Frugality is an important part of personal finance and a worthwhile habit to cultivate if you want to save money and achieve your financial objectives. With the beginning of 2023, now is an excellent opportunity to review your spending patterns and identify where you can reduce back. In this post, we’ll look at some uncommon thrifty techniques that can be frugal in 2023 and beyond. These strategies can help you make the most of your money and meet your financial goals, from decreasing expenditures to maximizing credit card advantages.
Maximizing Your Savings: A Step-by-Step Approach
Assess Your Financial Situation
Taking charge of your finances starts with a grounded assessment of your income, expenses, and debts. To create a budget that aligns with your aspirations and priorities, get a handle on your assets, liabilities, and spending habits. For instance, if you’re in the habit of grabbing coffee on your way to work every morning, consider making your coffee at home instead. This small change could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Don’t forget to prepare for the unexpected – include room in your budget for emergencies and unplanned costs.
Get Creative With Budgets
Individuals and households must utilize budgeting to efficiently manage their money. By setting and sticking to a budget, you can guarantee that your money is going towards your top objectives, whether that’s saving for a large purchase, paying off debt, or just making ends meet. Zero-based budgeting is a way of budgeting that entails beginning with a blank slate and assigning every dollar generated to specified costs, with the objective of having no leftover money at the end of the month.
Traditional budgeting approaches, on the other hand, may be tedious and time-consuming, making it difficult for people to keep to their objectives. To assist people manage their money, there are now digital budgeting systems and smartphone applications that provide real-time expenditure data. The 50/30/20 guideline, which allocates 50% of income to necessities, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings, can help to simplify budgeting and boost success. The most essential thing is to discover a budgeting strategy that works for you, whether it is traditional or technologically advanced.
When it comes to cutting costs, sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest impact. By being mindful of your spending habits, you can significantly boost your savings. Consider switching to generic brands for household items, cooking at home instead of dining out, taking advantage of public transportation or carpooling, and being conscious of energy consumption. Another tip is to switch to an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) provider, such as US Mobile, which offers free Netflix or HBO with their unlimited group plans. You can also use a credit card like the US Bank Altitude Go, which offers additional credits for streaming services. Additionally, consider cutting the cable and opting for “stream-hopping” instead. This means subscribing only to the streaming services you need and cancelling the rest, thereby saving on monthly entertainment costs. These simple yet effective measures can help you save money without sacrificing your desired lifestyle.
Unleash Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
While this may sound tacky, having an extra source of income can make a big difference. Along with reducing expenses, why not consider starting a side hustle to supplement your income? With so many options available online, you’re sure to find one that aligns with your skills and interests. From the Amazon Shopper Panel and online surveys to cashback via gas and shopping rewards apps, the possibilities are endless. You can also sell iPhones on eBay or Mercari, participate in Swagbucks offers and surveys, or even launch your own mini enterprise. Not only can a side hustle help boost your savings, but it can also be an excellent way to realize your financial goals and add some excitement to your routine.
The idea of starting a blog or YouTube channel as a side hustle is also frequently recommended by bloggers and Youtubers. Before embarking on this journey, it’s important to consider whether you have the time and conviction to commit to producing quality content and building a following.
Maximize Your Credit Card Benefits
You may earn cashback and reward points that can be redeemed for vacation, shopping, or bill credits by using your credit card properly. However, use your credit card only if you are confident that you will be able to pay off the debt in full and on time; otherwise, the high interest costs will offset any benefits you may obtain. Use your credit card for routine purchases, but watch your spending and prevent impulse purchases. The idea is to spend wisely and utilize your credit card to save money rather than spend more. With a little forethought, you can transform your credit card into a tremendous savings tool.
If you’re concerned about the risks of having a credit card, you may still get the benefits by choosing a debit card with credit features, such as the Upgrade Debit Card or the Aspiration Debit Card. These cards provide cashback and reward points for purchases, allowing you to keep your spending under control without acquiring debt or facing high-interest rates.
To sum up, being frugal in 2023 and beyond means figuring out fresh, innovative methods to cut costs while preserving your standard of living. You may start saving more money, accomplishing your financial objectives, and building a more stable financial future for yourself if you include these unique thrifty strategies into your daily routine.
Featured image via @micheile/Unsplash