Living on a shoestring, frugality, thriftiness, being budget conscious – all of these things mean very different things to different people. I’ve come across people who are very, very frugal and others who manage their budgets well and happily spend their ‘free’ money on whatever they like.
When I started this blog in 2009 I changed my spending and saving habits quite drastically. I am constantly working at getting the balance between ensuring my financial stability (through savings) and still enjoying life – all on a budget. One thing I have learned is that if I try to be too frugal I struggle to to stay on plan. Similarly, if I don’t set myself a budget I struggle to stay on top of my spending. This blog isn’t about going to extremes – it is about being budget conscious.
My own personal brand of ‘Shoestring Living’ involves…
- Living within my means
- Trying to save what I can, when I can (sometimes I set myself financial goals, sometimes I just chug along)
- Trying to make do with what I’ve already got before buying anything else
- Keeping myself entertained either for free or on a small budget (except for now and then when something really good comes along!)
- Trying to keep my home decluttered and organised so I have more time for more interesting things
- Buying things when I really, really want them and can afford it – not just if I’m feeling a bit bored or need a pick-me-up
- Meal planning and cooking (which helps me stay on budget and seems to generally be a healthier way of eating)
…and lots of other things besides. By no means do I have it all sussed – it’s a work in progress and this blog charts the journey.
If you’re after a few ideas, here’s a series of posts I wrote a while back called ‘Spend Less, Save More’ – follow the links!
- Setting a monthly budget
- Food shopping
- Know what you have
- Considered spending
- Beauty on a budget
- Giving gifts
- Home Economics
- Letting go