Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Being Frugal in 2011

A new year means a fresh start and I’m sure that some of you have set new years resolutions. Financial new years resolutions are really popular, but they can be incredibly hard to stick to. I’ve set myself a task to be as frugal as possible in 2011, and to match this I’ve set myself some strict saving objectives, I know it will be hard work but I plan to stick to it. Being frugal is all about trying to avoid unnecessary expenditure wherever possible, and here’s how you can be frugal in 2011:

Set yourself a budget – Budgeting is essential as it allows you to keep an eye on how much you’re spending and this is incredibly important if you want to be frugal. When you set your budget it’s important to set some money aside for all aspects of your spending, including your bills, your house repayments, your car as well as anything else you can think of. However, budgeting is not just about how much you spend, you should also look at how much money you save, being frugal means taking into account both aspects of your personal finances.

Tackle your debts – Debt is one of those things that most of will face at one time or another, but wouldn’t it be nice to finally be rid of those monthly interest payments? Set yourself an aim to finally tackle at least one of your debts. Maybe you want to tackle a credit card that you’ve had for a number of years, or maybe it’s a loan, once you’ve identified what you want to pay off, work really hard to get it done. If you’re stuck with a big amount of debt, then set yourself a target and stick to it, the more you chop away at it, the quicker you’ll get rid of it.

Frugal shopping – When you’re out shopping, whether it be for basic food needs or for clothes, you should always try to get a bargain. If you are shopping for something specific you should have a look online before buying something in-store, it will help you to save money. Also, look for frugal shopping and deal websites that will often list the best deals available at the moment, remember that every little bit that you save helps.

Save money using different techniques – In 2011, try and save money using different techniques than you would normally use. A great way to save money if you have a lot of credit card debt is to transfer the balances using a balance transfer credit card. Think of different ways you can save money in 2011, don’t just follow your normal techniques.

Don’t spend month – I read somewhere recently about this idea and I thought it was brilliant. Set one month aside during 2011 and only spend money on the necessities, e.g. food, petrol/gas, and bills. For one month, don’t buy anything new and try not to eat out, just try to be as frugal as possible and you can then reap the rewards. It can be a great way to kick start your year.
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