In this entry, I am going to present a set of frugal living tips which stem from a Chinese phrase containing four characters that comprise “life” in the Oriental eyes.
1. What You Wear
This is the most tempting area of all but the good news is that it is under your best control.
Because they are mostly non essential expenses, they can be avoided as much as you can. It all depends on whether you can tame your urge to shop or not.
This category of expense is the variable that can determine how much one can save in a month the most.
First off, refrain from or at least reduce any temptations. Don’t window shop. Don’t subscribe to fashion magazine or even fashion channels.
Make good use of your current wardrobe. If you can’t do further mix and match with the existing pieces, find out which item is missing and buy it instead of randomly shopping for whatever pleases your eyes.
Stop listening to those must-have wardrobe crap. Not everyone lives and works in a location that a trench coat can go with. Surprisingly though, sweat pants can be a staple to workers who need to walk around a lot. The key is to buy garments that suit your body shape, your title and the occasions.
Trying new cosmetic products is a bad habit, not just to your wallet but to your skin. Unknown products may cause irritation of skin that needs to be taken care of later on with more money.
Every day when you tidy your makeup bag or desk, look at what you have already had and it can deter you from buying duplicated item.
Never buy something just because it is discounted. If you don’t need it, it doesn’t matter how much of a good deal it is. It is a waste of money if it doesn’t add value to your life.
2. What You Eat
I don’t recommend over tightening the budget of this category because nutritious food is the foundation of health whereas health is the foundation of success. Without a functional body and clear mind, no dream can be achieved.
Here are some practical ways to cut down your expenses on food without making compromises on your health.
Bring your own meals. (Look for inspiration on tumblr. There are plenty of easy cooking ideas.)
Limit fancy meals to once a week and eat in groups if you ever go to a fancy diner. That way, you can killing two birds with one stone: socialising and enjoying good food.
Hardcore coffee drinkers who have a cup of gourmet coffee per day anyway should better use point cards to redeem whatever they can get. But it is always the best option to limit your gourmet coffee consumption to once or twice a week.
Think nutrition first. It will help you make wise choices and save a lot on sugary food. (I think you all agree that deserts and snacks are usually more expensive than regular groceries.)
3. Where You Live and What You Live With
Keep a minimal amount of household items so as to save time and money on their maintenance.
It’s very noble of you to support your favorite musicians or actors, but buying records or discs is not something a frugal person who wants to save up as much money as s/he can to do.
Entertain yourself instead with free online materials. Make good use of your local library and the Internet.
Consider whether the item that you lay eyes on will go with the rest of the knickknacks currently sitting in your room. Not only does this step fulfil one’s aesthetic need, it also curbs impulsive shopping.
4. How You Go
Like what happens in the second category, you can do little to minimize the cost of this area.
Instead of cutting down the cost, why not make the most of it?
The train compartment is where you get to meet people from all walks of life. Be observant and notice if there are any interesting conversations going on. You may glean something valuable from them.
It’s also the best place to stay concentrated because no one is going to interrupt you. Read or listen to audio books. Review your day. Make future plan.
Your worst investment of time is to play games, watch TV dramas, check your social media or sending random texts.