becoming frugal

becoming frugal

becoming frugal

In less than a year I will have earned my Bachelor’s degree. While this is extremely exciting, it is also extremely scary. Once I graduate college and earn my degree I will need to begin paying on my student loans. Looking at the balance that I will owe is extremely daunting. In fact, if I could, I would pretend that it didn’t exist. However, doing so will only hurt me in the long run. Due to the costs of attending college, I have had to reevaluate my finances.

Trying to figure out finances when I have children, a mortgage, car payments, and dozens of bills is incredibly stressful and time consuming. Honestly, there are times that I want to throw my hands in the air and say forget about it. So, what can I do when it comes to becoming frugal?

evaluate current expenses:

Or, in other words, figure out what I can cut back on or completely cut out.

  • Electricity. During the summer, our electric bill is tiny! Our lights are rarely turned on, heaters are set to off, and we are home a lot less often. However, in the winter that bill doubles or even triples. As a result, John and I have to remember little things like turning off the lights if we are not in the room or trying to keep the thermostat down.
  • Water. Taking shorter showers, turning off the water while brushing our teeth, and washing our clothes on cold helps quite a bit. Also, ensuring there are no leaky faucets or pipes can make a huge difference!
  • Gas. We have been known to make multiple trips to the store… in one day. Our 4Runner does not get the best gas mileage! Cutting down on those spur of the moment trips can help save quite a bit.
  • Paper towels and toilet paper. Instead of cleaning with paper towels, use a wash cloth. You will be amazed at how many paper towels you save doing so! Also, with toilet paper try not to go too overboard.
  • Leftovers. When I found out one of my friends just tosses the food they do not eat after they cook dinner I was stunned! Often when I make dinner we have at least two or three meals worth of leftovers. Not tossing that food saves us quite a bit of money in the long run.
  • Get togethers and parties. Our friends love to get together often, this means that we have a tendency to need a lot of party supplies. Because of this, we have decided to do our get togethers potluck style! That way no one person is having to foot the entire bill.
  • Cable, cell phones, and internet. Ask yourself if you really need all of those extra channels you never watch or data you do not use. Perhaps you watch Hulu or Netflix ten times more often than you do cable. Cutting back on your plans and services can save you thousands of dollars per year!

What ways of becoming frugal would you add to this list?

  • I am the only one in my house that will eat left overs and it drives me absolutely batty. I get so discouraged by the waste. 🙁 Good tips! We notice a significant drop in our water and electricity bills when our oldest son goes to college. 😉

    • If you ask me, they are missing out because second day homemade chili or homemade spaghetti is so much better than first day ha ha! Stew is great the second day as well. However, there are some things that I won’t eat left overs of (french fries or mushy sandwiches).

      Oh I can imagine! I love when we are out of the house most of the day because then our electricity and water bill don’t shoot up. Especially during the summer!

  • I pretty much always wash in cold water because I feel it doesn’t wear my clothes out as bad…

    • I have been washing in cold water so long I am not sure if I noticed a difference ha ha! However if it helps prevent wearing them out that is perfect!

  • We switched to cloth napkins to help reduce paper waste. Also, we make our own laundry detergent.

    But the biggest difference for us was to start living on a written budget. Tracking our expenses through EveryDollar makes a huge difference for staying on track with our spending and seeing areas where we can cut back.

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