Your guide to frugal living

"Frugal living" seems to be the new catchphrase of the month. In uncertain financial times it's a good idea to tighten our belt, but isn't frugal living taking it too far? The simple answer is no - frugality is more about common sense than penny pinching. And it's surprisingly easy to reduce your outgoings...

Top tips for frugal living

  • Start with your major expenses - are they all necessary? Could you, for example, share a house rather than rent your own flat?
  • Little changes can add up too. Cut out small but regular luxuries like a take away coffee every morning
  • Can you walk or use public transport rather than driving or taking a taxi?
  • Pack your own lunch for work at least four days per week
  • Make shopping lists and stick to them! This way you can avoid unnecessary spur of the moment purchases
  • If you have a craving to go shopping, consider what item you really need - a new winter coat, for example. If there's nothing you really need, why not start your Christmas shopping early?
  • One thing that most frugal livers have in common is that they shop around. Price compare all major purchases at least three times before shelling out
  • Online goods are often cheaper than those you'll find on the high street
  • Repair or customise clothes that are a little worn out or that you've grown tired off
  • When clothes shopping, think in terms of outfits (i.e. what you've already got that you could wear with the piece) rather than individual items

Frugal living and making savings!

Allow yourself to see the benefits of all that frugal living. A regular treat (like a manicure or fancy dinner) can be a great motivator to keep you on the right track. Check your savings account on a weekly basis and consider making a chart to watch it grow.

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