Is living stingy worth it? The truth is, living stingy is one of the best lifestyle choices that you can make for yourself and your family. Learning how to live well on less is so important!
Choosing to spend your money wisely will help anyone reach their financial dreams and live their days to the best of their abilities.
I wrote out a few of my favorite ways to start living stingy and why it is truly worth it. You deserve financial freedom and these tips will help you achieve that!
Related: What is Financial Freedom?
What Does Living Stingy Look Like?
There can be a negative connotation to the idea of living stingy, but I think it all has to do with perception. And the word “stingy” just has a negative connotation.
To me, someone who has chosen to live a stingy lifestyle is a person that values their money and wants to make sure that it is spent in the best way possible. Whether it is to save up for a big trip, to achieve a dream of home-ownership, or finally pay off that student debt– living stingy makes sense.
Someone who lives a lifestyle with intentional spending (or living stingy) makes sure that all of their hard-earned money is used in the best way possible. Instead of buying a brand-new car off of the lot, they save up and buy an older car for cash. Why? Because no car payments are awesome.
It’s learning how to stop spending money on things that aren’t important.
Tips to Living Stingy
These are some of the ways I live a “stingy” (or frugal) lifestyle. I am very focused on living intentionally, and only buying what I need.
And I’m not suffering. Yes, I have a 9 year old car and it’s a little banged up. But I prefer to fly first class when I fly. That’s what this is about. Finding your priorities and spending on those.
Incorporating minimalism into my life has been one of the greatest changes to help me meet my financial goals. The idea behind minimalism isn’t that you don’t own anything you don’t need – it is the idea of making conscious decisions about purchases instead of just what makes you feel good in the moment.
Minimalism is an excellent mindset to incorporate into your lifestyle, especially if you want to try living stingy. Instead of buying 10 new shirts every season, you can get 2-3 quality pieces that last you a long time. This will help you save money in the long run and rid your home of clutter.
If you are interested in incorporating the minimalism lifestyle into your day to day, but aren’t sure where to start, there are some wonderful resources out there. An excellent place to start is a documentary called Minimalism or a book by Greg McKeown called Essentialism.
Reduce your Entertainment Budget
Another simple way to start living stingy is to reduce what you spend each month on entertainment. Look at your bank statement for last month and evaluate each purchase that you have- are they all essential?
Think about every streaming service that you rent on top of that cable bill. How often do you use all of those services and are they really worth it?
I cut my cable a LONG time ago and have never regretted it. We subscribe to Netflix and HBO and for less than 425/month, which is way less than the old $150 we used to pay just for cable.
Not only that, but we watch movies at home with homemade popcorn, take walks on the beach and in the park, and cook date night meals at home for entertainment.
Create a Budget
In order to successfully live a stingy life, it is essential that you know exactly where your money is being spent. If you want to have complete control of your finances, you need to create a budget.
Taking the time to have a financial budget makeover may seem scary at first. You might not be ready to come to terms with your debt or how much money you are wasting each month on pad thai.
That’s okay! Just know that if you want to meet your financial goals, then you need to take a look at your spending habits and create a budget that fits your goal.
There are plenty of amazing resources to help you create a budget that works for you and your family. In fact, there are dozens of budgeting books that I love- you can read my reviews about them here!
Those that take living stingy know the value of meal planning. Not only does it relieve a lot of mental stress (since dinner was already decided on Sunday) but you will save a ton of money from it!
When you meal plan, the idea is that you make a list of everything that you will need for food for the entire week. When this happens, you go to the store with a list and you stick to it.
That way, you aren’t running to the store every other day for extra things and buying food that you simply do not need.
Even better? Set up grocery delivery with a local store or Amazon Fresh so you can get everything that you need without having to even walk into a store.
Set Standards Low for Birthdays and Holidays
When it comes to big celebrations like birthdays and holidays, I like to set expectations so no one is upset or disappointed.
