A Day in the Life of a Frugal Person: Daily Tasks That Save Them BIG

a day in the life of a frugal person

A Day in the Life of a Frugal Person

Living the life of a frugal person means living below your means from dawn to dusk. There are many things frugal people do throughout the day that help them save money and help them store funds away for the future. But what are those things exactly? Come on a journey and take a look at a day in the life of a frugal person. These are some of the daily tasks that save them BIG. By knowing more about this day to day living, you too can try implementing these tasks and seeing what a difference they can make for you.

 

Morning:

1. Make homemade coffee.

Our frugal person doesn’t spring for a $5 specialty coffee. Instead she makes her own at home and saves big. She uses her favorite reusable mug that can be used time and time again.

2. Looks at the Meal Plan.

This frugal person creates a menu plan every week with $5 Meal Plan. So every morning she double checks the plan to see what she might have to pull out of the freezer or pick up at the grocery store in order to stay on track. Her menu plan saves her hundreds of dollars each month and keeps her sane at the dinner time hour.

3. Check the Gas Buddy app.

Before filling up and running and errands, our frugal person checks the free Gas Buddy app to see what gas prices are and where to fill up for less. When she finds a great deal, she fills up at that price.

4. Turn on the slow cooker.

There won’t be any take out traps for this frugal person tonight thanks to her menu plan. Instead, she tosses some chicken, fresh vegetables, and broth into the slow cooker for dinner. She uses canned broth from the stockpile, veggies from the garden, and chicken she bought on sale.

5. Scour the sales.

a day in the life of a frugal person

Our frugal person checks the weekly grocery store flyers to see what’s on sale that week. She then matches the sale prices with the coupons she has on hand. This helps her to make her shopping list for the week while keeping her budget in check. She loves the Budget Planner for keeping track of her budget categories and her savings goals.

Afternoon:

6. Enjoys a homemade lunch.

Whether at work or on the go, our frugal person enjoys a homemade lunch. Today it’s a taco salad using ground beef leftover from last night’s burgers. She uses a refillable water bottle to save money on unnecessary sugary beverages, which also keeps her waistline trim!

7. Swing into the local thrift store.

Frugal people love thrift stores to look for gently used items at a fraction of the price of new. Today, our frugal person finds some frames that can be spray painted to match her décor as well as a table lamp she can use on her night stand. For about $7 total she walks out of the door happy!

8. Give the house a quick clean.

Our frugal person uses vinegar to keep windows sparkling and baking soda to get sinks and drains clean. She doesn’t spend money on household cleaners and instead uses natural products to get the job done for less. A fresh lemon is just what the faucet needs to shine, and a little lemon peel down the drain can get rid of disposal odors.

9. Snag some free reads.

Our frugal person loves looking on Amazon for free eBook downloads. She also loves swinging into the library to grab free movies, CD’s, magazines, books, and so much more.

Evening:

10. Dinner is served.

Our frugal person serves her thrifty dinner. She uses cloth napkins instead of buying disposable paper. She serves lemon water and powdered drink mixes which cost less than pop. When done, she will load the dishes into the dishwasher but wait until it is full before running it.

11. Inexpensive entertainment.

The newspaper lists free events in the area and our frugal person loves looking for them. She finds a free outdoor concert that evening as well as an outdoor movie being shown downtown. There are also budget days at the local movie theatre she enjoys, plus local parks which are fun to visit too.

12. Cheap dessert.

Our frugal person gets on the email lists of all her favorite brands. This way, she gets all sorts of coupons sent to her. Tonight she has a B1G1 FREE coupon to her favorite ice cream place. So tonight, she gets to enjoy dessert for less.

13. Lights out!

Now that it is time for bed, our frugal person turns down the thermostat so it won’t work as hard at night while she is sleeping. She takes a warm shower before bed, using a shower timer and a low flow shower head so she doesn’t waste as much water.

