(The following is a guest post)
Gone are the days of unlimited spending. With the economy in a slump and families continuing to slowly sink into more debt, there is no way to keep up with all of the purchases that, even a year ago, seemed commonplace. Instead of money going down the drain on pricey apparel and eating out, families are making the change to a more frugal mindset.
Because of the large numbers of people making the transition, being frugal and thrifty has become more popular and is looked upon in a completely different light than it was just five to ten years ago.
With opportunities like a self select ISA, individuals and families are seeing savings as a better use of their money instead of the snowball of spending.
Getting what you want right away feels great. The problem is that when an item goes on a credit card, it isn’t just the retail price that you are paying. After interest and fees from the credit card, the cost of one item is even more excessive.
How to Be Frugal
If you want to have some extra money to put in the self select ISA, you need to look for places to make a few cuts. The main thing to note is that being frugal doesn’t mean depriving yourself of things. It just means looking to get those things in a different way. For example, if you love name brand clothing, you don’t have to give it up to be frugal.
Instead of shopping at expensive stores and buying new, consider looking at a thrift store. Most expensive clothes tend to stand up well to multiple wears and washes, so even used clothing is still going to last.
Today, mentioning that you find something special at a thrift store tends to get much more positive attention than it did in the past. Don’t be surprised if your friends want to give up your group trip to the mall in exchange for a few second hand shops around town.
Homemade apparel and meals is another gateway to being more frugal. Can you make additions or alterations to your current wardrobe to make it last a little longer or add some extra style?
Instead of dropping some serious cash at a fancy restaurant, families can work together in the kitchen, creating delicious homemade meals for less than half the price. No one is giving up steak or even a glass of wine. They are just paying less when they buy it at the store and fixing it themselves.
Saving as Part of Being Frugal
Being frugal isn’t just about cutting back. In fact, many times, being frugal means getting more. When you are spending your extra cash on new designer clothes or an expensive night out on the town, you could be spending beyond your means. Part of being frugal is using your money wisely. Saving money is one of the key components to living a frugal life.
Take that extra money and invest it wisely. For some, this means paying off high interest credit cards and opening a savings account. For others, it means funding a self select ISA up to the yearly limit and then moving onto retirement savings or other investments.
The more money you have tucked away, the better off you will be in the future. This is a principle that more and more people are learning as they make the transition to a more frugal lifestyle.
Being frugal isn’t about less. When you do it right, being frugal is about having more.