July 18, 2012
Last week we discussed the first five of ten frugal living tips. This week we continue on with the last five frugal tips.
Tip # 6: Barter
In the time of our grandparents and great grandparents, bartering was a common occurrence and a great way to get things such as food and medical treatment when you had little cash available. Bartering is making a comeback since the 2008 economic downturn, and I have bartered for a few things we have needed since I quit my full-time job and became a freelancer. My son got his tap dance lessons for free in return for the two of us cleaning the dance studio for two hours once a month. I have also bartered my writing for things that I need. Determine what skills you have that others may need and decide on an agreeable arrangement. When bartering, make sure the agreement is beneficial to both parties.
Tip # 7: Do It Yourself
We are used to paying others for most things that we need such as changing our car oil or even cleaning our homes or cooking our meals. If you have more time than money, you could benefit from taking a class to learn how to take care of your car’s routine maintenance. Take the time to cook at home instead of going out to eat as well as cleaning your home instead of hiring a housekeeper and you could save quite a bit. I have learned to cut my husband and son’s hair and estimate that I save at least $175 a year by doing so.
Tip # 8: Plan Ahead
Frugal people like to plan ahead so they have time to buy things at the lowest price. If you wait until the day before a birthday party to buy a present, you will probably pay full price. If, instead, you know that your child regularly gets invited to a few parties a year and you buy clearance water play toys, for example, you have a gender neutral present that you bought at a fraction of the cost. Best of all, you don’t have to go shopping the day before the party.
Tip # 9: Use It Up—Don’t Waste
Another tenet of frugality is to avoid waste. In food waste alone, the average American family “throws away 14 percent of their food. In terms of money, that’s almost $600 every year in meats, fruit, vegetables and grain products” (source: Discovery). Unfortunately, that is only one of the ways we waste. Think of clothes that we throw out because we are tired of them, gas we buy to make several tips instead of combining our errands into one trip, and cars we replace when they are just a few years old. The list goes on and on. Think of all the ways you might be wasting; how much money could you save in a year by being more conscious of how you use things.
Tip # 10: Be Content
This is the last tip, but perhaps the most important. The more we can be content with who we are and what we have, the less we can compare to what others have, then the less money we feel we have to spend.
People often turn to frugality in times of turmoil such as loss of income or hard economic times. However, frugality combined with making more money can help you grow your wealth faster than you may have thought possible.
What are your favorite frugal tips and suggestions?
This article was reposted with permission from Everything Finance Blog.
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