Our frugal person is now asleep, and can dream about all of the money she saved that day! Is the frugal life for you? Give a day in the life of a frugal person a try and see how well the day goes for you!

I’d love to know what your life as a frugal person looks like. Let me know in the comments below!

Related frugal articles:

How to Save Money on a Tight Budget

save money on a tight budget

How to Actually Save Money on a Tight Budget

You’re living on a tight budget. You may have already cut back on your frivolous purchases, but you’d like to save even more money and don’t know where to start. It may take a bit of creativity, but it is possible to find extra savings!

Here are some ideas to help you save money on a tight budget:

Keep your receipts

Most people who feel they are broke and have no way out, actually change their perspective when they find out how much they actually already have and waste. Keeping track of what you spend each month can help you make changes to your spending habits which could account for a large chunk of change in the bank.

Evaluate

Evaluate what really is a necessity in your life. Is cable TV really needed at this time or can you use some creativity to occupy your time otherwise? Maybe you have both a land line and a cell phone and perhaps cancelling one is a possibility. Taking a good look at all your recurring expenditures and really evaluating what is an actual necessity (and getting rid of those things that aren’t) will really help you save money on a tight budget.

Prioritize

save money on a tight budget

In North America, people are continuously living outside of their means. It’s impossible to save money if you’re living a $100,000/year lifestyle on a $35,000/year salary. Prioritize what is important to you at this time and get rid of the rest. You may want to put the kids in piano lessons and guitar lessons, but you can’t afford to do both. Pick one, then move on.

Cut out a convenience item

Start by cutting out one convenience item at a time.  Do you typically buy packaged cookies?  Start baking your own.  Rather than purchasing high priced, chemical laden cleaning products, make your own!  (Check out my own homemade cleaning kit.)  By cutting out one convenience item at a time, you’ll be making little strides towards your savings goal!

Earn more

Of course, earning more money is a great way to add to your savings.  Take on a part time job, ask for a raise, turn a hobby into a side business.  Just make sure you save your extra, don’t spend it!

Sell what you don’t need

You’ve all heard of Kijiji, Craigslist Facebook Buy & Sell Groups and eBay, I’m sure.  I’m also pretty sure you have stuff around your home you don’t need anymore. Sell what you don’t need on one of those previously mentioned sites or have a garage sale, then head to the bank and make a deposit!

Collect change

Make a jar for your spare change then throw it in there.  Empty your pockets and change purses every night into the jar.  Keep going until the jar is full, then pay a visit to the bank to make a deposit. It’s possible to save hundreds of dollars each year this way!

Shop wisely

Pay attention to how and why you shop. You may discover that purchasing Christmas presents during the Christmas frenzy is expensive and tough on your budget. Why not start buying presents during after Christmas sales or seasonal clearance sales? You undoubtedly have a list of the same people you have to buy for every year so when you’re out shopping, keep an eye open for any gifts they may enjoy.

printable budget planner

Another thing that can really help when you’re overwhelmed or paralyzed by the thought of budgeting? Create a plan to stay focused! Check out this thoughtfully made BUDGET PLANNER – pages to help you achieve financial goals, track your bills and spending, discover what you did well, what you need to improve on and so much more!

Money may be a little tight, but choosing to do some of these suggestions could help you save thousands. Decide what you can give up to help you save big and reach those financial goals a bit quicker.

What are you willing to do to make a change in your financial situation?  Have you got any other suggestions?

8 Reasons Why You Can’t Save Money

why you can't save money

8 Reasons Why You Can’t Save Money

“Why can’t I save money? I should be able to do it…”

Do you find yourself asking that question a lot?

You make a decent salary, many others would be happy getting paid as much as you. Maybe you have a few debts, but nothing that’s not manageable.

So why can’t you seem to put any amount into savings? You know something needs to change.

But don’t be discouraged! Many people are in your situation. Whatever your salary, you can save some of it.

