Being frugal can be very difficult. It’s hard to watch other people spend money frivolously while you’re searching for ways to spend less and save more each day. I have found that sometimes cutting corners works, and sometimes you fail terribly. Today, I am teaming up with a few frugal living/personal finance bloggers to share our frugal fails and frugal wins. We wanted to collaborate to share our best and worst frugal moments. Be sure to check out each post to find out how we have won and lost at being frugal.
1. Have you ever had a taste for something very specific? This happened to me recently when I wanted to eat a “southern” meal (also known as soul food). I’m from the south and I love soul food, but I choose not to cook or eat this way on a regular basis so this was rare for me. Restaurants that sell southern food usually serve the food buffet style at around $10 per plate. Instead of purchasing food for my husband and myself, I thought I would just cook the food myself to save calories and money. This was a mistake! I spent over $30 on ingredients AND I still had to cook the food. Now, I make sure to budget for one restaurant outing per month and I find coupons to keep the cost down.
2. Library books would have to be my next frugal fail. The point of going to the library is to read unlimited books for free. This is great for me because I absolutely love to read. I love to go to the library as much as possible and I like to read at least one book per month. The last time that I went to the library, I checked out two books. Sometime within the two-week lending period, life happened. I didn’t get around to reading my books and to be honest, I had forgotten about them. When I realized that I still had the books, I had racked up quite a fine! I owed the library over $8 for books that I didn’t read. I have now designated a place to put library books as well as record due dates in my planner to prevent this from happening again.
3. In 2014, I learned how to coupon. I had so much fun and I saved a lot of money purchasing household things for my family. I paid $20 to take a class and from then on I was the coupon queen! Things were going great. The reason that I had to add this to my frugal fails is because couponing can lead you to purchase things that you don’t need. I remember one time I purchased 10 deodorants made by a brand that I do not use just because they were on sale. The coupons made them affordable, but honestly, I could have spent that money on something else. I ended up donating that deodorant and now I only use coupons for items that I need.
1. I came across an app called Ibotta a while back. This is an app that gives you cash back for purchasing groceries. I don’t know about you, but I shop for groceries at least once per week. Each week before I put away my groceries, I go through the app to see if there are rebates for anything that I have purchased. I currently have $23.30 in my Ibotta account and I am planning to withdraw the money soon.
2. I have started budgeting in a new way and it has changed my financial outlook. When I get paid, I ask myself three questions. How much money do I have? What do I need to do with this money? What will I do with this money? After these questions are answered, I assign my money to categories based on the third question. This is me telling my money where to go, not wondering where it went. Lastly, I track my transactions to make sure that I am on track with my plan. I have saved so much money and I have more money than I have ever had. This new way of budgeting changed the game for me and didn’t cost me anything at all!
3. Cable is one of those things that I enjoy having, but I know that it is a waste of time and money as well. Cable companies charge ridiculous rates and offer so many packages. My life gets extremely busy so I rarely watch tv shows when they air. I searched for cable alternatives for a while, and Hulu has been the perfect solution for me. I can watch popular shows at any time beginning the day after they air. This is perfect for me as I like to binge watch when I sit down to blog.
As you can see, being frugal can be hard, but it can also be beneficial. Everything that you try may not work out. My advice is to keep trying. When something doesn’t work, try something else. This is a journey and you will discover so much about yourself while living a frugal life. Now that you have read about my frugal adventures, click the links below to see what the other ladies have come up with.
Question of the day: Have you had any frugal fails or frugal wins lately? Let me know in the comments!