Frugal Challenges to Set Yourself This Month

by Fox Symes on May 22, 2014

If you seriously need to save money, you need to get frugal. This means cutting out all the luxury items and really knuckling down on your spending. Why not set yourself a challenge for just one month and see how much money you can save in 30 days?

Don’t buy anything you don’t need
It sounds obvious but the reality is that most people buy things they want, rather than actually needing. What are the bare basics that you can get by on each day, each week and each month? Sit down and figure out what are your needs versus your wants and set strict shopping lists that you stick to.

Set spending limits
For non-negotiable items like groceries, make sure you set limits. While we all need to eat, are all the items in your trolley essentials? If you have a pre-paid mobile phone and/or broadband service, decide on how much you’ll need for the month, then purchase this much in credit and don’t recharge until next month (unless you’re in an emergency situation). Also, identify if you can save on transport costs. Take public transport or car pool and walk or cycle where possible.

If it’s not free, don’t go
While socialising is important and entertainment helps us to unwind from work, these are the easiest ways to blow your budget. Just remind yourself this challenge is only for one month and give the following suggestions a go:
• Unless you’re having dinner at a someone’s home or a paid work function, don’t eat out
• Rather than going out to the movies, check out what’s on free to air TV or borrow DVDs from friend and family
• Rather than heading to a pub or bar with friends, invite people over to your house for drinks
• Don’t buy any tickets to events, but check online or in local papers for free events and activities

Save money at home
For most households, the main expenses are utility bills such as electricity, gas, telecommunications (phone and internet) and water. The easiest way to reduce your bills is to monitor and reduce how much you use these services. Are there ways you can reduce your energy and water consumption? Can you reduce the number of phone calls you make and use the internet less? To make an even bigger impact, can you start researching new utility suppliers and their rates and plans? Can you bundle services (such as your phone, mobile and internet) in order to reduce your bills?

Living frugally may not be a lot of fun, but it is very effective if you need to drastically cut your spending. Set yourself challenges for short periods of time and see what a difference it can make to your finances. For more great advice and tips on saving money and reducing debts, consult Fox Symes.

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