Let’s take a look at some reasons why you can’t save money along with solutions:

1. You were never taught how to save money

We’re not generally born with good money sense. This is something that has to be taught and practiced. If you were never taught how to save money beginning at a young age, it’s quite possible you still don’t know how to save money as an adult.

Solution: The good news is that you can still learn how to save money! You can do this by reading helpful articles, tracking your spending, and implementing smart money habits with the tips you learn.

2. You are an impulse spender

Spending money is fun. I get that, I really get that. There are studies out there that prove that shopping can be therapeutic. But did you know that dopamine (the feel-good hormone), is actually released before you make a purchase? It begins before the purchase happens. You don’t even have to make a purchase to get that good feeling. If you find yourself making impulse purchases to make yourself feel better, this could be a reason why you can’t save money.

Solution: Just browsing or window shopping can positively impact your mood and release dopamine. If you find yourself making many impulse purchases, take 48 hours, a week or even 30 days to think about a non-essential purchase. You might be surprised to discover that you don’t actually need that item and feel content leaving it at the store.

3. You don’t track your spending

A big reason why you can’t save money might be because you aren’t tracking what you spend. When you track your spending, you can track overspending and you can eliminate wasteful spending habits. This is also a great way to discover you are paying for a subscription that you no longer use.

Solution: Use a notebook or a simple app to write down your expenditures. You might also find the idea of a Spending Journal perfect.

why you can't save money

4. You don’t use cash

One possible reason why you can’t save money might be because you aren’t using enough cash. You mostly swipe that credit or debit card. I know when I have cash in my wallet, I think harder about any purchases I want to make. I often decide I don’t need something when I think of the bills leaving my wallet.

Solution: Start using cash. This doesn’t mean you need to use cash for every single thing. (there can be benefits to using credit cards.) But perhaps you can try using cash for your clothing or entertainment budget. I have a set of printable cash envelopes and spending trackers that might be useful too.

5. You are dealing with lifestyle inflation

Lifestyle inflation or lifestyle creep is when your expenses increase along with any increase to your income. Maybe you think every time you get a raise or receive a promotion, you deserve to treat yourself with something new. For example, with your increase in income, you might think a new car is a good idea. But really, this just means the more you earn, the more you spend.

Solution: Take the time to learn contentment. If all of your basic necessities and bills are taken care of, with any increase to your income set up automatic deposits to your savings account with the difference. You should start seeing a healthy savings account grow!

6. You think you need something you want

A house is something you need and a car is something you need to get to work. (Although, we often overspend on this necessity because we want a certain vehicle, when we can simply focus on one that we need. Which is any reliable vehicle, really.) A fridge is something you need but a 65′ TV is something you want. Not knowing the difference between and need and a want can be the reason why you can’t save money.

Solution: Take a hard look at your thought process when it comes to purchases. Is it something you need or is it something that you want? If it’s something you want, start saving your dollars so you can purchase it guilt free.

7. Everyday expenses are rising (inflation)

As I’m sure you are aware, we are seeing big price inflations on pretty much everything these days. Housing, groceries, gas… While you can’t stop it, there are things you can do to alleviate the pressure on our wallets. (I like this article on the causes of inflation, if you’re interested to read more.)

Solution: Think of this as an opportunity to be creative. Think about ways you can create more income. Or trade your garden vegetables for fresh eggs from your neighbor. Go through your expenses with a fine tooth comb to weed out the expenses that are not 100% necessary in this season. Consider eating more vegetarian meals. Brainstorm to get your creative ideas going.

8. You don’t have a savings goal

Having a savings goal in place for something specific can be a great motivator. When you are just putting money into the bank for the sake of putting money into the bank on a regular basis, it can be easier to withdraw for unimportant reasons. When you implement a savings goal, you are more likely to save more money. It helps to create healthy and productive money habits.

