In the current and modern world, nearly everything is driven by the consumer. Multi-billion dollar corporations and industries thrive off people’s needs to spend money on products and to spend money on new products.
But in recent years, more and more individuals are beginning to look back to a time when frugality was common sense, and when the practices of frugality were common place. Over time, individuals and families have forgotten what basic principles govern frugality, and, perhaps more importantly, what basic actions a person can take to become frugal.
Remember the Basics
Remembering the basics of frugality means that a family begins remembering how to get by with less, how to plan for future needs, and how to begin practicing money saving techniques into everyday life. While there are many ways a family could begin to implement the basics of frugality, there are five major yet simple ways people can become frugal yet again if they will choose to apply them.
Save on Clothing
The first way to renew efforts at being frugal is to learn how to mend their own clothing. The costs on new clothing can be one of the largest percentages of the family’s expenditures every month, but this does not have to be.
While keeping up on new fashion may seem important to some people, or even many people, clothing is typically fairly durable, which means that it can last for a lot longer than people are typically using their clothing. If families and individuals would turn to mending their clothing as opposed to simply buying new ones, and if they would only buy clothing when they actually needed to do so, they would see a dramatic and almost instantaneous increase in the amount of money they are able to save.
Mending clothing was a mainstay of generations past, especially during the harder times, and so should be employed again by those who wish to become frugal. It should here be noted that frugality has little to do with the monthly income of a family; instead frugality is a frame of mind, followed with action, that results in spending less by doing more and that can be employed by any individual or family of any economic background or current economic status.
Because frugality is a mindset that is displayed by actions, one can see how learning to mend and then striving to purposefully mend their clothing is a useful and needful action by those who are learning to become frugal. Along with mending, frugal individuals and families will have a tendency to know the money-saving value of tending a family garden.
Save on Produce
Gardening may seem like some to be an old person’s hobby, but the reality is that many young people and beginning families are learning how to garden so as to save money on produce. The produce grown in one’s own garden can provide nutritious and inexpensive food for the family and is a basic principle of frugality.
Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle
Another step to becoming frugal is to learn how to barter or haggle for goods and services. For whatever reason, bartering has become somewhat of a taboo in American culture, but the fact is that those who haggle frequently save money and receive discounted goods and services with regularity.
Bartering and haggling do not always mean simply trying to talk down the price of an item, although this can help save a person money as well. Bartering more often means presenting an exchange of goods or services for this or for that.
For example, going back to the second step of frugality, if a person or a family cultivates a garden then perhaps they could trade some fresh produce to their neighbor for a night of babysitting or other good or service. Often times, professionals will offer their services to other professionals in exchange for whatever skill or resource the second professional possesses, such as a lawyer writing up a legal wavier for a dentist in exchange for dental work, or something of the like.
The fourth and final basic step to remembering how to become frugal is to get creative with previously used items. This step can save a family loads of money if they are willing to give it a shoot.
Getting creative in the reuse of items gives the family the extended use from whatever item they have purchased after it has been worn out in its original use so that they do not have to purchase another item to perform a different role. For example, one may fashion a headboard, table, or work bench from an old door, or one may use old boxes for decorative storage units by simply wrapping them in paper or painting them.
Remembering the basics of frugality and the steps that one can take to get there will be essential to those individuals and families who wish to begin saving more money on a regular basis.