Frugal Living

7 Ideas for Trimming Costs without Feeling the Pinch

 The trouble with frugal living is that it can be seen in a negative light. We’re all about rectifying that here at Miss Frugal Mommy because we don’t wish any mother to feel deprived.

There are plenty of ways both large and small to trim costs without feeling the pinch from doing so. And even when you’re willing to tighten the financial belt a little more, if you know that’s it is for a good cause, then that’s fine too.

Here are 7 ideas for trimming costs without feeling much discomfort when doing so.

1.      Will Debt Consolidation Save You Money?

If you’re wanting to get debts clear sooner or the total amount of payments is proving difficult to keep up with, then you may need to explore debt consolidation. Tally, the people behind the app that offers credit card payment management and consolidation options, has put together a guide linked above.

Simplifying your debts by bringing them all under one roof at a lower cost is a solid action to take. But failing that, just removing the stress from paying multiple credit cards on time by using the Tally app is a no-brainer. The savings on late fees and additional interest, let alone avoiding a potential ding to your credit report makes that worth it.

2.      How Much Internet is Needed?

The internet service providers are keen to sell higher speeds to customers. Why accept a “slow” 50 Mbps when 100 Mbps is available?

While faster seems better, it does add to your expenses. Most websites now use faster hosting and lighter images to load faster even on slower connections. They’re designed around mobile speeds, so anything 10 Mbps or faster is blisteringly quick when loading a website or Facebook page.

To stream Netflix even on two devices, not even 50 Mbps is required. So, look at cutting your plan down to something a little less speedy. You’ll barely notice the difference, but the saving adds up every month. Also, the savings made over a lifetime are huge! And if you invest the savings for the long-term….

3.      Is Your Cell Plan Overkill Too?

Cellphone plans cost a ton. They’re often poor value for the speed and data packages provided.

If you find that you don’t use much data because it’s only turned on when you’re commuting, away from the home, or on the weekends, then probably less is required.

Do You Have Too Much Data on Tap?

When you’ve selected an unlimited plan, maybe that’s more than is needed? And if you’ve picked a sizable GB’s monthly allowance, look at your data consumption to verify how much of that you’ve been using. Check your smartphone history or information from your provider because it’s all recorded for you.

Use Data Saving Techniques to Further Reduce Your Requirements

There are now data-saving plans built into most mobile browsers. They use up to 40% less bandwidth when this feature is enabled. Also, disconnecting cellular data overnight prevents apps from using the internet to keep updated after dark. It all serves to reduce how much data is necessary, so you can cut your cellular plan back to something sensible.

4.      Occasional, Not Repetitive

Some spending has become habitual and is repetitive.

Look for these habits in your budget but also in your behavior too. That expensive latte is certainly one, but everyone has their particular thing. So, don’t think if you skip the premium coffee habit you’re in the clear…

Once you’ve spotted what it is, don’t feel like it’s necessary to remove it entirely. Instead, consider making it an occasional treat rather than a repetitive or daily occurrence. You may even be able to update to a fancier one, but it still works out less costly than repeatedly purchasing the less luxurious product.

5.      Ask Friends & Relatives If They Still Care About Exchanging Gifts

While this won’t be ideal for everyone, exchanging gifts has become almost like a contest in some families or between friends about who can outspend one another. It’s one competition you can well do without when needing to trim costs down.

Ask your friends and select relatives whether they are happy to skip gift-giving this season? While some people will feel strongly about exchanging gifts for birthdays, they may not care either way for the holiday season.

Being able to skip some gifts, and receive fewer unwanted ones, makes the holiday season less hassle. The gift shopping time will be substantially reduced, and it won’t give you the usual financial headache either.

6.      Cut Expenses at Entertainment Venues

It’s fun to go out to entertainment venues to let your hair down. That could mean a trip to the bar with the girlfriends or a meal out with other friends. It doesn’t have to break the bank when doing so.

Don’t Stay for the Entire Evening

When socializing in a bar with friends, reduce alcohol consumption to limit the cost of the evening. Instead of sticking around for the first two hours and then the following two, that’s hard to remember anyway, make a strategic exit halfway through the night.

You won’t miss much, and your purse will thank you in the morning. Probably a friend will want to tag along and will welcome the excuse to bid a hasty retreat too.

Skip the Appetizers

For restaurant meals, skip the appetizers in a group setting. With the usual large portion sizes and high-calorie count of meals at the best restaurants, enjoying an appetizer is more than is required. It also adds extras to the shared bill too.

Also, if you’re not a fan of desserts, then skip them too.

Get Separate Checks

When out socializing, make it a point to pay separately for what you’ve ordered. Be clear that that’s what you’ll be doing, so friends don’t get annoyed about it.

Separate checks are quite common, and it makes it fairer when some people are overconsuming in various ways.

7.      Cut Out Needless or Low-value Expenses

Look at what you’ve been spending to see what value you receive from it.

Some expenses will be necessary and hard to ignore. But others will often be things that you signed up for months or years ago and just kept getting rebilled for. Others are occasional but aren’t giving you satisfaction any longer.

Look to discontinue spending on items that aren’t providing value or much enjoyment today. Don’t stick with things because your friends got them at the same time (they may have already subsequently canceled and failed to mention it).

Not feeling the pinch that much, if at all, is a great way to cut expenses down. It doesn’t give you a feeling like you’re missing out on something. The idea to upgrade to a luxurious option instead of buying a lesser quality product daily is one such example. There’s no sense of missing out, yet it will save money each week. Finding the painless cutbacks may require a change of thinking but it can free up money to go toward important things like the kids’ college funds or for a rainy day. And that makes it totally worth the effort.

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