Tags: Frugal Living; Money; Retirement

Frugal living 101. Stop Money Waste & Save for Retirement

29 Aug, 2020

frugal living; money; retirement

Carefree retirement is the dream for many people nowadays, it may be really hard to turn it into reality. Millennials and those from Generation Z will need to start saving right now if they want to put their feet up in their golden years. But how can one do that in today's consumerist society, when we are bombarded with various adverts telling us to try this and buy that every minute of every hour of every single day.

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The key to carefree retirement lies in the thing our ancestors are familiar with all too well - frugal living, this word is often used in a negative context, but when it comes to managing your personal finances in the age of excess, it is one of the smartest strategies you can adopt. 


Of course, every person has a different idea of what is essential for their well-being, so being frugal means different things to different people. But still, there are some universal principles that can work for the vast majority. 


This article will introduce you to the fundamentals of frugal living and show you how it can help you enjoy what basically is free money in your retirement. For more tips about making money for your retirement goals check Earn Free Money by Frugal living



Frugal and cheap are not synonymous

First of all, we need to bust a myth that people who choose to live frugally are just cheap. Being cheap means always choosing the item that has the lowest price, regardless of your needs.


Being frugal means assessing your needs and only purchasing the items that are necessary, what’s more, sometimes buying an expensive item is the best way to be frugal. An expensive, well-made, and sturdy item of furniture, for example, may last you for decades, whereas a relatively inexpensive alternative may need to be changed every few years, which will end up being more expensive in the long term. 



Weighing the pros and cons

Frugal Living: Stop Money Waste and Save for Retirement

When people think of frugal living, they only think of the sacrifices they will need to make. Focus on the positive. You can buy that 11th pair of cute shoes, but do you really need them? Many people shop for items that end up just sitting in a corner in their house after being used once or twice.


They do this because when we shop, we get a small hit of dopamine, which is a pleasure hormone. The pleasure is gone after a few minutes, but the credit card bills are very much here to stay. 



Tips on living frugally and saving for your retirement


  1. Pay down what you owe. Debts drain your resources, and debts with high-interest rates are what the nightmares are made of. Paying back all of your debts should be your first priority the sooner, the better. 

  2. Create a monthly, weekly, or even daily budget. There are dozens of budgeting apps available for download online. If you are a technophobe, then a good old-fashioned pen and paper will do. Make yourself stick to your budget, it will be hard at first, but it will get easier as time goes by, you might even be surprised how many things aren’t as essential as they initially seemed. 

  3. Cut down on takeaway food. You don’t have to labor in the kitchen all day. You can create a meal plan and cook a big batch and divide it into reusable Tupperware. Not only will you save a significant amount of money, but you will also eat fewer calories and healthier food. 

  4. Stop food waste. People nowadays throw away more food than ever before. We are used to wander around the supermarket and pick up whatever has nice packaging and the result? Thousands of dollars a year wasted. When you have a weekly meal plan, you know exactly what you need. All of this equals shorter trips to the store and more money in your pocket. 

  5. Don’t buy a fancy car. We’ve all had a daydream of riding along a coast in a classic red convertible. But alas, for the sake of your retirement, this must remain a daydream. New cars lose some of their value the second you sign those papers, so unless you suddenly inherit a Ferrari from your distant Italian relative, I’m afraid it’s Toyota Prius for you. You’ll thank me when you are older. 

  6. Get insurance. Not having proper insurance can derail your retirement plans in a matter of seconds and set you back years financially. So, look for the insurance that best suits your needs. Or better yet, have your financial advisor do it. 

  7. Cut down on entertainment. Restaurants, movies and weekend getaways sounds lovely (...expensive!). I am not suggesting you quit your hobbies (we all need to let off steam once in a while), but do you really need to see that Marvel film for the third time? Consider switching to activities that cost less but involve interaction, grab a marker and a whiteboard and have a Pictionary night with your friends.

  8. Buy second-hand items. Yard sales and thrift stores are great for saving money. If you look long and hard enough, you may come across some high-quality items for a relatively low price. Besides, retro is in fashion, so other than helping you save money for your retirement the second-hand items that look interesting will also act as a conversation starter next time your friends come over. 


To conclude, frugal living definitely needs some getting used to as it is almost incompatible with modern consumerist culture that urges us to overspend at every corner and increase our cost of living  but keep your eye on the final goal, which is your carefree retirement.


After a while, you may even discover that you enjoy this way of life. Setting yourself free of all the unnecessary and money-wasting clutter will free you up and make you pursue the things you are truly passionate about.  

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Lea Wiviott Boracchia, Co-Founder, FinancialPlans.Info and InvestingProfits.Pro, both apart of the renowned Boracchia Wiviott Wealth Partners

We are a registered investment advisory focused on accessible wealth planning for everyone. Our mission is to help women, men and people of all ages, races, locations, and anyone plan and secure their most successful future. We were originally established in 2005 by way of 3 firms before my husband Marc and I registered our independent advisory in California.


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