Solution: Implement a savings goal. An emergency fund is a common, but great savings goal to start with. Once you’ve established your emergency fund, you can move onto paying off a debt. Then you can keep going with something else. Like a vacation fund, or new appliance fund, or a new to you car fund. With a goal in place, you’ll start to see how every money decision impacts your greater financial health.

One thing is for sure though, if you’re struggling to save money, you’re not alone. With the help of these 8 solutions, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your savings goals. Which of the 8 reasons do you resonate most with?

How to Save Between $2,000 and $5,000 a Year

how to save

How to Save Between $2,000 and $5,000 a Year

Spending money is fun, but saving money can be fun too! It’s fun to pay cash for the things you saved for!

Who doesn’t love going on vacations? Or buying a new TV? Or whatever is on your wish list? It’s even more fun when you can enjoy those things without a guilty conscious because they’ve already been paid for.

We all know how tough it is to pinch a penny these days. Saving money isn’t easy, but with a little creativity and some willpower, you can save between $2,000 and $5,000 a year with a few simple tips and hacks. So here’s how to save $2,000 – $5,000 (or more!) a year.

Start Off by Setting a Goal

In order to save $5,000 a year, you’re going to have to set aside about $417 a month. But if this amount is making your heart race, (don’t worry, it sounds scary to me too) then try saving $2,000 a year. You’d only have to set aside about $167 a month to reach your goal.

Cut down on takeout

No, you don’t have to let go of your takeout cravings completely. But consider cutting down 80% on takeout food. If you’re not tracking your expenses, you probably don’t realize just how much money you’re throwing away at on takeout.

But for example, if you order the Big Mac meal for $10 once a week, (just once!) that’s $40 a month. If you cut down this vice out of your annual expenses, you would’ve managed to save $480 a year.

Don’t Pay for Netflix

Say goodbye to your Netflix subscription. Or Disney+. Or Spotify.

Think about any monthly subscriptions that you have and consider cancelling one or two for a little while.

The cost for Netflix’s standard plan is about $15.49 a month. That’s $185.88 a year you could save if you forego this popular streaming service.

Think about the savings you will see if you cancel more than one service.

This can also become a fun exercise in creativity when you need to fill your downtime with something entertaining.

Start a $5 jar

Have you heard of the $5 jar hack before? How it works is, every time you find yourself with a $5 bill, you put it in a jar. Simple, right?

You’ll find that all those $5 bills really add up quickly and painlessly!

Save Your Raise

Say you got yourself a raise that will give you $2,000 a year after taxes. The simplest way to save is to pretend like you never got the raise in the first place. (Only if you can manage it with the cost of living these days!)

So, every month, transfer $167 into your savings account and in a year you’ll have $2,000 to play with!

Cut Down on Starbucks

how to save money

The average price of a Starbucks tall latte in Canada is $3.85. If you go to your local Starbucks five days a week, you’re spending $19.25 a week, $77 a month, and $924 a year on average.

But if you cut down on Starbucks or drive-thru coffee in general and settle for the coffee in the break room or from home, you could save yourself nearly $1,000 a year.

Try your hand at DIY oil changes

If you are an ambitious type and enjoy a challenge, doing your own oil changes at home can save you a lot.

Learning how to drain and replace the oil and other fluids is easy. There are tons of online tutorials on YouTube that can teach you how to do it.

Same with changing your tires from summer to winter tires and vice versa. Save yourself a good chunk of change by learning how to do these yourself.

Reduce your carbon footprint

The average person spends about $386 per month on gas for their car. That’s $4,632 a year.

You can reduce your monthly gas expenses by carpooling, using public transportation like the subway or a bus.

If all else fails, try walking or riding a bike. It’s healthy and 100% free.

Sign up for PC Optimum

PC Optimum is a points program that is available at Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, or other Loblaw banner stores.

You collect points on your purchases, which can then be redeemed in $10 increments off any purchase you make at these stores.

Here is an in-depth article about the PC Optimum Program.