My family and I have developed a “mostly” no gift policy. There are still some small gifts here and there (I buy my sister and her family a Hickory Farms basket for Christmas each year), but all in all we keep it basic.
We are all frugal so this is easy, but it also means we don’t expect things from each other. And that includes the kids. Spending time and having experiences together when we can means so much more than a gift.
This also goes for my partner and myself on any major holidays. We actually have a no gift policy for all holidays and birthdays.
So there are no expectations and/or disappointments. For each birthday, we go out and have a nice dinner at the birthday-ee’s choice restaurant. That’s it.
Set Financial Goals
Nothing motivates me more to keep living stingy than a great financial goal. Whether it is building our dream home, paying off our student loans, or taking that trip to Vietnam (my dream!), a financial goal will keep you driven.
Create a System to Determine if a Purchase is a Want or a Need
Before you spend a lot of money, it is important to establish if a purchase is a want or a need. For example, you may see a set of beautiful antique rugs that would match your living room perfectly.
That’s awesome! Now you need to decide if the rugs are a want or a need.
Here’s what we do:
- We don’t buy immediately. We wait at least a week to see if that love for the item is still there. If we go back and its gone, it wasn’t meant to be.
- We review our financial goals and see if the item will help reach the goal. Our financial goal might be to decorate our forever home with pieces we love. In the case of the rug example, then this is definitely a need.
That’s it! Determining if something is a want vs. a need doesn’t have to be difficult, but its definitely worth it to avoid spending money that you shouldn’t be spending.
Unsubscribe Tempting Emails
The old email trick gets me every time! First, you sign up for the email list to get a discount. Then, you receive a ton of emails from the store or other deals and must-haves that are just oh so tempting.
Take it from me- unsubscribe those email lists so that you don’t even know that the sale is there! Living stingy requires that sort of sacrifice sometimes to help you reach financial freedom in the future.
Research Free Activities
Anytime of the year, there are bound to be free activities in your community. Whether they are events at a church, the local park, or even the local library, start reaching out to your networks to see what free activities are offered!
If community events aren’t your thing, that’s all right. There are plenty of free activities that you can do as a family, alone, with girlfriends, or even on a date. From window shopping to visiting the local beach, you can have an amazing day for zero cost!
Buying used is one of the best tricks to live frugally. While this isn’t the case for everything (underwear, for example should be purchased new), a lot of items you purchase used can be high quality and help fill a need.
In most cases, items being sold have only been used for a short period of time but are no longer useful to the owner. A new baby jumper, for example, can cost close to $100.
But if you look online, you will be able to find the same jumper for at least half that and all because a baby already jumped in it once or twice!
I personally LOVE designer clothes. But I refuse to spend the money on them because it’s so expensive.
There is a consignment shop that has an amazing collection of designer threads for a small fraction of the price. Plus…I can pay for my new clothes with the money I make selling my old clothes!
Adjust Daily Spending Habits
Living stingy calls for you to start looking at your daily spending habits and adjusting them accordingly.
This means that it might be time for you to start packing your own lunch, making your coffee at home or consider public transportation. These simple choices can help you save money and meet any financial goals that you may have.
Buy Food in Bulk
One of the simplest ways to begin living stingy is to buy food in bulk.
A one-pound bag of rice, for example, is $1 but the 25-pound bag of the same rice is $15. As a family that eats rice almost every single day, it makes sense for us to purchase a bigger bag of rice because in the end we’ll save $10.
If you do choose to buy foods in bulk, make sure that you have storage containers that can hold that extra food and keep everything fresh.
Is living stingy really worth it? The answer, of course, is YES!
Making the choice for intentional spending is going to help you and your family thrive for years to come. With a few simple life changes like buying food in bulk and making financial goals as a family, you will be pleasantly surprised at how simple it is for you to start living stingy.
Do you live a stingy or frugal lifestyle? What must know tips did I miss? Tell me in the comments below!