D wise man once said “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”. No one wants to be in debt, but it’s easy to find yourself there without realizing it. Before you know it, your credit card bills are piling up and you’re struggling to make ends meet. One way to avoid this is by practicing frugal living. Frugality is all about being smart with your money and knowing how to make the lifestyle choices that enables value for money so each dollar goes further.

It has never been more important to watch what we spend with housing affordability at an all time low, inflation is rising, unemployment climbing steadily and petrol prices are reaching tipping point. Keeping our finances healthy is becoming more and more challenging, but with a bit of creativity and determination we can all make small changes that will make a big difference down the track. Here are some tips to help you get started on your frugal journey:

1. Make a budget and stick to it

This is probably the most important tip when it comes to saving money. You need to be aware of your income and your spending patterns in order to make changes where necessary. Without a budget your finances can quickly get out of control and spending on bits and pieces here and there can quickly add up. Before you know it, your finances can become a bit of a mess and that’s where debt can build up.

2. Cut out unnecessary expenses

We all have those little luxuries that we like to indulge in from time to time, but if you’re trying to save money then you need to cut back on these unnecessary expenses. For example, if you spend $50 a week on coffee, eating out or buying lunch, that can take a big chunk out of your income each month. If you find it difficult to cut out these luxuries, try setting a goal and slowly cutting back. For

3. Shop around for the best deals

Just like with cutting out unnecessary expenses, it’s important to shop around for the best deals on everything from your weekly grocery shop to your car insurance, some of the larger expenses like moving house long distance can potentially save thousands if you compare moving companies and get a good deal. It doesn’t take much effort to compare prices for products and services with the power of the internet and no one likes paying more than they have to.

4. Use your skills to make some extra money

If you’re looking for ways to bring in a bit of extra cash each month, using your skills is a great way to do it. Whether it’s starting up a blog and monetizing it, freelance writing or tutoring, there are plenty of ways to make some extra money. If you are finding it hard to cut back on those luxuries, the best way to combat that is to find ways to increase your income to cover those expenses you have.

5. Unplug appliances and reduce you energy usage

One of the quickest ways to save money each month is to start unplugging appliances when you’re not using them and reducing your energy usage. This can be as simple as turning off lights when you leave a room or making sure your electrical appliances are turned off at the power point. Energy consumption also increases as the winter months set in, so try adding additional layers of clothing or sleeping with an extra blanket before thinking about powering on the heater for hours.

To conclude, saving money is not easy, but it is possible with a bit of creativity and determination. Try implementing some of these tips into your daily life and see how much you can save. Every little bit counts when it comes to saving money so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately, just keep at it and eventually you will start to see improvements in your financial position.