13.) I will keep on learning thrifty and frugal ways to live and then actually use them.

13.) I will keep on learning thrifty and frugal ways to live and then actually use them.

13.) I will keep on learning thrifty and frugal ways to live and then actually use them.

So I’ve done pretty well here.

To begin with, I’ve been lowkey obsessed with tips like Hints from Heloise (do ya’ll remember her?) pretty much my whole life.

I love a good tip. I don’t use a solid 95% of them, but the 5% that really work for me are pretty great.

So what do nine years of living the personal finance blogger life leave me with in terms of thrifty and frugal tips?

I thought frugal tips were pretty baller when I first started trying to save. In reality, they don’t hugely affect the bottom line – but they do provide a feeling of agency and like I actually had some power over my money.

And, for most of us who aren’t very poor and are merely financially illiterate, we do have power over our money and if coupon clipping, learning DIY, meal planning, negotiating bills help you feel like you can change your ways – this can be worth it.

In reality, it was big thrifty choices that made the biggest differences. I’m pretty upfront about this, but being allowed to live at home with my parents between theater contracts for years was my number one thrifty move.

It also drove me insane and left me wondering whether or not I was even a functional adult many, many times but my mid-30s bank account after years in a not super lucrative career indicates that being allowed to skip paying rent from time to time was the #1 buffer builder for me. If you have this option available to you, I highly recommend it.

If you don’t and you work in the arts, I’d still recommend taking advantage of contracts that provide housing for a few years early in your career to build up savings and pay down debt. Cruise ships, tours, some regional theaters all involve options that might let you sublet your place for months at a time or possibly forgo renting altogether with some couch surfing between gigs.

Even regarding where I live now, I chose to live in a more affordable area on the outskirts of London rather than an area closer to Central that I could’ve done work but would’ve been a lot more stressful or have required a roommate.

If you can use your frugal and thrifty muscles when making big purchases – where you’ll live, cars, education, etc. – this is where it really matters.

But if you need to practice building up those muscles with smaller tasks – go for it. I don’t think anyone regrets a general mindset of frugality.

I try to be mindful of the food in my house and not let it go bad (I fail kind of regularly – why is this so hard?? But I do try).

I add some water to get the last bit of soap out of the bottle. This can’t possibly be saving me even 2 cents but I think the mentality of waste not, want not matters on both financial and environmental levels.

I have cashback systems in place that I can pretty much set and forget. My browsers have Rakuten, Honey and CapitalOne shopping on them so the coupons just automatically pop up. Since I don’t have any credit card debt, I use cards that provide reward points.

For impulse purchases, I add them to a wishlist and see how I feel about the purchase a few days or weeks later. Sometimes I still want it, sometimes I don’t.

By spending some time trying a bunch of frugal tips, I learned which ones work for me, which ones totally don’t and which have a good payoff but are maybe best saved for when I really need to up my savings because they are kind of a pain (calling to negotiate lower utility rates is in this category for me).

If you’re interested in seeing how the other goals on my Money Manifesto are going, you can read those posts here:

  1. ) I will pay off all my debt.
  2. ) I will tithe 10%
  3. ) I will save at least 15%
  4. ) I will build up a $10,000 emergency fund.
  5. ) I will max out my IRA every year.
  6. ) I will put effort into learning how the stock market works better.
  7. ) Then I’ll invest in it.
  8. ) I’ll put effort into learning how REITS work.
  9. ) And then I’ll invest in it.
  10. ) I will own a home and it will not be a McMansion.
  11. ) I will pay for cars up front, in cash.
  12. ) I will write a book. About a little man named Jorge who lives in a jar in an antique shop. He has a mustache.

What are your favorite frugal or thrifty tips?

Leave a Comment