Best Frugal Living Tips from Bloggers
I've compiled a list of top personal blogs on retirement, and I want to list their frugal tips so that we can save more money in 2017.
Color Me Frugal
Color Me Frugal has been featured in many websites, including Modest Money and Rockstar Finance. The blog owner Dee listed her principles of frugality here, which I think is worth printing out and post it on the wall to remind myself everyday. I am working on my frugal skill #2, #4, and, #6, and I will be starting #5 this summer.
One major thing I learned from Color Me Frugal is that you have to be handy! We own a house, so the 7 frugal skills that Color Me Frugal mentions totally resonate us. As you see on this blog, we want to cut down our food budget, so Mrs. Retirement Ambition shares how to cook healthy and delicious food at home. We own a house, so I have to learn how to take care of my lawn and garden because outsourcing these tasks are expensive!
Frugality means challenging the status quo and thinking about money in different ways
Kyle recently has an interesting post on reducing your food budget. Iris and I already reduced our restaurant visit to at most once per week, which definitely improves our finance.
I also like Kyle's tip #3: making a meal plan. It not only reduces our preparation time, but also reduces any chance of wasting food.
I also am very impressed by Kyle's statement: "Truth be told. I have eaten the same breakfasts and lunches on and off for Three. Straight. Years. 3 years. Yeah." Oh, men! Kyle definitely opens a new horizon of saving food budget for our family. I do not know how much we can stick with the plan, but we will definitely give it a try!
You may be able to cut your food budget in half if you follow tips here
Eyes On the Dollar
Avoid the impulse buy: Impulse buy is a one of the top reason why people buy things, and it happened to us many times that we bought things we thought we would use frequently, but we did not.
I love the quote from Eyes on the Dollar:
if we evaluate every purchase, we will stay out of debt, and actually save money if we look at long term costs. We’ve also decided our old couch can take another year or two. I’m sure there are many more drinks to be spilled and markers to be painted on our furniture. Some purchases don’t need to be made when you consider all the variables. It might not be sexy or packed with adrenaline, but I’ll take methodical shopping over impulse buying any day.
When you want to buy something, consider the long term cost #frugal
Fire By 40
Fire by Forty was built several months before us, but it has rising quickly in personal finance blogs. Strictly speaking, I do not have any particular frugal tips I've learned from Fire by Forty, but I've learned an important lesson on this blog.
In this post Striking a Balance Between Saving and Spending, I think everyone should read this post, because you want to know what you can save and what you can spend, and find a balance between both. For saving, I agree that we can definitely save on groceries, cable, cars, and entertainment, but in some area, you may want to spend because you just can't save it.
I like the following frugal spectrum by Fire by Forth.
I also like the quote Fire by Forty shares, "The key to a happy life is to strike a balance between becoming a tightwad who doesn’t enjoy anything, and a spendthrift who enjoys too much."
The key to a happy life is to strike a balance between not enjoy anything and enjoy too much
Fruclassity is very classy, and this website is featured on Rockstar Finance and is one of the best frugality blog (see here). Fruclassity has a great mission and believes that the site should promote frugality and classy, affirming your uniqueness. I agree with Fruclassity that frugality means both a movement and a community, and building our site really helps us to connect with similar-minded bloggers.
In terms of frugal tips from Fruclassity, the 10 commandments of Fruclassity should be followed by any one who wants to be frugal. For example, you need to be honest with your financial situation with yourself (and your partner), which was difficult for me when I first met my wife. We also are adopting minimalism, which comes naturally from being frugal.
Frugal Beautiful is a very unique frugal blog, and my wife and I both enjoy reading it. Frugality does not mean living miserably and cheaply. Instead, as Frugal Beautiful said, "Frugality is a way of life so you can live fabulously in the ways that matter to you."
Frugality is a way of life so you can live fabulously in the ways that matter to you.
Most frugal tips are about saving and not spending, but it can only solve financial problems, which does not consider the stress and anxiety one may have. In this curated post The best advice on how to survive when money is tight, I like these practical tips, such as budgeting, tracking where money went, and work out! That's right, working out can help you reduce your anxiety.
Frugal Rules is a large website John founded in 2012. One thing I like about this website is the wide range of topics, including attacking debts, investing, frugality, and even credit cards, which many frugal bloggers would not normally talk about.
I like these 3 ways to stop spending and become frugal. We are working on #1, and have not done much on #2.
Frugal Turtle has many practical tips that I find very helpful. In her article: 10 things that don't make sense to frugal people, I am working on these areas: 1) buying cars with a car loan, and 2) not paying of loans, as I still have a car loan and student loan, which I am working hard to paying them early.
I also like this quote:
Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without #frugal
I Heart Frugal
I Heart Frugal by Sarah, a former special education teacher, started her blog two months before we started to write this blog consistently.
One thing Mrs. Retirement Ambition likes about this blog is that Sarah shares a lot of recipes as well! She is quite concerned about our diverse topics on this site, but now she feel better after reading I Heart Frugal! Seeing a real-life example website really helps to convince her.
I like Sarah's 10 ways of saving money everyday. I like her #2 tip: couponing. From my personal observation, we save at least $20-30 every month from clipping coupon from the grocery store, with a monthly budget of $300. In other words, clipping coupon at least reduces our monthly food budget by 10%.
Julie detailed her strategy here: How I paid off debt so quickly, and it was to my surprise that her #1 strategy was to increase income. For me, since I am working in a research university as a faculty member, my income is to some extent fixed, unless I am promoted, which won't happen in several years.
The #1 strategy behind paying my debt was increasing my income.
Though our income is fixed, I appreciate that Julie shared many ways to increase income. I can totally relate to #1 tip: learn new skill. I learned option trading, which helped me booked 40% profit in stock market in 2016. We also cut down spending on dining out, which you can see that Iris has shared many healthy (and frugal) recipes that we've done at home.
We also started this blog to document our journey, and hopefully we can bring addition income from this blog in the near future.
Making Sense of Cents
Though she made a living from blogging, one thing I found impressive is that her husband and her are still living in a frugal style. In her interview, she said: "Even though I make $100,000 a month, I’ll still wear my favorite shirt even if it has a hole in it."
Michelle has an epic list of 30+ ways of saving money every month, which led us cut our cable last year. This is a big saving for us, even though we had a basic channel plan. It was about 60 dollars per month, so we were able to save $720 dollars per month for TV that we do not watch regularly.
What is your frugal living tip? I hope that these tips I curated from many frugal bloggers are helpful to you. If you have found useful tips from other bloggers, please do not hesitate to share it below.