Cancel your gym membership

The average cost of a gym membership is about $50 a month. That’s $600 a year, and if you add the initiation fee, it will probably be more like $800.

Consider canceling your membership and go for a nice jog around the block or do some push-ups at home. There are tons of YouTube channels with 40, 50, and 60-minute workouts that are just as good.

Reduce Your Cell Phone Plan

All those Smartphone data plans you got suckered into getting could run you at least $80 a month. That’s $960 a year on average.

But you can find carriers that offer prepaid data plans. If you run out of credit, just use Wi-Fi and let people know they can only reach you when you find free Wi-Fi. This will help you save about $480 a year.

All in all, just shop around to find something that will suit your needs at the lowest price.

Get a Part Time Job

Sometimes, the best way to save $2,000 to $5,000 is to earn it.

The average minimum wage in Canada is $15.55 per hour. So, if you work 15 hours a week, you’ll earn about $233.25. That’s $933 a month and $11,196 a year, minus the taxes.

As you can see, eliminating little things here and there can really add up! Try adopting a few of these ‘how to save’ techniques, even for a short time and see how much you can save!

I’d love to hear all your ideas for how to save $2,000 – $5,000 a year. Drop a comment below!

9 Excellent Black Friday Shopping Tips

Black Friday Shopping tips

Excellent Black Friday shopping tips

The biggest shopping day of the year is about to happen in a few weeks. I’m pretty sure it now rivals and perhaps beats out Boxing Day sales in Canada. Black Friday can be a fantastic time to score great deals on Christmas gifts. It can especially be a great time to shop if you know a few tips and tricks to make your shopping successful.

Here are 9 useful Black Friday shopping tips:

Bookmark my giant Black Friday post

Coming up next week, I will have my annual list (it’s giant!) of Canadian Black Friday deals. Simply peruse the list to find the stores that interest you, click the links, then start shopping from the comfort of your own home!

Buy discounted cards for the stores you will be shopping at.

Go shopping with discounted gift cards instead of cash to save yourself some moolah! There are many stores like Real Canadian Superstore/Loblaws, Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart that offer discounts on gift cards for stores such as Old Navy and Gap during their weekly sales. You might also want to take a look at CardSwap.ca for discounted gift cards.

Ditch the big shopping cart if you’re shopping in-store.

Just don’t even think about getting one of those large cumbersome shopping carts if you plan on shopping in-store. Grab a basket or bring a large reusable shopping bag (IKEA bag anyone?) to avoid collisions or getting stuck in an aisle when you just want to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible.

Make your shopping list in order of importance.

Black Friday Shopping tips

Is Santa promising to bring a Lego set this year? You better put that first on your shopping list! By making your shopping list in order of importance, you’re really helping yourself to not forget that all important gift.

Sign up for emails for the stores you will be shopping at.

Whether you’re shopping in-store or online it can be extremely valuable to sign up for the email list of the stores you will be shopping at. Almost certainly, they will include coupon codes or coupons you can print/show on your phone for an extra discount. Often times email subscribers can also start shopping the sales earlier online.

Shop online.

The same sales are typically available online too, save for the extreme doorbusters. Save yourself some time and energy by shopping from the comfort of your own home. (This is my preferred method ;))

Join loyalty programs

Might as well join the loyalty programs for the stores you will be shopping at if you haven’t already! Collect points that can translate into free items or even extend certain perks. (I’m thinking the TJX card from Winners.)

Shop online at Amazon.

Because I’m such a fan of online shopping, I usually check Amazon first. Black Friday will be no different because I find that they usually have some great one day deals. Another Amazon tip: Use Honey to track Amazon prices so you can see how today’s Amazon price compares to the last 30 days. You can even use the Droplist feature which allows you to save items you’re interested in and once Honey detects a lower price, they’ll let you know.

Set a budget and stick to it.

