Saving money can be hard, especially when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. However, with the right mindset and a little creativity, you can make some significant changes to your lifestyle and start saving money quickly. And it’s easier than you think!
Extreme frugal living means cutting costs and finding new ways to save money on everyday expenses. It’s not about depriving yourself of necessities or living uncomfortably, but rather finding creative solutions to everyday expenses and being mindful of your spending.
By cutting back on expenses, living as a minimalist, eating better, and finding ways to have fun for free, you can find financial stability and freedom through extreme frugal living. And you can save money fast! Let’s show you how to do it.
Cutting Back on Expenses
The first step to extreme frugal living is to evaluate your current expenses and figure out where you can cut back. Remember that every little bit of savings adds up in the long run.
Start by taking a look at your bills and expenses for the past few months and put them in two categories: essential and non-essential. Essential expenses are those that you have to pay, such as rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, and transportation costs. Non-essential expenses are things like eating out, subscription services, and entertainment.
Next, take a closer look at your non-essential expenses and see where there is room for cutting back. For example, instead of going out to eat multiple times a week, try cooking at home and meal planning to save money on groceries. For example, cancel any subscription services you don’t use or need, such as streaming services or gym memberships.
Lastly, don’t forget to evaluate your everyday spending habits. Take note of where you spend money and find ways to curb these habits. If you tend to overspend on clothing purchases, try shopping at thrift stores or having clothing swap events with friends. That coffee or soda at the gas station adds up a lot quicker than you realize. To save money fast through extreme frugal living, you have to cut out everything that you don’t truly need.
The Minimalist Lifestyle
Minimalism is perhaps the most effective form of extreme frugal living. It can help you to reduce waste, enjoy a simpler way of living, and save money. Here are some simple ways to live a minimalist lifestyle:
Declutter Your Home – Get rid of everything you don’t need or use. Sell, donate, or recycle items that clutter your home and life. This will also allow you to organize your stuff better and therefore avoid making unnecessary purchases for items you already have. Check out our Guide to Downsizing Your Home for more ideas on how to declutter.
Reduce Your Wardrobe – When it comes to clothes, the minimalist mindset is to keep only what you need and love. Go through your clothes and donate or sell the items you haven’t worn in a while. And then skip the shopping trip this month so you aren’t adding anything new (or spending money).
Use Less Energy – Utility bills are no fun, and they can make it hard to save money. So get used to turning off the lights and unplugging electronics when not in use. Lower your thermostat during winter months and use a fan instead of the AC during summer months. Candles are a relaxing (and cheap) way to light a room. The money savings from using less energy can be huge.
Experiences Over Possessions – Focusing on experiences over possessions cultivates contentment, reduces the desire to buy stuff, fosters memorable moments, and encourages minimalism. This way of thinking boosts financial well-being in a frugal lifestyle.
So, you’ve cut out some expenses and minimized them, but to truly live an extremely frugal lifestyle, you need to eat frugally too. One of the most impactful areas where we can save money is our food choices. Eating out and buying convenience foods can quickly add up and drain our wallets. Extreme frugal living means making smart food choices (and eating at home). Here are some great ways to eat the frugal way:
Meal Plan and Prep – Take some time each week to plan and prepare your meals. This not only saves money but also ensures you are eating nutritious and healthy meals. Check out Budget-friendly Ways to Meal Prep for how to plan and prep your meals.
Buy in Bulk and Shop Smarter– Purchasing non-perishable things in bulk can save you money in the long term. Look out for deals on staple food items such as pasta, rice, and beans. You can save a ton of money by shopping smarter too. In Feeding Your Wallet: Expert Tips For Saving Big On Grocery Shopping, we tell you how!
Use Coupons and Cashback Apps – Many grocery stores offer coupons and discounts for specific products or brands. Utilize these offers and also consider using cashback apps that offer rebates on certain grocery purchases. For more information and tips on how to use coupons, see our article: What Is Extreme Couponing And How Do You Do It?
Cook at Home – Eating out can be expensive, and restaurant meals are often high in calories and fat. Cooking at home gives you control over the ingredients and allows you to make better choices. We know we are stating the obvious here, but once you get used to cooking every meal at home, you will see why we are so adamant about it. It is the key to frugal living.
Fun For Free
Entertainment can quickly add up and become a significant expense in our budgets. But it doesn’t have to. There are many ways to have fun and entertain ourselves without spending a lot of money. Finding free or cheap forms of entertainment is another big part of extreme frugal living. With a little creativity, you can enjoy a variety of entertainment options while staying within your budget. Here are some excellent ways to have fun for free:
Head To The Library – Public libraries provide free access to books, movies, music, and other forms of entertainment. You can borrow books, audiobooks, and DVDs for free. Choose a quiet corner to relax in, open a good book, and have fun for free. Many libraries also host free events, such as book clubs, movie screenings, and workshops.
DIY Projects – Get creative and make your entertainment. DIY projects, such as painting, knitting, or woodworking, can be both fun and cost-effective. And not only does it give you something fun to do, but you also walk away with something cool to keep. Check out our article DIY Décor On A Dime: Inexpensive Homemade Crafts For Beautifully Decorating Your Home for some great ideas.
The Great Outdoors – Nature provides so many entertainment opportunities. Hiking, biking, swimming, and picnics are just a few activities that can be enjoyed for free or at a low cost. Look for local parks and recreational areas that offer free or low-cost admission. Even a leisurely evening stroll downtown can be an awesome way to live frugally.
For 75 more ideas of things to do that are fun and free, check out 75 Ways To Beat Boredom That Won’t Cost You A Dime.
Extreme frugal living is not just about saving money – it’s about taking control of your finances and living a more fulfilling life. We gave you some great ways to live frugally, and whether you choose to implement one or all of them into your life, you will be amazed at how quickly you get accustomed to your new lifestyle. And how much money you will save in a short amount of time.