Any fully independent adult, especially one with a spouse and children, is well aware of all the expenses that await each month. Even when both spouses are employed, it does get difficult from time to time to tackle all the financial challenges. Still, comfort and rescue can be found in the fact that there are multiple ways to boost your budget and save money through seemingly minor, everyday decisions and behaviours. Let’s have a look at some ways to make thrift into a family habit.
Getting rid of harmful and costly habits
Habits like regular smoking and alcohol consumption permeate not just the physical, that is, health aspect of one’s life, but they also present a noticeable blow to a family budget. Though it seems like it’s not more than just a few dollars here and there, it stops looking that way once you put on paper just how much you spend on such harmful treats. Over a longer period of time, these costs add up and reach a small fortune that could have instead been put toward wiser or more noble family causes, like vacations or college funds.
Economizing with water and electricity
It is an immensely negative habit that so many of us have, yet it never stops having to be said—people are highly careless with their use of water and electricity. Teach both yourselves and your children the importance of water conservation. Turn off your faucets when you are not using water, fix any leaky faucets or sinks you may have, double dip the dishes when washing them, make your showers and baths shorter.
There are also possibilities for reducing your electrical bill: switch off all the lights and electronic devices when you leave the house, rely more on natural instead of artificial light, keep your refrigerator full and turn it up slightly, instead of tumble drying try air drying your clothes, during the heating season turn the thermostat down just a notch, use pot lids when cooking or boiling water, etc.
Smart home improvement
It has been proven time after time that wise property investment in the end reduces family costs on monthly and annual levels. It should be emphasized that this does not have to imply purchasing new real estate—specific home improvements can be significantly budget-friendly as well. The important part is that the investment you decide on pays off not just for a brief period, but for years to come.
For example, you can reduce your electricity bills by changing all the light bulbs in your home from incandescent to LED ones. Also, high-quality doors and windows not only make your house or apartment safer, but they are generally more energy efficient and provide better thermal insulation. This will inevitably result in much lower electricity and heating bills.
Bicycle as a means of transportation
Some of the most obvious advantages of switching to bicycles instead of driving is that it is the more environmentally friendly decision and it helps keep the body healthy. But, cycling is also good for the wallet. Since you would not be using your car as often, you would be able to save a big sum of money by spending much less on petrol or gas.
Keeping an expense journal or thrift journal
Keeping an expense or thrift journal is especially beneficial for families who are just starting to develop a money-saving regimen and need to pinpoint their largest financial sinkholes. By keeping track of every occuring purchase and expense, you can analyze what your family spends most money on, detect (and then avoid) any unnecessary or excessive expenses, and have a much clearer picture of the possible ways your budget can be brought back to health.
Coupons and shopping bargains
Those who have already tried collecting coupons are aware of just how much money can be saved and put aside through coupons. Depending on the number of family members, grocery shopping can be quite expensive, but if you regularly collect and use coupons available to you, that cost can be visibly reduced.
Second hand shops are nothing to be sneezed at, either, so give them a chance. Once you get into the spirit of thriftiness, you will see that the clothes or other items you can purchase for your family here are just as good (or even better) than new ones you can get at standard stores. Far from saying that bargains cannot be found at regular stores as well. Try to avoid shopping at full prices but instead look for places where they have high-quality stock on sale.
Creating instead of buying
Just because your financial situation has hit a rough patch, it does not mean that you and your family have to give up certain pleasures and joys. Like gift giving, for example. Situations such as this are a perfect excuse to bring your creativity to the surface.
Instead of buying a present, invest effort into coming up with your own, original, personalized present for a loved one by using what you already have in your home. If it’s an arts-and-crafts project, you can recycle things that you no longer use and transform them into a masterpiece. If you have a knack for composing or drawing, write a song or draw a portrait. There are tons of ways to employ your innovativeness, talents, and creative spark in living a frugal life.
Frugal living is not just a way to overcome tough financial phases, but it’s also a manner of learning how to use one’s resources wisely. The true efficiency and usefulness of thrift are most visible when responsible spending is incorporated into one’s lifestyle as a permanent trait rather than an obligation.
Do you have any thrift tips or tricks which you use to live a more frugal lifestyle? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!