What is Frugalism and how does it Work

Frugalism.  That is the word that more than a lot of people will have to have now. This is especially so in this ‘age of austerity’, in which frugalism will play a major part. In this day and age, people will not have it so good as they did five or ten years ago. Choices will have to be made between needing and wanting something.  They are only two words, but they will make a world of difference in how a family approaches and thinks about money now.

The easiest way to fall into debt is by following the policy of ‘want’.  By wanting something that you do not really need, then debt will soon follow.  All of those items within the home, that are bought on a whim, have all helped to plunge families into debt. This debt then becomes like a noose around the family’s neck. 

The fact of the matter is, that debt will only disappear when it is acknowledged and faced head on. This is where frugalism then comes in. By being frugal, a person/family will have to change their whole way of thinking about how they live.  It is a mind-set change, and a change that will eventually make a huge difference to a family’s finances.

It is only by being hard, that savings can be made in the long term. Begin this by cutting out reckless spending. In fact, the words ‘want’ and ‘reckless’ should be curse words, and should be avoided at all costs, when it comes to trying to save money. So, by cutting out all of the things that you do not need. you are beginning the process of saving money for the future.

Examples of this are numerous. Switching off all electrical appliances that are not being used, is one way of saving on your electricity bills. Do you really need that second or third television, when one will do?  What about games consoles/computers?  How many do you actually need?  Do you have electrical appliances that are faulty? 

Faulty electrical appliances waste more money than those that are working properly. This is wasted energy and wasted money, down the drain, and no one like to see their own money being flushed down the drain. And while still on the subject of energy, invest in good double glazing. This will see a home retain heat, instead of heat thereby saving on your heating bills in the future…more savings mean more money in your pocket. 

How many cars do you need?  Why by two of anything when one will do?  Again, this is all about ‘want’ instead of ‘need’.  Of course, if you do need two cars then purchase those that do not eat up fuel, and that will do the job just as well as a bigger more expensive vehicle. However, in order to wipe out those fuel car bills altogether consider purchasing a pushbike.

The investment in a cycle has two benefits. One is that it would be more beneficial for your health, and the other, is that you will inevitably save money. No parking fees, fuel bills, road tax or insurance to pay.  The savings would be substantial. As for food?  Why purchase in the most expensive shops, when you should be supporting your local smaller stores? 

Good quality food can still be purchased for half of what you would normally pay in the more expensive stores.  Better still, consider growing your own food. This again, will see your savings gradually grow. Of course one has to speculate in order to accumulate, but one has to look at the bigger picture here. 

It is all about savings. Putting more money in your pocket is the aim, at the end of the year.  Consider also, about getting rid of your credit cards.  Credit cards come with APR [which is the Annual Percentage Rate}.  This rate can either be static [meaning it neither goes up or down] or variable – which means that it will go up or down. This rate kicks in when you are late in paying your credit card bill. This means that you will not only have to pay the original credit card bill, but the APR on top of that too.

One has to remember here, that if you are late in paying your credit card, then that then becomes a black mark against your name. You will then find it harder to apply for a loan in the future.  So, any late payments of credit card bills could see you become ‘blacklisted’.  The way to save money, however is this. Get rid of your credit card.

Apply instead, for a debit card. With a debit card it is you who are in complete control over your money. One can only spend money on a debit card depending on how much you charge it by.  The majority of debit cards are tied to your bank account. So, therefore, depending on how much you have in your account, that is the exact amount that will be on your debit card. 

Obviously, the more money you have in your account, the more you will be able to use your debit card. When you have exhausted your funds in your bank, your debit card with then be declined if you try to use it.  Simply charge it by placing more funds within your account. Debit cards are also good because they do not come with APR [Annual Percentage Rate]. This means that you do not have to worry about any added cost to your bill. Debit cards give you complete control over your money so you can never fall into debt with them.

They are issued by either your bank, or a financial lender. If it is a financial lender then you must charge your debit card within a store. Simply take your card to your local store with the amount of money that you want to charge your card by.  The storekeeper will then charge your card with the amount of money you hand over to him or her.

You will then get a receipt with the time, day, month, year and also the amount that you have placed on the card. Once the funds are spent on the card, go through the whole process again.  There are so many ways to be frugal. it is not a matter of wanting too, it is now  a matter of having too. 

Saving for the long-term is what it is all about now, and this must begin as soon as possible. So, cut out all the things that have seen you waste money over the years. Stay focused and be of one mindset.  Purchase your food at cheaper outlets – or, better still, grow your own food, there are numerous books and Internet sites that will tell you how to begin this. Again, money can be saved here by growing your own foodstuffs. 

Get rid of your car, if you can, and purchase a pushbike, the money saved on car fuel bills, road tax and insurance will be considerable.  Get rid of all faulty electrical appliances, they simply waste money. Change your credit card to a debit card, and that will give you more control over your finances. If you have to have a credit card then go for one with the lowest APR, and one that is non-variable [meaning the rate does not go up or down.   Get rid of any extra televisions that you may have within your home, again, you will save money.

Turn off all lights within rooms that are not being used. Make sure there are no dripping taps – as this too, can see money wasted.  Invest in good double glazing, as this will return heat, thereby saving you money in the long run.  By following all of the points above, you will see your savings begin to grow. This will then put more money in your pocket, in the long run. And, that is what it is all about at the end of the day. By being frugal, right now, you will begin to get used to saving money. Your mind will then be in that mind-set from the get go, and your savings will be significant.

This is what is meant by being frugal. And this is how frugalism works in the long run. This is all about training your brain to think in another way, when it comes to the saving of your finances, and keeping out of debt.