Frugal Living 101

Screen Shot 2020-07-30 at 1.03.19 PM.pngI am often called cheap, by my parents by my friends, and even of course by my girlfriend. I agree with all of them, and that is because I am cheap for a reason, Financial Freedom. When I am 40 years old, my cheap frugal ways from my 20s will pay off. Frugal living is the act of being very thoughtful with your spending. If done correctly, you will choose to prioritize the things that matter to you most. You will spend money on those things that matter and cut back on spending in other areas. Luckily, frugality can mean very different things to different people. To me, frugality is critical for saving to invest instead of saving to spend, which I see happen way too often. I used to live a life of saving to spend, but since I hit 19 years old, I strictly SAVE TO INVEST, which is something I recommend for all young adults my age. If you are in your late teens and early 20s, buying dumb crap to impress others will cause many regrets later in life. If you are buying expensive jewelry, expensive shoes, and expensive clothing, you are merely wasting money. When I was 18 years old, I wasted a lot of money on this kind of crap, and I already regret it. Do not make the same mistake as me. It is not too late, saving to invest is much better than buying worthless junk to impress others :). 

Why Live Frugally?

Frugal living unlocks a world of possibilities, from Meal Prep, money management, DIY projects, and searching through online discount websites. These four habits will tremendously improve your life and get you right on the path to Financial Freedom. Want to pay off all of your debts? Travel the world? Retire early? Enjoy the security of a fat bank account? Take on the task of FRUGAL LIVING your life will drastically improve in the long run.

Frugal living is about controlling the fate of what you want out of your life and finding a way to make it happen. A percentage of a paycheck is saved here, and another percentage of paycheck invested does not translate into a life of deprivation; it translates into endless financial possibilities.  

Decide what you want in life.

1. Do you want to impress others with flashy items and credit card debt? 

2. Or do you want to build up assets, bank accounts, and retire early? 

You tell me I will pick number 2 every time. 

How to live frugally

Where to buy clothes

I used to be all about the hype; I would buy ridiculous designer clothes like supreme,Bape, Gucci, and Burberry. After realizing how stupid and pointless this was, I sold 80% of those clothes. Being financially educated, I sold some of my clothes for a profit. The fact that I realized those clothes were toxic is what is most important. Now I shop at H&M for EVERYTHING. I look to H&M for a significantly affordable outfit changer – it is incredibly affordable. 90% of my wardrobe is now H&M from dress shirts to work clothes to just everyday basics. H&M has it all; it is stylish and, most certainly, CHEAP.

Meal Prep

Luckily my current job has a free lunch program, but I am only in the office twice a week, so the days I am not in the office, I eat the same lunch. First, I skip breakfast and eat a huge lunch. My go-to lunch is two chicken thighs (pan-seared with some seasoning)+ a cup of veggies and rice or beans. 

  • Two large packages of chicken thighs = $12
  • 1 large (4P) bag yellow rice = $5
  • Bags of frozen veg (broccoli, green beans, spinach, whatever you like) = $1/lb
  • Bags of dried beans (I like black and pinto) = $1/lb
  • Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, hot sauce – whatever seasonings you are into (buy 1-2/week till you have a good variety)

By following this correctly, your lunch every day would only be $3.80. In comparison, the average cost of lunch is $11.33. That is $7.53 saved each day and roughly $38 a week! This may not seem like much money saved a week, but within a year, you save $1976, which is worth it to me. An extra $1976 invested in the market sounds great!!

Eat Out Less

I take my girlfriend out to dinner once a week, call me cheap, but it saves A LOT of money, which is my goal. Growing up, my parents only made home-cooked meals. It is what I prefer anyway, but eating out could put a hole in your pockets. It is one of the most significant expenses in our daily lives — the average person spends well over $2,000 a year on eating out. Restaurants are expensive, including fast-food (not to mention the health hazards). It is much cheaper to cook your food. 

To make a profit, restaurants charge about a 300 percent markup on the items they serve. You are paying for service and convenience. You could make a $15 meal in a restaurant for $5 at home in many cases.

The food you make at home might not taste as good as a restaurant (unless Chopperman is making it). If you dine out regularly for convenience, you could save some serious cash cooking at home.

Sell Your Clutter

 This is not so much saving money as making it; you will want to declutter and make a few bucks doing it. Hold a garage sale or sell it on eBay. It is incredible what some people will buy. If you got excess crap in your house, put it up for sale like the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” You would be surprised at the amount of stuff you could sell that has just been lying around your house for years.

The great thing about selling your clutter is that it allows you to get back a small part of the money we have spent on unnecessary items in your home. This can help make the decluttering journey a little more easy for that inner hoarder inside you. When I realized I was wasting money on nonsense, I went on a selling spree. I sold iPhone’s, clothing, portable speakers, and even old textbooks. I put the money right into my stock account with my returns from selling all these things—assets over liabilities ALL DAY.  

Cut your hair

About a year ago, I bought a pair of barber clippers for $16 off amazon. My girlfriend has been cutting my hair for months, and each hair cut gets a little better. Call me crazy, but I have plenty of friends who spend $50 a month on haircuts. It is just silly if you ask me. $600 a year on cutting your hair to stay “fresh” is absurd if you are looking to save money and get some barber tools so you can stop overpaying for a simple haircut. Do not worry about my hair getting messed up, or having to fix it in the morning. However, I am not saying you should shave your head. Many people cut their hair, in many simple but nice hairstyles, long or short. It Saves money and time.

5 Gallon Water Jug Piggy Bank

I keep a 5-gallon water jug in my room as a type of savings account. Each time I have any spare change or singles, fives, and tens, I automatically put them right in the water chug. If you were to fill this jug up with just quarters, it would have $5900 once the jug is full. By saving all your small-dollar bills and change, I can squeeze out $10,000 by the time I am 25. The day I crack open that jug, I will be rolling up all the coins and sorting my bills and bringing it all to the bank. Once all that money is in my bank account, I will transfer it to fund my stock account. Seven years of saving my coins and small bills will be a significant boost to my stock portfolio. It is also a suitable savings method and an excellent method of frugal living. Putting away this money makes me not spend the extra money in my wallet, and instead of spending it, I am saving it. 

This is only two years of info about frugal living. I have been practicing living this way to achieve my dreams of financial freedom. I rarely ever buy something for myself unless it is necessary, even on my birthday or Christmas I never ask for anything I want. It is only what I NEED. I feel frugal living is an art, and each day I practice it, and I only get better. Frugal living is a mindset. Frugal living helps you reach your financial goals and helps you be wise enough to live your life to full potential. If you are looking to SAVE to INVEST, living frugally is KEY. 

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