While being frugal is important all the time, 2020 is a year that is highlighting the importance of this. Many of us are facing reductions in income either because of cut in hours, the loss of a job completely, or simply the fear of these things. There are some tricks that will help you stay on a more level keel and be able to face financial challenges with grace and courage.
One step is to examine your monthly bills and see if there are any recurring charges that you do not need and that you can remove. Many of us will find we are paying for services or products we are not using right now. Do you really need the professional level of memberships or would the free level meet our needs? In addition look for products that you get often that you could get in bulk and save money. This could include ordering cat litter online, or a monthly subscription for tea or coffee. If you are regularly ordering the same items again and again there is no reason not to save money in the long run by starting to take advantage of bulk and frequent shopper programs. The key to being frugal is not to stop getting everything that brings us joy but to find these things at the best price instead.
Another step is to take an inventory of what you already have available to you. Many of us have access to stuff that currently is just taking up room and could be enjoyed instead. We have scented candles or lotion we have never used. We have nice dishes we can take out and feel fancy. We have fresh sheets we can put on our beds and bring a sense of positive change. One way to start to explore what you already have is to try the Marie Kondo method or use such a method as a lens to see your stuff through. Finding that you have a lot of stuff squirreled away in corners is not a bad thing. In times like these, when you might find you are trying to be extra frugal, this “stuff” you forgot you had can now be used or can be sold online and bring in more money. On top of knowing what you have, you will also end up with a more organized and simplified home which brings you more joy.
Finally, remember that there are many resources that are free for you to use right now. Libraries have free books, movies, and music we can access online or in person. Libraries also often provide free training around technology and classes on financial health. If you want resources to look inward or to grow your faith, look for free services, devotionals, journals, or books that are available to you. If you want to keep active you can always go for a walk, or take a free dance or yoga class online. And if you are simply looking to be entertained there are a large number of free music, movies, TV shows, and even plays that are available online.
2020 has hit many of us in our pocketbooks so it is more important than ever to find ways we can enjoy life while being frugal. The first step is always to look at our expenses and see what we can carefully edit there. Next, we need to become aware of what we already have available to us around our home and which would bring us joy to use. Finally, look at free ways to meet your inner needs as well as any fitness or entertainment needs. If there is one thing 2020 is teaching us all it is how to frugally take advantage of all the amazing resources we are surrounded with.