You’re really not getting any deals per say, if you put yourself into debt trying to get the latest and greatest thing. If you’ve created a shopping list, it should be easy to stay within budget because you have an idea of the price of each item. Don’t ruin your holidays worrying about debt! There’s rarely any deal that is worth that amount of stress.

Do you shop on Black Friday? I’d love to hear your Black Friday Shopping tips in the comments below.

How to Rock the Holidays on a Tight Budget

holidays on a tight budget

Simple ways to celebrate the holidays on a tight budget

For some of us, the holidays always seem to land during a time where everything else hits. This means a tight budget during the holidays is a common issue that most of us will face at some point in our lives. If you find yourself with a tight budget this holiday season don’t let it ruin your fun.

This year, learn how to rock the holidays on a tight budget with these simple but meaningful ideas.

Focus on Meaning

Focus on the meaning of the holidays instead of the frills and trappings. The holidays are about friends and family so focus more on making memories than having a fancy holiday. Make homemade decorations, bake cookies, and spend quality time with the people you love.

Create new traditions

It’s the perfect time to create new traditions that your family will remember for years to come! Here are some ideas that you may enjoy or get you brainstorming:

  • Go on a Christmas tree hunt: Growing up, my favourite tradition was going into the forest (with our free permit to cut a tree) and searching for the most perfect tree to decorate.
  • Decorate on December 1st: Another thing we would do is wait until December 1st to decorate the house. December 1st also meant we could crank the Christmas carols!
  • Make homemade Christmas cards: This would be a super fun afternoon activity for the whole family!
  • Give to the less fortunate: I know locally, there are several businesses that set up bins to collect toys. Perhaps, you could find something similar and team up with a few friends to help take the focus off of yourself.
  • Decorate a Gingerbread house: This is always a fun activity for the kids! Or decorating sugar cookies is also fun!
  • Write letters to Santa: Sit down with the  kids and write letters to Santa! Don’t forget to send them off! In Canada, you can send your letters to:Santa Claus
    North Pole HOH OHO
    Canada
  • Create a holiday bucket list: This post may help you with some ideas to add to your calendar.
  • Read a Christmas book every day in December: Head to your library and pick up a big stack of holiday books to read together.
  • Have a Christmas movie night: One for the whole family and maybe one just for mom & dad!
  • Seek out the best Christmas light display: Take a drive one night just to look at all the lights. Vote for your favourite display.
  • Give Christmas PJ’s on Christmas eve: For the last few years, I have been wrapping up a pair of Christmas pajamas for both girls that I got on sale and giving it to them on Christmas eve. They love to wake up Christmas morning in their new Christmas pajamas!

Make Homemade Gifts

holidays on a tight budget

Save money but still enjoy the gifting part of the holidays with Homemade Christmas gifts. Use the things you have on hand to make personalized, meaningful gifts for the people you love. It’s the fact that you thought of them and wanted to do something special that makes gifts so wonderful. Baking homemade gifts is a great way to use items you have on hand to create a great gift someone will appreciate.

Earn Extra Cash

A great way to deal with a tight budget during the holidays is to work on simple ways to earn extra cash. Sell off things you do not need or crafts you have made that others can give as gifts. Cleaning houses and clearing snow are both great ways to earn extra cash as the season wears on. This is the best time of year to pick up a part-time seasonal job for extra money if you have the time to spare.

Make a Holiday Budget

To help you thrive during any time with a tight budget, create and stick to a budget. This is a plan to help your family stay on track financially. Plan all of your regular expenses first so you don’t end up making your situation worse for the sake of the holidays. This will leave you with a clear idea of how much you can really spare and how much you should try to earn instead of going ahead blindly.

Look for Free Activities

Look for free fun activities to do. You can still make the most of Christmas even when you can not afford much. Go for a stroll and check out neighborhood light displays, volunteer to help others down at the soup kitchen or food bank. Find reasons to be grateful for what you do have this season, and you will be well on your way to rocking the holidays on a tight budget!

What are your best tips for making a meaningful but frugal Christmas season?