A lot of people equate the two terms as being the same, but while similar, they are actually quite different.
A frugal person will save money by assessing what is needed versus what is wanted, but unnecessary. A cheap person will just not spend much, even if the quality would be sub-par.
There are a lot of ways you can be frugal in your life and save money without giving up quality.
Living Below Your Means
Everyone knows that one family that has it all. New car, big house, all the best electronics and gadgets.
The reality is that family is likely just like you; they spend most of their income every month, evening out their income vs expenditures.
The difference is that they spend it on stuff they may not need. They have the basics already covered, but don’t know what to do with the rest, so they just spend, spend, spend.
Cut back on your spending by focusing on just the necessities. Can’t afford to eat out this week? Have a nice, low cost homecooked meal. There’s no end to easy crockpot recipes that are cheap and delicious. Bonus: crockpots use very little electricity, so you’ll save energy too.
Can you go without a coffee from Starbucks every morning? That will save you $4-5 per day, a savings of up to $1300 per year! If you must get some caffeine, look for a cheaper coffee shop that makes a good brew or brew your own at home.
Reduce Waste, Reuse Items
Reducing waste, especially energy waste is a great way to save money. Cut back on long showers, and double your savings by taking cooler showers.
Shut off lights and appliances when you are done using them. With electronic devices, unplug them to prevent the phantom load from leeching energy even while the device is off.
Instead of buying a brand new couch, look for a used one (that you can of course test out and see first). Furniture is expensive, and a lot of times used furniture is just as good as new at a fraction of the cost.
Tupperware can also be pricey, but it’s a great way to store leftovers. Knock out both items on the list by saving plastic takeout food containers from restaurants. They are often durable, and best of all, they’re free with a takeout meal!
If You’re Going to Spend, Spend on Something Worthwhile
Love steak? Get it once in a while. That helps savor it as a treat. Want a new car? If your current one is still doing well, there’s no need to upgrade.
However, if you are going to shell out some cash, make sure it’s for something that you’ll get a lot of use out of. Skip expensive dinners and one-night events and invest in something that will last a while.
A durable, fuel efficient vehicle will certainly be a great asset. An upgrade to your home to make it more energy efficient would also be a great investment.
About Us: Source Power & Gas is a Texas based retail energy provider with retail operations in the Texas, Delaware, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. markets. We pride ourselves on providing both competitive rates and exceptional customer service to all our customers – from residential consumers to the largest commercial and industrial clients. Learn more about us by visiting www.SPGEnergy.com or by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.