Being frugal isn’t about becoming miserly and miserable. It’s about making sound financial choices that will make you prosper, save you money in the long run, and re-evaluate your connection with consumerism.
Every Friday I give you my tip of the week on all things frugal – except this week I’m giving you 5 to chew on over the weekend!
Use a 30 Day List
Want a new laptop? Fridge? TV? DVD Player? DVD?
Whenever you consider making a non-essential purchase such as the latest DVD, or a big purchase such as a new laptop, don’t go and order it the moment you think about it. I know Stuff Magazine says its the best TV on the planet, but do you need the 72″ version?
The idea behind the 30 Day List is you write down the stuff you want to buy right now and then the date of whatever today + 30 days will be, and disallow yourself to buy it until that date comes round. You sleep on it for 30 nights, research it during the 30 days, and perhaps find something better or cheaper in the meantime. It’s also possible you decide during the enforced wait that actually, you’d rather keep the £3,000 you were going to spend in your savings account instead.
Count to Ten
This is the smaller cousin of the 30 Day List and is much simpler. Despite its simplicity, it’s still really, really effective. Imagine you’ve picked up a £14.95 DVD in Tesco because you really want to watch it. Before you put it in your trolley, hold it and just count to ten. Convince yourself why you should buy it right now, rather than just put it in your LoveFilm list. Still want to shell out £14.95?
Didn’t think so.
Drop a Price Plan
Mobile phones are expensive, and deliberately so. Are you really using the 5,000 minutes and 45,000 text messages included in your plan at £55 a month? Could you make do with 300 minutes and 300 texts instead at just £15 a month (or somewhere inbetween)? Even if you’re still in contract, most carriers will permit you to drop one price plan after a couple of months – if you can still fit your usage comfortably in the plan below – switch to it. You could save hundreds of pounds a year!
Eat Out Less
The old favourite! Eating out is hellishly expensive, and it’s not all that good for your waistline either. If you eat out three times a week (not outside the realms of possibility for most folk), then you’re going to spend at least £10 a time. If there are 2 or more of you then that shoots up to £25 or beyond with ease. I’m going to shock you now:
That’s £3,900 a year on takeaways or restaurant food (based on £25 a pop, 3 times a week for a year)! That pays for the TV if you really want it on your 30 Day List, plus enough left over to get the surround sound cinema system to go with it.
If your primary excuse for eating out is a lack of time, then you might want to take a gander at last week’s Frugal Friday tip.
Switch to Energy-Saving Lightbulbs
According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you replace every lightbulb in your home with energy saving equivalents you could save upwards of £45 a year or more. Most retailers have deals on at the moment on these, so there has never been a better time to go and grab an armful. They last considerably longer as well so even if you spend £45 this year buying them, you’ll make back that inside 12 months.
And you won’t have to buy any for another 3-5 years netting you somewhere between £135 and £225 off your electricity bill during their lifetime.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Got a frugal tip to share? See you in the comments.
Tags: 30 day list, CFL, count to 10, electricity bill, Energy Saving Trust, frugal tips, LoveFilm
Category Frugal Friday, Quick Tips
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