Stingy living is all about making the most of your money. Think of it as being frugal and not wasting anything.
While the word “stingy” often has negative connotations, it’s really just about being careful with your finances and refusing to overspend.
What Does It Mean To Live Stingily?
So, what does it mean to live stingily? Essentially, it means being frugal and not wasting anything. Stingy living doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of everything you enjoy.
We’re not talking about taking it to the extreme and living like a miser.
Stingy living involves being mindful of your purchases and only buying what you need. It doesn’t mean that you hoard money or only look out for your own interests.
On the contrary, stingy living can actually be very beneficial. When you’re stingy, you’re more likely to save money. And when you have money saved up, you can use it for things that are truly important to you.
Is Living Stingy Worth It?
There’s no doubt that a frugal or stingy lifestyle requires discipline. It can be difficult to say no to yourself, especially when everyone around you is spending money. But it’s important to remember that living stingy is a choice. And it’s a choice that can have a lot of benefits.
For one, stingy living can help you save money. If you’re not wasting money on unnecessary purchases, you’ll have more to put away in savings. This can be helpful in case of an emergency or if you want to buy something big, like a house or a car. It can also help you to save for retirement or pursue financial independence.
Another benefit of stingy living is that it can help you live a simple lifestyle. When you’re not focused on buying things, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on the truly important things. You might not be as likely to be distracted by material possessions. And you might find that your life is more fulfilling as a result.
Of course, there are downsides to living stingy. For one, it can be difficult to stick to. You might find yourself slipping back into old habits of spending money.
Additionally, living stingy can sometimes make you feel deprived. It can be a tough adjustment if you’re not used to saying “no” to yourself.
But overall, living stingy is a good choice for those who want to save money and live a simpler lifestyle. If you’re willing to be disciplined and make some sacrifices, it can be a very rewarding experience.
Living Stingy Tips
Now, let’s look at some tips that will help you spend less and save more.
1. Track Your Expenses
One of the best things you can do to save money is to track your expenses. This will help you see where your money is going and how much you spend on necessary vs. unnecessary purchases. And if you categorize your expenses, you can see how much you spend in different areas like food, clothes, entertainment, etc.
There are a few different ways you can track your expenses. You can use a budgeting app, like Mint or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Or, you can simply keep a running tally of your expenses in a spreadsheet.
Whichever method you choose, make sure you’re including everything in your tracking. Record every cash transaction, and check your bank and credit card statements to be sure you’re not missing anything.
Once you have a good idea of where your money is going, you can start to make changes. You might be surprised at how much money you’re wasting on things you don’t really need.
2. Evaluate Every Expense
Once you know where your money is going, it will be easier to identify expenses you can cut out. These are the purchases you don’t really need that provide minimal value in your life.
For example, you might find that you’re spending a lot of money on eating out or buying coffee daily. If this is the case, try cutting back to once weekly or monthly. Or, if you’re spending a lot on clothes or shoes, see if you can shop less often or buy items on sale.
When evaluating your expenses, pay close attention to subscriptions, memberships, and recurring payments. These monthly payments may seem small, but they can add up over time. If you’re not using a service or don’t need it anymore, cancel it. This will help you to free up some extra cash each month.
There are many ways to save money by cutting out unnecessary expenses. It’s just a matter of identifying where you can make some changes.
3. Create a Budget
Once you’ve tracked your expenses and identified unnecessary spending, it’s time to create a budget. This will help you ensure you’re allocating your money in the way that makes the most sense for you.
You could start by creating the budget first, but I recommend tracking your expenses for a month or two because it helps you to make a realistic budget. If you try to create a budget without knowing how you’re actually spending money, you might be too restrictive and not allocate enough money for necessary expenses. You might get discouraged and give up quickly if your budget is unrealistic.
So, once you have a good idea of your spending patterns, sit down and create a budget. You can use a budgeting app, like Mint or YNAB, a budget spreadsheet like Tiller, or do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper.
Start by listing out all of your income sources and then list all your necessary expenses. This might include things like rent, utilities, food, transportation, insurance, etc.
After you’ve listed all your necessary expenses, you can start allocating money for other items. This might include savings goals, debt repayment, fun money for entertainment or eating out, etc.
Once your budget is created, you need to continue tracking expenses to ensure you’re sticking to the budget. Review it regularly and make changes as needed. Your budget should change and evolve with you. It doesn’t always need to stay the same.
4. Set Savings Goals
Setting financial goals is essential. Goals help you to stay motivated and on track. It’s a good idea to set specific goals for how much money you want to save each month or each year.
When you have specific savings goals, making sacrifices in other areas of your budget is easier. For example, if you’re trying to save for a down payment on a house, you might be willing to give up eating out or shopping to reach your goal more quickly.
Set savings goals by thinking about what you want or need. Then, come up with a dollar amount and timeframe for each goal. Once you have your goals established, start working towards them. Incorporate the savings into your budget as a line item.
