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A Matter of Perspective

Being mindful about our money can be a challenge when times are good. When times are bad, it can be nearly impossible.

Those of us who live paycheck to paycheck without any savings know this all too well.

It seems no matter how hard we try it is difficult to save for a “rainy day” let alone for retirement.

But there are some simple every day ways we can save money and still enjoy the best of life.

I subscribe to a frugal living newsletter and these were some suggestions (10 in fact) for how to enjoy the good things and still save money.

1. Make your own coffee.

Well, I do this every day, but what the author was talking about was making some specialty coffee drinks. There are many inexpensive ways to spruce up your day with a special recipe that you can find on the Internet.

2. Don’t buy a lot of clothes.

No problem for me. But if you like to spend on clothes, just remember that this is a “world of fast fashion” with clothing styles getting outdated quickly.

The author suggested purchasing neutral colors and timeless clothing and mix and match them. See? There is a reason I love the color black!

3. Make a weekly meal plan.

I know it sounds boring, but you will save a lot of money if you make a shopping list and stick to it. You will also be less tempted to go out to eat. Impulse buying is often the reason we go over budget, so stick to your list.

4. Buy whole foods.

Surprisingly, a whole-food diet is usually cheaper and healthier. Buy local and in-season produce at your farmer’s markets when you can. It can be difficult around these parts because we have such a short growing season, but if you try to find reasonable deals you can eat well and save money.

5. Pack lunches

You can save a lot of money by bringing your lunch to work or sending a bag lunch with your children. Also, check into free and reduced lunch for your children at school.

When you travel, pack lunches instead of stopping to eat fast food.

6. Make your own toiletries and cleaning products.

It will cost you pennies to make these and you won’t be putting strange chemicals on your body or in your home. Look up some information on the Internet and you will soon be saving a lot of money on these essential products.

7. Don’t buy disposable products.

When you do this, you have to buy the same things over and over and the waste fills up the landfills. You can save a lot of money by reusing your non-disposable products.

8. Don’t exercise at a gym.

You can practice yoga at home. You can take a walk in nature for nothing. If you feel more motivated by going to a gym, just remember that is a monthly expense. Shop around for the best prices. Also, many health insurance plans will pay part of your membership fee if you use the gym regularly.

9. Make a budget for eating out.

Just because you are being frugal doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat out at restaurants. Just make sure you set aside a monthly budget for it.

10. Don’t use too much heating and cooling.

Don’t be a wimp! Keep the house a bit cooler in the winter and a bit warmer in the summer. Bundle up when it’s cold and dress lighter when it’s warm.

So, there you go. Some ways to save some money and help save the environment!

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