Does Frugal Living Help To Evade Debt?

This is a guest post by Christina Jones, a financial content writer. She has also been contributing to many personal finance blogs as a guest columnist.

Are you under the notion that frugal living is all about leading a colorless and wretched life?  Then the answer is surely no, as you are harboring wrong notion. Frugal lifestyle helps you save considerable amount of money by trimming your budget smartly. You can enjoy your life by inculcating a good spending habit and staying within your means. Avoid getting into debt by exercising financial discipline with a frugal budget. However, if you have already incurred overwhelming debt then enroll in a debt reduction program to regain control over the situation. Once you get out from the trap of debt then you can have a frugal lifestyle to avoid debt in future. Remember that frugality can help you manage your finances.

What are the frugal strategies to avoid getting into the trap of debt?

1. You can avoid splurging your hard earned money by trying out frugal fashion. Make sure that you avoid branded clothes if you are planning a frugal lifestyle. You can look for fashionable clothes on discounted price. You are not required to comprise on your style statement by avoiding branded clothes. You need to change your way of expenditure to manage your finances when you are practicing frugal living. Look for offers on stores and buy clothes when the stores offer sale.

2. Whenever you are visiting the departmental store make sure that you take your coupons. Coupons can help you lead a frugal life so it is considered to be important item when you are planning to save money. You can save considerable amount of money when you use coupons while shopping for grocery. Therefore, you are not required to compromise on things that you essential require.

3. When you are visiting the department store where you get items on whole sell price, try to get things in bulk to avail the discount. You can prepare a list of the items that you require every month and get those in bulk on whole sell rate. If you purchase things in bulk then you can manage to save considerable amount of cash. It’ll also help you save money on gasoline as you are not required to visit the market often.

4. When you use your credit card then you can spend more than you’ll be able to afford. Make sure that you use cash more than card otherwise you might spend more than your means. When you frequently use your card then you might incur insurmountable amount of debt if your expenses exceed your income.

5. You can save considerable amount on entertainment. Avoid going out for dinners in posh restaurants rather prepare your dinner at home. Instead of going out for a movie order come pop corn at home and watch films with your friends on DVD.

6. Try to save money on electric when you are planning for a frugal living. You can install a power strip in your house and connect it with the electrical appliances that you use presently. When you are not using the appliances then it will be automatically switched off. So it will help to lower the electric consumption.

You might take time to practice frugal living and learn the process of spending wisely. But if you sincere follow the tips mentioned above then you can easily inculcate a good spending habit.



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Use Your iPhone to Spend Less!

The iPhone has tons of cool free apps that make it simple to save some cash. Check out some of my favorite iPhone apps and start saving money today!


GasBuddy – find the cheapest gas on the go! Locate gas stations near you and see their current gas prices.

I Love Free Things – quick and easy access to free samples and freebie offers. For example, I often take advantage of their weekly list of promo codes for free Blockbuster Express movies!

Yelp – save time (and money) by checking out local reviews of where to eat, shop, drink, relax, play, etc..  Some merchants even has special deals just for Yelpers!


ATM Hunter – locate nearby ATM machines that won’t charge a fee. Plus it gives you helpful tips on how to be smarter with your money and safer at ATM locations. 

Craigslist Mobile – find (almost) anything you want and need in your budget on Craigslist on the go! 

RedLaser – scans the bar code of any product while you’re shopping and tells you how much it costs at other chains and online stores. 

Wi-Fi Finder – instantly find free Wi-Fi internet hotspots wherever you are in the world online or offline.

Grocery eCoupons – get free paperless eCoupons redeemable at over 24,000 supermarkets and drugstores nationwide.

Garage Sale Rover – quickly view garage sales from Craigslist and other sources on a map. And navigate there with GPS voice operated turn-by-turn directions.

For more ways to spend less… visit SpendLessOnEverything.com!

Prescription Rx Discount Cards

Do you or someone you know spend too much money on prescription medications? If so, simply print out these FREE Rx discount cards. Show them to your pharmacist the next time you purchase prescription medications, and you will receive a substantial discount (up to 85%) on your prescription purchase! These cards are already activated and they are valid nationwide FOREVER.

The nice thing is that these cards may be copied (digital and/or photocopies). Give them to everyone you know who may be able to benefit from substantial discounts. There’s also a discount card for your pets for any human medication prescribed for your pet by your veterinarian.

CLICK HERE To Download and Print Both of Your FREE Discount Cards (Use Card Stock)

The cards are free, they are valid at over 58,000 pharmacies nationwide.  They work immediately and they are valid for the rest of your life. Print out the card(s) or download it onto your smartphone, which is capable of handling images or photographs. In either case, you stick the physical card in your wallet or you carry your smartphone with you that has the image in it, and when you go to purchase a prescription, you either show the physical card or the digital card to your pharmacist. Your pharmacist understands these cards. They see them all of the time. They will apply the discount and you save money.

The next time you go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription, simply show the pharmacist your physical card or the image of the card that you have stored on your smartphone.  When the pharmacist sees the card, they enter the numbers into their database which identifies you as a member. Your information is stored in their computers, so when you come back the next time, you still get the member price, so you don’t even have to show the card everytime, you just have to identify yourself.

Year-Round Money Savings Goals

Most people make resolutions at the beginning of each new year, but it’s smart to keep check of your finances all year long. If you are truly serious about “saving more money” this year, here are a few tips that can ensure that you are taking steps towards that goal.

