Did you know that there are some simple and frugal things you can do around your home to save yourself some big money? These things aren’t complicated. Although some may be rather small savings at first, over time these small savings can add up to make a big difference.
Throughout my married life, I have maintained a frugal lifestyle. Sometimes it was because there was little money coming in. Other times it was because we wanted to limit the money we had going out while watching our savings grow.
In both cases, these are some of the best ways that I was able to be frugal by saving money around my home.
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1. Control your heating and cooling
I share some great tips on how to do this in 15 Simple Ways You Can Save on Heating and Cooling, but sometimes saving in this area simply means taking the time and being willing to play with it a little. You may be comfortable in the temperatures you currently experience in your home. But, maybe you could also be comfortable when you dial up or dial down a degree or two depending on the season.
In the winter we keep our house relatively cool while utilizing a space heater or our fireplace in the rooms where we spend most of our time. We also wear an extra layer of clothing. Finally, we use a programmable thermostat to dial down at night when we are asleep anyway. Dialing up or dialing down a degree or two really adds up. The post I mentioned above is a great resource for ideas.
2. Use appliances wisely
When it comes to major appliances, use them effectively. Only run things like your dishwasher and washer when they are full. Running your dryer with loads one right after the other maintains the heat inside the dryer each time. This saves you money. I even made it through the winter by line and hang drying the majority of my laundry. This really added up over the winter season in Michigan in the form of lower gas bills. Be mindful of where you keep your water heater set, too, oftentimes we can dial that down, too, without even noticing a difference.
3. Sell stuff you’re not using
As we took the no spend challenge in October, we were challenged to really examine the things we have in our closets, in our homes, and in our lives. Most of us have so many things that we aren’t even using. In that case, they are only taking up space. These things require us to go around them. These things require us to store them. Additionally, these things are require that we clean them or clean around them.
Selling your things on Craig’s List, on Ebay, or in Facebook garage sale groups or in regular garage sales can bring in some nice money. You can read more about selling the things you aren’t using in How Facebook Can Save You Thousands of Dollars and What Does Decluttering Show You?
4. Maintain the stuff you have
It is amazing what taking proper care of things can do. Oftentimes things wear out, break, or simply lose their effectiveness just because we don’t maintain them. We all know to change the oil in our cars to keep them running, but do you also maintain your other things in the same way? All of your outdoor tools, your indoor tools, your major and minor appliances, and even your carpet will all serve you better and last longer by taking proper care of them.
Sometimes, we can repurpose something we have that will work just as well as going out and buying something totally new. I also wrote about this more in What Can You Repurpose? We are so quick to go out and buy something new when something breaks or is no longer meeting the purpose we originally intended it for. Yet, taking a step back and seeing if something can be fixed or repurposed can be a big money saver.
5. Eliminate the non-essentials in your life
There are so many things that could qualify here as living a life of comfort is something so many of us are privileged to experience. In many cases, there are things you could tweak or eliminate that can put some extra money in your pocket. Do you really need three different services to stream movies and tv? Do you really even use your cable since you spend so much time streaming anyway? Are you in the best cell plan for you? Do you still have a landline telephone that hardly gets used? There are so many ways to look into the things that provide us with a comfortable lifestyle. Examine whether some of these kinds of things are a nicety or a necessity. You can read about how we cut out cable, too.
6. Live within your means
This is so basic, but it is so hard to do at times. We can so easily live much of our life on credit, but at one time or another, we usually find this to be such an expensive lifestyle to maintain.
For years my husband and I both had jobs that paid us on commission. With a paycheck that is comprised of earnings on a commission basis, you are left with income that ebbs and flows. Sometimes are paychecks varied in huge amounts!
We can also experience unexpected expenses, a layoff or job loss, or a lifestyle change. These things all have a major effect on the money we have going in and coming out. Living a life that is as frugal as it can be means living within your means each and every day. This includes during the years of plenty as well as throughout the years of drought. Of course during the years of plenty, it is always a good idea to tuck some money away for times when the money might not be so good. Having a fully funded emergency fund can be a lifesaver!
7. As the CEO of your family, pay attention to the money that is leaving your hands
Having a budget comes in here. I took you through the reasons why you want a budget and walked you through the steps in creating one. But, I am referring to something a bit deeper here. Read your bills, read your bank statements as well as your credit card statements and other bills for accuracy. In the course of a year’s time, I have generally found no less that five errors or charges that creeped in without my prior knowledge. It is especially important to do this during the holidays. This is the time of year when credit card theft seems to run rampant, but my debit card has also been used fraudulently during other times of the year. Make the time, take the time to read your bills and statements carefully!
8. If you want to live a frugal lifestyle, you need to make a serious commitment to doing so
There can be a big difference between what we want to do and what we are actually willing to do. Being frugal in savings around the home in these ways sometimes means doing the hard stuff. It means denying ourselves things at times, and it takes some time and effort, too. All of these things takes a commitment to doing things that aren’t always easy.
I wrote about some of the hard stuff we’ve done over the years in 18 Things We Did to Become Debt-Free Before Age 42, but within that post I also shared the commitment we made and the fruit we are now harvesting because of that commitment. However, making this commitment is something that only you can do. I can say that when you do, it makes all the difference in the world!
If you are looking to be frugal through savings around the house, putting forth the work of embracing these concepts will be a great place to start. Doing these eight things alone will add up to big savings over time.
If you really want to take saving money seriously, check out my course, How To Be Frugal. It’s everything I’ve learned during 20 years of saving money and living frugally.