So, you've decided to live on as little money as possible yet still live a comfortable and fulfilling life. Maybe you've got a specific goal in mind and need extra money in order to achieve it, or you are simply tired of watching your hard-earned money disappear without knowing exactly what you've spent it on. The following tips will help you to make the most of your money for whatever reason you've decided to embark on this particular lifestyle change. These tips will enable you to save more money than you ever thought possible, without sacrificing your current lifestyle.
Learn a New Skill
One way to save a great deal of money is by making your own clothes. Buying clothes from stores is expensive, and you can make your own clothing for less than half the cost. All you need is a good, dependable sewing machine, thread, needles and fabric and you have the potential to make some really fashionable clothes for your family. If you don't know how to sew, most communities offer low cost sewing classes that would really be a great one-time investment.
Friends and family will look at you with admiration as you sport your trendy handmade clothes. The sky is the limit with what you can make, too. You can make clothes in any color, pattern, material or design, and you don't have to search numerous stores or websites for what you're looking for--all you do is get the pattern and make it. Many magazines and websites offer free patterns, so you don't have to spend much extra money on them.
Free or Low Cost Entertainment
Instead of spending large amounts of money on family entertainment like bowling, movies, etc. every weekend, there are many low cost alternatives to having a great time together. Some excellent low-cost or free activities that you can do with your family are: free movies, often offered at local libraries and community centers, picnics, recreation centers, where you can exercise and play games, as well as many other activities. You can also spend quality time with your family by designating a certain day of the week to play board or computer games together, or even watch your favorite rental movies together. Combined with your favorite foods, you and your family members will never feel deprived of having fun together.
Just because you decide not to go on pricey outings on a regular basis doesn't mean that you'll never go bowling or to a movie theatre again. Some bowling alleys have special days and times where they offer specials like dollar bowling. You should check with your favorite bowling alley to take advantage of these specials. If you frequent movie theatres, perhaps waiting a few weeks or possibly a couple months for the movie to arrive at the dollar theatre is a good idea. Going to see a new movie at the theatre can really be costly, and many families have admitted to spending as much as one hundred dollars to see a movie. Of course this price includes the theatres' high-priced refreshments, so if you do decide to splurge every now and then and see a newly released film, it might be a good idea to eat prior to going to the theatre. That way, the delicious smell of the popcorn won't be so tempting, nor will the huge boxes of candy or oversized cups of soda. Aside from their high prices, these snacks are also very unhealthy, so avoiding them will do your health a favor, too.
Use a Cookie Jar
Most people accumulate quite a bit of change on a regular basis, and placing this change into a cookie jar or similar container can really add up. After the container becomes full, simply take the change to your bank or credit union to deposit it into your savings account or convert it to dollars so that you can use the money to pay bills, get gas, or even to buy special "treats" for your children or possibly even yourself.
Families with babies or small children in diapers probably know that the cost of buying disposable diapers can really add up. Cloth diapers are a great alternative. They're better for the environment as well as your wallet. You don't have to worry about using unattractive white and outdated diapers with large, cumbersome pins. There are many colorful and decorative versions of cloth diapers that fasten with snaps or Velcro, for easy use. The only thing that you'll have to deal with if you choose this route for diapering your child is cleaning the soiled diapers. After you see how much money you're able to save, though, you're quickly realize that it's all worth it.
Be Thrifty at Second-hand Stores
There's nothing embarrassing about shopping at second-hand stores. Many well-off people shop there all the time. You would be surprised at the high quality items you can get for great prices by shopping at these types of stores. Surprisingly, some thrift store items are brand new and still have the price tags attached, yet the price may be more than half the price of the same item bought from a retailer. You sure can't beat a bargain like that. You can find great clothes, books, household items, footwear, and much more at thrift stores.
One easy way to save money on items that you buy everyday is by clipping coupons. It doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming, and can actually be fun. Create an activity to do with your children every Sunday. Children love being helpful, and asking them to cut out coupons for you can be enjoyable for them and time-saving for you. If your local newspaper doesn't contain coupons for certain products, you can request to be sent the coupons of your choice directly from the manufacturer. This can easily be done by phone, mail, or email, and if available, they will usually send them out right away.
For whatever reason you decide to live on less money, there doesn't have to be a major lifestyle change. Just a few simple modifications and sacrifices here and there will allow you to have a more lucrative future in whatever way you desire. If you need the extra money to go on an exotic vacation or in order to purchase an expensive item, you can attain these goals before you know it. Living frugally doesn't have to mean living without or depriving yourself, but simply means re-prioritizing your money so that it better benefits you and your family.