  • Determine a realistic monthly budget. If you aren’t able to pay cash for everything, consider using one credit card that you pay off every month (to avoid interest fees). Ideally it should be a credit card that offers reward points, not only will you earn points for merchandise or cash, but you can “float” that month’s expenses until next month, giving you a month to pay off the entire amount.
  • Pay your bills online. This not only saves you time and the cost of stamps, but if you sign up for monthly payments on recurring monthly expenses, you will never be late and therefore won’t get hit with late fees. A bonus is that it’s paperless system which saves the environment in a small but significant way.
  • Are you getting the most out of your CD, savings or checking account? If not, shop around for better interest rates, it pays to look for an institution that offers more for your money. For rate comparison, try MoneyAisle.com.
  • Save money on your energy bill this year. Certain states have deregulated electricity and natural gas, which means you have the freedom to choose who your energy provider will be. You have the power to shop for the best rates. Check out SpendLessOnUtilities.com to find out if your state has deregulated electricity and/or natural gas.
  • If you aren’t lucky enough this year to pay off your mortgage, consider refinancing or reducing your mortgage payment. Interest rates continue to be low. You could save a good amount of money each month which you could save towards paying off your home loan earlier.
  • You can save money on your car, home, health, life insurance. I recently saved almost $400 a month on car insurance! Shop around for the best rates here.
  • Let’s face it, it’s fun to shop. However, for me it’s more fun if I can get a bigger bang for my buck. This year, one of my goals is to save as much money for things I shop for, whether it’s groceries or clothes, etc.. By regularly using coupons, shopping for online deals or buying stuff at garage sales or thrift stores I can ensure I won’t be paying full price on most things.

Tips and Tricks to being Thrifty

Saving money requires some ingenuity and innovation. Shrewd spending habits take time to acquire, but they can be accomplished with practice. Believe it or not, some of the richest people have the strictest budgets. That is one of the ways they got to be rich. They learned self-discipline and how to cut corners.

Work on a Budget

The only way you will ever get ahead of the game is to know exactly how much money you really have to spend. Housing, utilities, taxes and other necessities are essentials for which you must plan. Go over your bills and see what you generally average on a monthly basis. See where you can cut back. The amount you spend on utilities can be lowered by shutting off lights, running efficient appliances and light bulbs. Installing high-efficiency windows, turning down the thermostat in the winter and winterizing your home will also save you money. Make a list of the areas where you can make these improvements. Keep track of what you are spending for your utilities and see where you can trim your expenses.

Figure out all of your expenses and make a weekly budget. Stick to the budget as closely as you can. Set a reasonable amount that is workable and don’t exceed it when you go out shopping. Whenever possible, use cash not credit. Monthly interest rates will eat up whatever you may have saved when you go on a shopping spree financed by a credit card.

There is a Difference Between Needs and Wants

Impulse spending is probably one of the biggest reasons people spend too much when they go to the store. Grocery shopping when you are hungry is also another big no-no. Set a food budget and look for the deals. Buy in bulk when you can and clip coupons. Don’t buy anything that you do not need. Stock up on the necessities you will use through the year. Buy them when they are on sale. Try to save 50% on sale items if you can. Anything at or above 50% is considered an excellent deal.

Look through your pantry and freezer to see what you absolutely need in your larder. See what clothes you have and what clothes need to be replaced. Look for coupons on clothing items. Make a list and don’t deviate from that. Shop for Christmas gifts ahead of time. Buy gifts right after Christmas for next year’s giving. You will be amazed at how much you will save.

Don’t Be Afraid of Thrift Stores

Some of the neatest clothes, accessories and other items can be found at a thrift store. Yes, these are usually used items. You would be amazed how many barely used clothes are donated to a thrift store like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Sometimes, overstock items from local stores are donated. This merchandise is brand new and priced way below normal retail.

Shop the local garage sales. These are fun ways to get to know your neighbors while saving big bucks! If you have never done it, you will be amazed at the clothes, toys and collectibles you can find at a garage sale. These are virtual treasure troves, with prices that will make you salivate. Sometimes you even find antiques you can make money on by reselling them at a better price.

Coupons are a Saving Grace

Newspaper, magazine and Internet coupon clippings are the lifeblood of a frugal shopper. You will find a wealth of them in your local Sunday paper. Many times they are delivered in mailers by the postal service. If there is a product brand you like, check out the company website for the newest promotions and coupons. Look for websites that distribute printable coupons. Print them and take them with you. One good resource is CouponClaim.com. They offer coupons for groceries, clothing, jewelry, home improvement, electronics and even travel from major companies and retailers.

It will take time to play the discount game. With practice you will learn all the tricks of the trade and become a very wise and thrifty shopper. You will become an expert coupon clipper and amaze yourself on how much you really have saved. Good luck and happy shopping!

About The Writer:
Cynthia Waverly works as a writer for several online websites. She embraces a frugal lifestyle of sack lunches, recycled Tupperware, and daily coupon clippings. She enjoys saving money for her and her family.


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Top 10 List of the Biggest Money Savers

How much do you spend on your basic monthly expenses?  I keep a log of my daily expenses so I know how much I spend monthly. We all have basic expenses that are part of everyday life; such as insurance, utilities, etc..  In reviewing my own expenses, I determined that I should be paying less for certain items. In keeping with my frugal lifestyle, I searched for companies online that I could compare current rates and plans with. By shopping around for better rates or plans you really can save money. It does pay to compare, it could save you hundreds annually.

Here are my top 10 list of categories to save money. Click on each category to learn more.

  1. Housing
  2. Health Care
  3. Debt/Finance
  4. Groceries/Dining Out
  5. Utilities
  6. Technology/Phone
  7. Insurance
  8. Auto
  9. Shopping/Clothing
  10. Travel/Entertainment