How to Live Thrifty

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  • 3/2/12
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  • A Twenty Dollar Bank Roll
    How To Live Thrifty
    Living a frugal lifestyle is a smart move because it gives you financial freedom. When you choose to spend less than you earn, you can save, invest or pay off debt. You might decide to cut down on your work hours or take early retirement. Even in the face of a difficult economy, most of us live more expensively than we need to. With a bit of belt-tightening and attention to the cash you spend, you can live on less with more enjoyment.

    Read on for some ideas about how to adopt a thrifty lifestyle.

    1. Establish a budget. Many people find the prospect painful, but analyzing your expenses is a necessary first step in gaining control of your finances. Divide one month’s worth of receipts into categories. Add in your monthly bills. Determine how much of your spending goes to needs and how much goes to wants. Decide where to make cuts.

    2. Reduce your grocery bill. Use coupons, and take advantage of sales to stock up on items you use a lot. Do not buy something you do not generally use just because it is on sale. Consider buying your groceries in bulk. If you shop carefully, you can quickly make up a warehouse membership fee with savings.

    3. Cook your own healthy meals, and leave the fast food behind. For many families, eating out numbers as a major household expense. Look online for healthy, inexpensive recipes. Make up a menu each week, and shop for the groceries you need. Both your health and your wallet will benefit.

    4. Think used. When we need something, our first impulse is generally to head for the store. Next time you find yourself contemplating a purchase, ask family and friends if they might have the item you need. Thrift stores and garage sales also offer good alternatives to brand-new items.

    5. Cut your credit card use. Credit cards are valuable in some instances, but too often we use them to make unnecessary purchases and then compound the problem by maintaining a revolving balance. If you cannot pay for your credit card purchase at the end of the month, the item is too expensive for you.

    6. Watch your energy use. Turn off lights when they are not being used. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. Turn off your computer at the end of the day, saving electricity and reducing wear and tear on your hardware.

    Image Credit: Images_of_Money
    Written By: Shannon R

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