Hi friends, before we go on with our article for today, here is my mid-year update. By the way, the reason I am sharing my updates, first to inspire myself, and then you my reader, listener, and friend, that God is well able. Check out my previous update here. We have written and published 160 articles including this one, and published 19 Podcast episodes so far. We have also published YouCount Magazine fourth edition and issue. We now have audio (MP3) teachings available for download. We have two campaigns going on. Click here to participate at least in one of our campaigns; Dream & Achieve IT, or Grateful Campaign. These are just of the few things we have done.
Now, let’s continue with our article for today, “Frugal Lifestyle: How to Improve Your Budget and Save More.”
I used to think that if I can buy for less I can have more. Which by the way was true, because the cheaper it is, the more you can afford, right? But, guess what? What I ended up to do, constantly I was trading quality over quantity. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in both quality and quantity, because even with quality, I still want to pay for less. Check out <<<Think of Quality over Quantity>>>
I mean, being frugal it doesn’t mean being really cheap, you know. I think you can still live a frugal lifestyle, but yet live a quality lifestyle. In fact some people call frugal life, ‘the good life for less.’ Frugal living not only can help you improve your life, it can also help improve your bank balance.
There are several methods and habits you can adapt and apply in your life in order to improve your bank balance, your budget, and also help you save more.
- Frugal living
Like I said, going frugal is the one of the best ways and methods that can help you improve your lifestyle and your financial situations. Even the wealthiest people go frugal. I read that Bill Gates, the wealthiest man in the United States and one of the richest people around the world admitted that he still wears a $10 dollar watch and wash dishes at home. Another one I read is about Leonardo DiCaprio, the famous actor and one of the richest men in the United States and around the world who reported saying that he doesn’t fly private jets, and he still have only one car, a Toyota Prius. But I also read that when Tyra Banks, the supermodel and entrepreneur, and one of the richest women in the United States and around the world decided to move her business empire into its New York offices, she didn’t like the carpet. But rather than rip it out, she asked to repaint the walls instead to avoid the costs of changing the carpet. Those are just few examples of famous rich and wealthy people who appreciate and value the frugal lifestyle. Not everybody looks at frugality as being stingy; some look at frugality as a way to being economical with money and choose to use money and other resources carefully and not wastefully.
There are different ways you can start implementing in your lifestyle so that you can improve your life and your finances. Things like starting bringing your own lunch at work, maybe not every day, but in most days. It will help you save the money you spend on food that you don’t even know whether its truly fresh and healthy as some of the vendors advertise. You can also make your own delicious coffee or tea. I mean, I drink tea all the time; I am talking about more than one cup a day. I buy once a while, but most of the time I make my own tea. You can shop with coupons, or only when products are on sale. Not all products that are on sale are about to expire or going bad, some of them the vendors just decide to discount them as a way to promote them. Use a shopping list when going shopping and combine multiple errands into one trip. When I go shopping, I get tempted to buy lots of things, and if not carefully, I will end up buying things that I didn’t even intend to. Therefore, having a shopping list helps me create the boundary. If it is not on the list, then I don’t buy unless it’s really important. Decide to purchase store brands; if you ask me, generic brands works and serve just fine as brand-names products. You can also compare products and services before you make a purchase so that you can get better deals. Cancel all memberships such as gym or cable memberships if you know you are not going to use them frequently. You can also check out free or low cost events like free open concerts, praise and worship events, seminars and workshops maybe in your local area for you to go. But also decide to make a priority to switch off and unplug electronics when they are not in use to save costs of electricity. You can sign up to your local library to utilize their free resources such as books; both in paper and audio formats. All these mentioned above are just only the few things you can do to improve your lifestyle and save more.
- Manage your money
Warren Buffet, the wealthiest man in the United States and one of the richest around the world said, “Don’t save what is left after spending; but spend what is left after saving.” You need to learn how to manage your money and finances. Money management is a broad subject. It involves income and expenses tracking, investment, saving and budgeting, managing your credit cards, loans, or other debts, filing and preparation of taxes, and et cetera. Robert Kiyosaki, author of the famous book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ said, “Stop saving money, hedge it. Aim to acquire assets.” Because money management involves a lot of things, it can be overwhelming even to think about it especially if you maybe in some kind of a financial rut. But you can start small and tackle one thing at a time. You can start by writing down your financial goals. Why and how much you want to make maybe this quarter, this year, in the near future. Then create a plan for you to follow and execute to actualize your financial goals. For some, your financial goals may include to build first emergency saving funds. We all need emergency funds; life can be unpredictable sometimes. But also for others, their financial goals will be to invest a percentage of their income earning maybe to acquiring assets that can help them multiply their investments. For some it would be creating a plan to pay off their financial debts such as loans, credit cards. Money management also involves tracking on what you spend on and how much you spend, and establishing a budget to fit your improved frugal lifestyle. When you track your expenses and expenditures, it can help you know where your money is going and being wasted, and what you need to cut down, stop doing, or consuming.
So I hope this information has been useful to you. Simple tips but they can help a lot to improve your life and money situations.
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