Being a millennial and trying to save money can definitely be difficult.
But believe it or not, frugal living doesn’t have to be as awful as it may seem.
Here are some of our top tips for living frugally as a millennial. Even if you just take a few small steps each month, it will make an enormous difference overall.
- 10 Frugal Living Tips for the
You can easily pick and choose between the tips and find what works for you.
1. Find Out How to Say “No”
It is very easy to feel like you can’t go out and that you are missing out on experiences when you are trying to save some extra money. However, this is a great lesson to learn as you become more
financially responsible as well.
If you are finding that you are never able to see friends because you don’t want to spend the money on expensive drinks and food, try hosting a small event at your home, or doing something more affordable or even free. Try to find a local park or cheap pizza place nearby to hang out with your buddies.
For more outings that you learn about months in advance (for example, weddings), you can always save for them in advance, so you don’t find yourself pulling from your savings account when the time comes.
2. Create an Allowance
Setting yourself a strict allowance for any “extras” you need throughout the month is a great way to ensure you aren’t spending more than you should.
Set yourself a specific amount for each week – this amount of money should account for any additional food, coffee, and other extras that aren’t accounted for in your normal budget. The number should really depend on how much you are making and what you can spare throughout the
For weeks where you know you will need additional funds, you can pull from other weeks where you don’t need as much or save in advance.
3. Choose Your Drinks Wisely
If you do have an evening out with friends, be aware of how expensive drinking is.
For nights at a bar, consider either switching out every other drink with water or simply drinking soda instead. This has several benefits: you are still able to drive, you are saving on calories (if you order water or diet soda), and you are saving additional money. With soda and water, you may also get free refills as well.
This will allow you to still socialize with your friends without feeling guilty or left out of activities. If there are evenings where you still want to drink, consider buying a bottle or two of cheap wine and having some friends over.
4. Understand Your Issues with Money
In addition to saving money on outings with friends, you should also understand where your other weaknesses with money are.
Are you someone who blows money when they walk into Target? Can you not resist new technology? Ask yourself what you can’t resist buying and make sure that you have better ways of coping with those desires.
If having a day full of shopping is a good way for you to unwind, plan it in advance or find another hobby. If you have to have a vanilla latte before your shift, learn how to make one at home. There are replacements for everything, you just have to know what your weaknesses are.
5. Track Your Spending
If you are someone who isn’t organized, or someone who simply doesn’t think about their spending, consider attempting to track it to better your frugal living habits.
You can either track this yourself on your phone or by making a physical list, which may be easier if you want a task to associate with tracking your spending. There are also apps available that can assist you with tracking and updating you on your spending, like Mint or Wally.
You may find at first that sticking to a strict spending budget is fairly difficult. But as you adjust to listing your spending or tracking it in the app of your choice, it will get easier to curb your spending habit and keep track of it.
6. Ask for Different Gifts
When your birthdays and holidays roll around, consider what you ask your relatives and friends for. Rather than having them give you material items that you may or may not like or even need, consider asking for gift cards or cash instead.
Usually your friends and family won’t really mind this, as it allows you to spend the money on something you truly want and/or need without them having to pick it out. If you are worried about the person’s reaction, you can simply explain that you are trying to save a little extra money, you are trying frugal living, or want to put it towards a trip, a new car, etc.
7. Save Money Separately
If you typically save money in a savings account that is attached to your checking account, or even just at the same institution as the rest of your money, it is easier to spend it.
To prevent you from dipping into your savings, consider opening a separate savings account at a different bank than you normally use. This will help you avoid pulling out additional funds for every occasion and potential emergency that comes up in life.
You can also invest some of your money as well. This will help you save money and keep it out of arm’s reach, and it will also help you grow those funds as well.
8. Make a Strict Grocery Budget
If you find that you spend a lot of money when purchasing your food for the week, consider cracking down on how you grocery shop. There are a few different options depending on what you struggle with.
For those of you who have trouble sticking to a grocery list, consider tallying up the number
of items you buy each week and stick to that number instead. Or, give yourself a little flexibility when it comes to your grocery list – maybe allow yourself one or two extra items during your regular shopping trip. This will allow you to splurge slightly, without spending too much more than your grocery budget.
Also, consider finding cheaper alternatives to items you already buy. Groceries can even be bought online at this point, try out Amazon or Jet.com for less expensive options for your favorite foods. Local farmer’s markets are also a great place to get vegetables and fruits for less money.
Lastly, keep in mind that going out to eat is infinitely more expensive than eating at home. Try and cook everything at home unless it’s a special occasion.
9. Keep Money at Home When You Can
When you can help it, try leaving your debit and credit cards, plus any cash at home. This will help you from spending that extra five dollars on coffee in the morning or on other unnecessary costs
throughout the day.
If you are worried about emergencies happening, maybe leave some money at work or somewhere where it can be easily found. However, we would recommend leaving everything at home if you can help it. This may take a little while to get used to, but over time, you will find that it is extremely helpful in saving you a few dollars each day.
10. Organize Your Monthly Bills
Keeping track of the bills you have to pay throughout the month can be difficult – most of them are probably due at different times throughout the month and can be easy to overlook.
Forgetting to pay a bill can cost even more money than just paying it on time. If you don’t have the funds available and a bill tries to come out automatically, you will most likely be charged a fee.
The company charging you may also give you additional fees if their bill isn’t paid on time.
If you find yourself forgetting specific ones throughout the month, try creating a calendar to keep track of them. You can either make or buy a physical one or use the one on your phone that will
automatically remind you when the next one is going to be due.
Our Final Thoughts on Frugal Living
We hope that you found some of these tips to be helpful on your frugal living journey. Whether you just follow one or a few of these suggestions, any steps in the right direction will help you.
What are your favorite ways to save money? Which suggestion on the list are you the most likely to try?