5. Take Advantage Of Easy Wins
Easy wins are changes you can make that will save you money without affecting your lifestyle.
Some examples of easy wins include:
- Canceling cable TV
- Changing to a discount wireless providing
- Switching insurance companies or plans for a lower rate
- Canceling subscriptions or memberships that you’re not using
- Comparison shopping online before making a purchase
These are just a few examples, but there are many other ways to save money with little effort. It will make a big difference if you incorporate a few easy wins into your budget.
For example, several years ago, my wife and I cut our monthly cell phone bill in half and saved more than $800 per year by switching to a discount carrier.
Easy wins are especially helpful when you’re first starting out on your journey to financial freedom. They help you to get into the habit of saving money and make it easier to stick to your budget. As you become more comfortable with living stingy, you can start to make more significant changes.
6. Use Cashback Apps
There are a few different ways to get cash back on your purchases. Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is an online cash-back platform. You can sign up for free and then shop online as you normally would. Rakuten will give you a percentage of your purchase price in the form of a rebate.
Ibotta is another cash-back option that works differently than Rakuten. With Ibotta, you select offers before you go shopping. Then, after you make your purchase, you take a picture of your receipt and submit it through the app. Ibotta will then give you cash back based on your selected offers.
Cashback apps are great because they help you save money on the purchases you need to make anyway. Best of all, you can stack the rewards using a cashback credit card. That way, you’re earning cashback in two different ways for your purchases.
7. Sell Things You Don’t Use
We all have things around our houses or apartments that we no longer use. Some of these items have value, and you can sell them to earn extra cash.
To get started, take a look around your place and make a list of things that you no longer need or want. Once you have your list, start researching the value of each item. You can use online resources like eBay or Craigslist to get an idea of what each item is worth.
Once you know the value of your items, it’s time to start selling. You can hold a garage sale, sell items online, or take them to a consignment shop. Depending on what you’re selling, you might be able to make a significant amount of money you could save or use for other necessary expenses.
Selling unwanted items is a great way to declutter your home and earn extra cash. It also allows you to give new life to something that wasn’t being used. Someone else may really benefit by getting the items you sold.
8. Embrace Inexpensive Hobbies
Many people spend a lot of money on hobbies and entertainment. That’s not always bad, but if you’re trying to minimize expenses, this is an area where you can cut back.
There are many different ways to entertain yourself without spending much money. Here are a few ideas for inexpensive hobbies:
- Playing sports
There are endless possibilities for inexpensive hobbies.
9. Buy Second-Hand
Many things you need can be bought second-hand instead of new. You can find great deals on gently used items if you’re willing to look for them.
There are a few different places to buy second-hand items. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and thrift stores are all great options. You can also go to yard sales, flea markets, and auctions to find great deals.
With a little effort, you can find just about anything you need at a fraction of the cost of buying it new. And in many cases, the item works just as well as a new one.
Buying second-hand is not only cheaper, but it’s also better for the environment. When you buy second-hand, you’re keeping usable items out of landfills.
10. Wait On Big Purchases
If you can wait to make a purchase, do it. Many people buy things impulsively and spend more money than they need to.
Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you really need the item or if you can wait a little while longer. You’ll often find that you don’t need the item as much as you thought. And if you do need it, you might decide to go with a cheaper alternative.
By waiting to make purchases, you’ll save money and prevent clutter in your home.
11. Pack Your Lunch
Eating out can be expensive, especially if you do it every day. A better option is to pack your lunch from home. You can save a lot of money by doing this, and you’ll often have a healthier meal.
Packing your lunch doesn’t have to be complicated. You can make simple sandwiches or salads to take with you. Or you can prepare meals in advance and pack leftovers. There are also many easy recipes you can make ahead of time and take with you for lunch.
12. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Many people don’t realize how easy it is to make your own cleaning products. You can save a lot of money by doing this, and you’ll often end up with a better (and often more natural) product.
There are DIY recipes for all sorts of cleaning products you can make at home. All-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, laundry detergents, and dish soap are all easy to make. You can save a lot of money by using recipes that feature natural cleaning products like white vinegar.
Not only will you save money by making your own cleaning products, but you’ll also avoid all the harmful chemicals that are found in many store-bought products.
13. Drink More Water
How much money do you spend on drinks like coffee, iced tea, and soda? Drinking more water will help you to avoid buying expensive drinks, and it’s also better for your health.
If you get bored with the taste of plain water, you can do a few things to make it more appealing. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime, or infuse it with fruit or herbs.
Final Thoughts On Living Stingy
Stingy living doesn’t mean you have to live like a hermit. It’s simply about being mindful of your spending and finding ways to save money. By following the tips above, you can easily cut back on your expenses without making significant changes to your lifestyle.
Living stingy is a great way to save money. But it’s also important to enjoy your life and spend money on things that are important to you. The key is to find a balance that works for you. Try out different stingy living tips and see what works best for you and your budget.