If you want to live wiser and wealthier, here are the 50 frugal living tips that I do that you can also apply to your own lifestyle.
- I do not chase after the newest technology
As long as your gadgets are still working perfectly fine, you don’t need to buy a new one just for the sake of keeping up with the latest trends.
- I do not chase after trends
Similar to technology, I do not also chase after the latest beauty or fashion trends as long as I still have something that I can use.
- I only get classy and basic style items
I prefer these over trendy stuff because classy and basic items are timeless therefore you get to use them more frequently compared to the seasonal, trendy items.
Whenever I buy something online, I always make sure to turn on my Ebates extension in my Google Chrome browser. If you haven’t used Ebates before, basically what it does is that it gives you cash back on a lot of websites that you shop in, sometimes, as much as four times cash back. Ebates also offers very exclusive deals that you can only see after installing the plugin.
I’m an Amazon Prime member and I saved so much time and gas money for just ordering things from Amazon. From what I have observed, the stuff on Amazon cost the least compared to other markets. This might be because Amazon does not have the same amount of overhead cost.
- 30-day rule
I always give myself 30 days to decide whether or not I really need to make this one-time purchase. The reason why I do this is that sometimes it might be just an urge, so I give myself 30 days to think about it and nine times out of ten that urge goes away after 30 days.
- Shop secondhand
There’s nothing wrong with buying secondhand items especially if they are still working perfectly fine. In fact, I have a couple of furniture that are actually preowned. Just walk into your nearest consignment store or a thrift store and you will see how there’s really a surplus of supply of secondhand clothes and not enough demand.
- Sell your unused items
If you want to declutter, might as well get some cash out of it. You can sell your stuff on Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, or on some Facebook groups.
- Unsubscribe from shopping sites
You might probably think, isn’t this going to make you miss out on exclusive deals and discounts?
Well, that’s exactly the point. Think about how many times you have clicked onto a shopping site simply because it appeared in your inbox you did not even plan to shop at all. But because this discount message popped up in your inbox, you clicked into it and purchased something that you never planned to purchase.
Alternatively, you can also register a separate email specifically for shopping and only check that email when you need to shop for something.
- Unsubscribe from fashion bloggers
A lot of fashion bloggers use their platforms to actually lure you into purchasing items that you don’t actually need by using misleading titles like “every girl needs this pair of heels” or “this season’s must-haves” mainly because they also benefit directly from you purchasing with their affiliate links.
Remember, you don’t need to buy anything to make you more or less of who you are.
- Do not buy in bulk if you don’t need it
A lot of people tend to buy in bulk simply because its cost per unit is cheaper but let me tell you this: this is not always the smartest move.
For instance, sometimes I find myself buying like a hundred cup noodles. Am I really going to finish those hundred cup noodles? Probably not. But then because its cost per unit was cheaper, I tend to buy things in bulk that I don’t actually need.
So, unless you know that you would really be able to consume or use them all, do not buy in bulk.
- Buy generic brands
When you start buying generic brands you will start to realize that it is cheaper and the content is just the same. In fact, a lot of the generic and branded items out there actually were made from the same factory. They just swap the packaging and make it more expensive for the branded items whereas you get the exact same thing with the generic brands.
- Use towel instead of paper towel
This is just a more specific way of saying that using a reusable item over a disposable one can definitely save you a lot of money in the long run. Plus, you get to live an eco-friendly life!
- I use credit cards for cashback
I have successfully dashed the payment of several of my credit cards because I simply applied my credit card points for cashback and I used it for my credit card balance.
- I use my credit cards for budgeting and expense tracking
I simply look at my credit card statements and I can pinpoint exactly where my money went. Since I use each credit card for different categories, for instance, I use the American Express rose gold card specifically for dining out. This way it only takes me around 20 minutes to figure out my spending for the entire month.
- Automate your bills
This will save you so much time and you can use that time to produce more value and earn more money.
- Credit card churning
It is the practice of frequently opening credit cards to get sign-up bonuses and then stopping use of or cancelling them.
- Bank account churning
Similar to credit card churning, it is the process of opening a bank account, fulfilling a few requirements, getting bonuses, terminating the account after 6 months or so, then applying again in about a year or when you are eligible again.
- No cable
I stopped paying for cable since high school and especially now that we can watch almost anything on the internet, I don’t really feel the need to pay for cable anymore.
- Cut down on phone cost
Ask around and compare prices and even ask your frugal friends what service they use because paying 60 to 100 bucks every single month for a phone bill is pretty absurd.
- I don’t use subscription services
I don’t use Netflix, SoundCloud or Spotify. The only subscription service that I use is Amazon Prime which for my lifestyle actually saves me more money so that’s why I keep on using it but I don’t have any monthly subscription service.
- Errands Day + Automation
Errands day is a way for me to increase my efficiency by just bulking all my chores together. I have also automated a lot of my chores such as getting my litter robot and also my vacuum robot. This way I can save more time and energy on the things that really move the needle in terms of saving money and making money.
- I don’t wash my car
I vacuum the inside of my car; I just don’t see the need to wash it.
I do park outside at work and also at home— it’s an outdoor parking spot, so I don’t see the need to keep going back to the car wash and just get my car dirty again when I park at home.
- Get a free library card
Get access to a lot of resources such as audiobooks, internet, and also traditional books, all for free!
