learning to cut costs, plan for the future and repay debts fast are all good skills for life.
It might sound a bit of a wishy-washy tip, but planning ahead is one of the best ways to live frugally. Even just taking a list to the grocery store and sticking to a set menu of meals for the week can help to cut costs and impulse buys that might not get eaten.
Long-term planning will help even more as it will allow you to save up for future expenses rather than relying on loans or credit cards to see you through. Try to put around 20% of your income into savings each month to create a safety net that can cover any unexpected costs.
Repay Debts ASAP
If you already have debts, frugality is going to be a great help in unburdening you. The faster you can pay off your debts, the less interest you will accrue and the cheaper it will be in the long run. It might be a bit painful while you squeeze your budget to overpay your debts, but once they are gone, you can relax just a bit and instead of paying off your debt each month, you can make the same payment to your savings account.
For families who are really struggling to make ends meet, there are all sorts of companies like repair.credit who can help you out. They can offer advice on how to budget and even refer you to other companies who manage and settle debt on your behalf. If you don’t know where to start with your debt, start here.
Vacation for Cheap
Being frugal doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! There are lots of inexpensive ways to take a vacation and plenty of ways to save money while you are away too.
Camping is always a fun trip and if you already have a tent or an RV, you are ready to go. Pack up plenty of food to put on the barbecue and then enjoy nature’s playground. Walks, fire building and spending lots of time together is all free but it might just be the best family vacation you can think of.
Self-catered vacations are also generally a lot cheaper and if you want to get away to experience something new, this is a good way to do it. Choose a fairly cheap destination and then do all your shopping at the local market to get some amazing fresh ingredients on the cheap.
Once you are into a frugal lifestyle, it’s hard to remember a time when you were so blase about money. Now you have a good opportunity to save for the future and take care of your family without feeling a financial burden. And everyone is much happier for it.