Save Money; Be Free

Mr. Frugality – Be Free by Saving Money

Spend, Spend, Spend, Save Piggy Bank, Mr. Frugality's Mindset
This is Mr. Frugality’s mantra. Don’t spend save. If you spend, make sure it’s on something that is important to you.

Mr. Frugality and Mrs. Side Hustle

They’re a match made in heaven, but unless you get to know them, you couldn’t tell. On the outside, Mr. Frugality isn’t all that appealing, and a lot of people wonder why Mrs. Side Hustle ever got with him. You probably knew him in college, when you drank Penny Pints at Cricket’s to save money. You always dreamed of leaving him behind. After you had received your first job with a salary, you did. But, did you ever really know him? If you go beyond the surface, you can realize his hidden strength.

Mr. Frugality’s Secret Strength

Frugality gives you the ability to focus on what is important to you. Think about it, did you ever avoid buying something you really wanted in college? Consider those concert tickets that you knew you couldn’t afford but you bought anyway, knowing that it would be worth it in the end. You ate ramen for a month so you could make up that money, but damn, the concert was great!

What Mrs. Side Hustle Sees in Frugality

Mrs. Side Hustle is with him because she knows she can go farther with him. The amount she would have to pull in would double or triple if she had to fund Mr. Luxurious’s lifestyle. She’s a strong, independent, woman and she knows her man for what he truly is. The secret is she doesn’t call him Mr. Frugality, her pet name for him is Mr. Enough. If you get to know him too, you can be more than content like those of us who already take advantage of his strengths.

Getting to know Mr. Frugality

I recently talked about the power of frugality. How you should use it to focus on your spending, instead of pulling out your wallet for any purchase you want. With frugality the amount of F-you money you need is much lower, allowing you to be free from the chains of work sooner.
Where do you get started with frugality? The key is to focus on your biggest items. For most people, these are going to be rent & utilities, food, and reoccurring bills. By focusing on lowering these three expenses, you can make the biggest dent in your spending habits.

Round One: Rent and Utilities

Rent or mortgage are a big expense for a lot of people. Since you are probably already in a lease or loan, the simplest thing you can do to lower your costs in this category is to fight your utility bill. Most likely you can make these changes without anyone noticing.
Things I did when starting out:

  • Stop using your dryer, hang clothes instead
    • Bonus: do laundry less often, you can probably wear a shirt at least twice without it smelling
  • Turn off the AC and Heat when you leave the house
    • Bonus: Turn it off when you sleep too, electric fans or heating blankets are much more efficient since they don’t heat/cool and entire apartment/house.
  • Invest in new lightbulbs, it really does make a difference
    • Bonus: turn off the lights when you leave a room! Unless you have a plant in there, don’t light up your bedroom while you aren’t in it.
Meal prep for the week.
Lunch doesn’t even have to be this complicated, but it’s a simple place to start.

Round Two: The Lunch Check

Restaurant bills are a HUGE expense for most people, and honestly, it’s unnecessary! You don’t have to be a professional chef to make your lunch. The important thing to ask yourself is “Do I enjoy eating lunch out with my friends even though it costs me $490 – $2450 every year?” For some of you, the answer might be yes, for the majority of you the answer will be no. Especially when you realize that’s money you could be putting into an F-you fund to get out of working altogether.
If you aren’t already packing a lunch and eating breakfast before you leave the house in the morning (Or the night before if you’re busy) then DO IT!

Bonus Saver

If you are doing that great, start cooking dinner for yourself too. YouTube can teach you how to make great meals quickly. Cooking is a valuable skill, especially when people realize the opposite sex loves it when someone makes them tasty food! Sure you might burn a few things, but you will learn and improve over time. Embrace the failure, that’s the fun part.

Round Three: Reassess monthly bills

Are you’re paying for something on a monthly basis? You should double check and consider if it is worth the expense. These are my rules of thumb:

Make sure you use it enough to justify it

Are you paying $10/month for Spotify? If so make sure you find more than $10 worth of new songs. I don’t know if this is still how iTunes works. Truthfully I dumped most music out awhile ago because I found it wasn’t important to me and YouTube fit my needs perfectly.

Make sure it betters you

Audible: Great monthly expense, because you can learn so much from books and audiobooks reduce the barrier for reading them. Cable: The worst thing you could spend your money on, not joking! If you’re constantly tempted to sit down and watch mediocre sitcoms which teach you almost nothing you will never find time for Mrs. Side Hustle.

Make sure you really need it

I lived without the internet for two months just to experience it. Unsurprisingly I found out that the internet is a necessity but not as much as I thought. Most of my time was spent reading during those months, and when friends came over they got to give me crap about living in the dark ages, but then we had conversations instead of staring at our phones or watching tv. Try living your life without something, if you need it back, you can always subscribe again, but you might find a way to enjoy life just as much without it.

Not So Final Thoughts

I hoped you enjoyed this. I’ll be back next week to talk about Mrs. Side Hustle in the same quirky way. Do you think any of these methods of frugality would work for you? This article is a crash course, and I plan to go into much more depth with these concepts and more. If these don’t work, or you’re already applying them, what are some that might work for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Investment Zen & operation_janet

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