- I turn off lights and AC when I leave
It’s a personal habit of mine to turn off all the electronics, lights, and AC before I leave the house. Not only it saves you money but it’s also safer.
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- I don’t have an AC installed in my room
I do have an AC in my living room but I only use a fan in my bedroom mainly because I do Youtube videos and if I turn the AC on it would only obstruct the sound of my videos. Plus, I can say that here in Santa Monica, you can tolerate living even without an AC.
- I don’t use my dishwasher
I just hand wash my dishes because I don’t really use that many dishes so I don’t really need to use a dishwasher.
- I don’t use the coin-op dryer and washer
Since a lot of my clothes are made with silk and other delicate materials, I opt to hand wash my clothes instead of machine wash.
- Always pregame before partying
I really don’t find the need to pay 8 to 15 bucks on a single drink when you go out. Truthfully, this can really add up in the long run so might as well put that money into your investments. This is the very reason why I always pregame before I go out
- I find free events on meetup.com
A lot of the free events will explicitly say that they’re free in the title so you don’t even have to be worried about being judged by your friends because you’re so frugal and you want to go to a free event.
- Cut back on meaningless social activities
I’m pretty sure you have felt the times when you don’t want to go to a party but you’re just going for the sake of going.
As I grow older and wiser, I learned to eliminate these meaningless social activities. I mean, why do I have to attend these social interactions? Not only do they drain my energy but also my wallet.
Do not fall into the trap of social pressure.
- Resist the temptation of buying a food or drink just for social reasons
Sometimes at social events we can feel so awkward and we feel like we have to hold a cup in our hands in order to feel less awkward. What I can say is resist the temptation of holding a drink in your hand; it’s really not necessary and if you really want to hold something just get a free glass of water.
- Drive a used car
The current car that I’m driving is used. It’s a 2014 car but if I were to rewind back to the day when i purchased this car I’d probably get a car that’s even older and I’ll also do extensive research on where it is the bottom of the depreciation curve aka what year of what car I should get to get the most bang of my buck.
- Don’t get those “special bundle deals”
Don’t get those bundle deals on special car component insurance or maintenance because most of the time these are just ways for the car dealership to make extra money and most of the time these bundles are pure junk.
I know this from experience and I probably wasted like almost 10k on these bundles that I never used ever throughout the life of me driving.
- I cut my own hair
This has saved me so much money for so many years. I only get my hair professionally cut when I get my hair professionally colored which is not that often.
- I dye my own hair
This is also something that I do all on my own. Japanese bubble hair dye is seriously so easy to use. They are in bubble form so you just need to put it on your hair like when you wash your hair with shampoo and the color distributes really nicely and evenly.
- I do my own gel nails
Doing your nails on your own not only saves you a lot of money but also your time because you no longer have to wait in line in nail salons. I decided to do my own nails so I can control exactly what my nails look like and at what time I do my nails.
- I do my own eyelash extension
The cheapest lash extension I found is $100 and a refill is around $60 but you still need to pay a tip. By doing lash extensions on your own you probably only need to spend around 20 bucks for a full kit that you can use for several months.
- I wash my own clothes
Especially since most of my clothes are made of silk delicate material, I hand wash my own clothes so they last longer.
- I do a monthly purge of everything I have
Sometimes we buy something and forget they exist so we keep buying the same item over and over again. By doing a purge, not only will you find those duplicated items, but you can also find which are items you never use so you can sell them.
- I travel with miles
I stopped paying out of pocket for plane tickets simply because it is just so much more cost-effective to purchase your tickets with miles. My most recent solo trip to Panama was also purchased with miles. My round-trip ticket including a business class ticket from Panama to LA and LA to Panama was only about 600 dollars.
- Book Airbnb instead of hotel
Not only is it cheaper but it also gives you a very authentic experience of the local life.
- Walk instead of Uber
I prefer to walk instead of riding an Uber when I travel as a tourist.
- I buy my flights early
I always purchase my tickets at least a month or two before my actual travel date so I can get the best deals in the market.
- I bring energy bars whenever I travel
I pack energy bars with me whenever I do touristy things in a foreign place because oftentimes food in these places are really expensive and I also don’t want to stop for an extensive amount of time just for eating.
- I have a reusable water bottle
This can save me so much money in the long run because if you buy plastic water bottles individually they can cost anywhere from a buck to five bucks depending on which brand you get and packing my own water bottle costs zero because I can just drink filtered tap water.
- I use a mug at work
This way I can eliminate waste and also take advantage of my office’s free coffee.
- I practice zero food waste
Especially when I dine out, I always ask for the leftovers for to-go even though some people might look at this as a really cheap thing to do, it actually saved me so much money. Sometimes my one meal can be split into three different meals just because I packed to-go boxes and if you’re worried about your environmental footprint you can also bring your own boxes and just pack the leftovers into your own boxes.
- I never buy coffee or tea
The only time I buy a drink is probably boba which I do not make on my own. But, of course, it is possible to make boba on your own; it just takes a long time. But, I never buy coffee, tea or pretty much anything that I can make on my own.
- No drinks at meals
Drinks at meals can be so expensive especially if there are alcoholic drinks. A glass of wine can cost $12 to $15 depending on what wine it is and honestly I cannot tell the difference between the wine they serve at restaurants and the wine I can get from TJ’s. What is the point of spending so much money for a glass of wine when you dine out? That’s a lot of cost added together cumulatively.
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