2020 is going to be my year of being frugal. I have never tried frugal living in my life at all really. I have the odd time here and there when I try and save a bit of money and I do ok but in terms of spending a year trying to live frugally, this is something new.
Last year was pretty good for me. I started this blog for one and I also went on a lovely anniversary trip with my wife to Italy and the Amalfi coast.
My wife and I love traveling and we intend to do more of this if we can. Obviously this costs money and so our next trip which is potentially to Australia to see the family is a big one. We need to save money wherever we can.
So I have decided that frugal living is the way to go this year in order to save the funds.
I have done quite a bit of research into frugal living and I have cherry-picked the frugal living ideas and frugal tips that I think will work best for me and my current lifestyle.
What follows is a list of what I intend to do to be more frugal in 2020. I hope it inspires you to also be more frugal this year and maybe save for your own holiday fund.
Frugal Living Tips
Below are the Frugal living tips I will be trying this year. Hopefully, these will save me the money to boost my holiday fund and have more adventures with my wife.
Cut Those Cable Bills:
So when I am not writing this blog or playing my Xbox I love to spend time sitting on the couch binge-watching TV shows with my wife. It is one of our favorite things to do.
We have all the TV channels known to man and then a few more. We also have premium Netflix as well as Amazon Prime. Needless to say, we are never short of something to watch.
You may think I am going to make a big sacrifice here and cut out these things that we love but no. What I am going to do is cut the cable costs for the channel we say we need but dont use as often as we think we will.
For example, I love premier league football. I watch as much as I can but if truth be told I just dont quite get the time I used to. Sometimes it will be a couple of weeks where I dont watch any football. This seems like a waste of money.
Added to this we also have the movie channels but with so much on offer on our streaming sites, it doesn’t make sense to have these two packages. We are saving money by just cutting these out of our package. It will save us on average around £35 per month.
Before any of my readers who might be gamers start to panic, I’m not selling my Xbox. What I am doing is cutting costs.
I was looking through bank statements to try and see where I could save and I saw a payment for £3.99 every month. This was EA Access.
I use it to get a discount on one game every year and then forget to cancel. This year I have canceled and will renew it just for one month next year to get my discount.
That is another £4 per month saved. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it all adds up and this was a real unneeded expenditure.
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This is a big one for me. I work full time and my job has long hours. This means I tend to nip to the shop next door for a drink or snack during the day.
Now I am quite good as we get a food truck come in and sell the lad’s food and drink. I refuse to pay the money when I can just make my own sandwiches and save money.
Although I am good at that aspect I will find myself nipping to the shop for a drink. While I am there I will get a chocolate bar which I dont need and before you know it I have spent £3-4.
It was while searching through my bank statements and wondering where all my money goes that I first decided to add up all the deductions from that one shop. It came to around £40 per month.
That is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on stuff I dont need. So now I take a 2-litre bottle of water to work and drink this throughout the day. I also try and keep so busy that I dont crumble and go to the shop.
This was also the main reason why I decided to try frugal living this year and cut out all unessecary expenses.
My wife and I are not the greatest when it comes to keeping things cheap with regards to groceries. We do ok with buying meat in bulk from wholesale butchers. This keeps costs down a little as opposed to buying from the supermarket.
The area we fall down on is we shop every other week and this can add up. We usually do online shopping and as anyone who has done this can testify it is quite easy to spend more than you have to.
The worst thing about online grocery shopping is that it allows you to save your favorites. This means the next time you shop it is quicker. What it also means is the next time you shop you just order groceries you haven’t yet run out of and therefore dont need.
What we aim to do this year is to do a monthly shop but to do this in one of the cheaper UK stores such as Lidl Or Aldi. We have tried their food before and to be honest it isn’t that bad. This frugal tip can save you loads especially if you are shopping for a big family.
You can also use a shopping app to get money back from your receipts.
Just doing this could save us between £30-50 per month.
Using Cashback Sites:
I do this periodically throughout the year anyway. It really does help as I use the money earned through cashback as money towards Christmas presents at the end of the year.
This year I am going to make a point of using cashback with any purchase made online. Hopefully, this will not only save me money but also create a nice little pot saved up for the end of the year.
For starters, I am being frugal by changing car insurance and some other insurances. I am going to be doing this via a cashback site as you can usually get a decent amount for changing insurance providers.
The last time I did this I managed to get £120 cashback and save on my yearly premiums. This time I am going full pelt into frugal living via my favorite cashback site which is Quidco.
Quidco is free to join and by completing a quick search you can find most retailers to satisfy your needs.
Buy Clothes In The Sale:
I do like to shop for new clothes and I also tend to buy slightly more expensive brands. The one thing I dont do is to look at the price too closely.
What I am going to try this year is to only buy clothes when I absolutely need them. Also to try buying my clothes when they are in the sale. Having had a bit of a look around you can get some perfectly good clothes off the sale rail.
I will happily spend £60-70 on a pair of jeans or jogging bottoms but to be fair I could just wait until there is a great online sale. It doesn’t matter if they are last seasons they are still brand new but you could be paying 50% less.
Ok, so every time it is my wife’s birthday I do tend to go a bit mad. From trips to the Amalfi coast in Italy to 1ct diamond rings. (The ring was for a special birthday) I love a splurge and I also love treating my wife as she works hard and deserves it.
My wife to be fair treats me just as well. The only issue is obviously the money it costs. We both work hard so we can afford to do it but it seems a bit extravagant when looking back on it.
This year we need to set reasonable budgets. I appreciate everyone is different but we are going to set a budget of around £100 for each other’s birthdays.
A limit is needed and it keeps our spending in check. Your personal limit may be more or it may be less but making sure you dont go mad on birthdays for the one that you love is the ideal way of starting off a Frugal year.
The one thing I keep meaning to do every year and haven’t since we moved into this house 8 years ago is to have a proper declutter. I need to either throw out or sell anything we dont need or use.
My idea was to start opening boxes and throw out anything that we haven’t used in over a year. We probably have around 40 boxes of crap in our loft and we haven’t looked through hardly any of it so it can’t be that important surely.
At this point, I will advise that you do actually look through your stuff before throwing it out as we dont want to lose any family heirlooms.
My frugal tip is anything you dont want that might have a bit of value then sell it on auction sites such as eBay. Not only are you clearing out some space from your house but also making a little money in the process.
What you do with that money is up to you. My idea is to save it until the end of the year and then put it towards our holiday. We can then reward ourselves for having such a positive frugal year.
My phone contract will be nearing its end a bit later on this year. I am going to do what I dont normally do and just swap to a sim only deal. Obviously this means keeping the phone I have and just getting a sim deal.
This means I will have the same amount of minutes, texts and data but at a much lower cost. I currently pay around £50 per month. I am hoping to drop this to around £20 a month so quite a big saving.
All I have to do is to get over my strong urge for something new and shiny. (Have you seen the Samsung Galaxy S20 range!!) I dont need one as I have the Samsung Galaxy s10 plus and it is a great phone and is in mint condition.
It is going to be such a good saving that I think this will overrule my urge for a shiny new phone.
What are you planning to do this year to be frugal? Are you going to follow any of the frugal tips I have mentioned above or have you got your own frugal living tips? I would love to hear them in the comments and see how you started your own frugal year in 2020.