17 Things Frugal People Don’t Do
I find learning about how other people do things to be one of the absolute best ways to learn the different things I can change in my life. Do you ever see someone at the gym doing a cool workout that you’re interested in and then you implement that into your routine? Looking toward frugal people for daily financial inspiration tips is a great place to start!
Learning from others is the best way to improve. We look toward so many “experts” for tips and tricks when we could really just look at the millionaire old couple next door who has no debt and lives below their means. So let’s get into a nice list of 17 things that frugal people don’t do.
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When you think about your life and your finances do you just assume you’re going to be borrowing money forever? Our society has normalized debt in the most insane ways. People think they can’t get a car without a loan and nobody thinks that it’s even possible to own a home without a mortgage. Debt is the norm and chances are you believe that debt is normal and that you’ll never escape it.
Frugal people are always pushing toward paying cash for anything and everything they can. They cash flow school for their children, they save up the money for that new car, they’ll do just about anything to avoid having monthly payments. Frugal people hate paying interest. They know that interest rates are just throwing away money. They never use credit.
Window shopping is the first thing I avoid when I know I don’t want to spend money. I find whenever I’m window shopping I’m convinced that I need that $20 fuzzy ponytail that I know I’ll never wear. I know that sometimes it’s super fun to just walk around the mall with your friends and talk and shop without buying. Chances are that you’ll leave with something.
Frugal people don’t shop unless they need something. If they know they’re going to be somewhere where they’ll be tempted to buy they’ll leave the wallet at home. Bring your ID just in case and your car keys and stop yourself from being tempted.
Pay Full Price
I’ll never understand the thought process of a person who buys something without having some kind of discount, or rewards program. There are so many insane ways to get benefits back just from buying things (especially online).
One of my absolute favourite cash back services is called Ebates. Ebates is a cashback website that allows you to get money back for your online purchases at places like SEPHORA, Walmart, and so many more. It’s awesome. You’ll get a cheque in the mail every few months and you never know how much you can get back, especially during the holidays. If you’re interested in Ebates, check it out for free!
Throw Away Anything That Isn’t Trash
Have you ever been going through your closet and just made a pile of things you didn’t need. A pile of things you’ll throw away because “there’s no way anyone will want that” and a pile of things you’ll donate? Frugal people will change around those two piles. They’ll have a pile of things they’ll donate and a pile of things they can sell.
There are so many buy & sell websites and Facebook groups these days that you can join to make some extra cash. You can sell old clothes, furniture, DVDs, home decor, and so much more. My golden rule is that if I post something 5 times and nobody bites, donate it. It’s very minimal work, but you get money you never thought you’d see.
What year is it? 2005? We are living in the future. Expensive full cable packages are a thing of the past. There is no reason to have a full cable package with over 100 channels that you’ve never even watched. These things are possibly over $100 a month when you can get Netflix with tons of great shows, able to watch on 4 screens at once for less than $15 a month.
You could have Netflix, Hulu, and HBO and pay less than traditional cable packages.
Upgrade Their Phone Every Year
I’m not going to lie to you, this used to be. Not every year, but I upgraded ever two years. The second my two-year contract was up I’d be on to the next iPhone. I got my very first phone at age 14, I’m now 23 and in the last 10 years, I’ve had 8 phones. That’s insanity.
Upgrading to a new phone when your current phone works just fine is never a good idea. I just had a phone finish a contract and my phone bill went from $102 a month (paying for my iPhone) to $45 a month (iPhone paid outright). Just by not upgrading I’m saving $50 a month until my phone breaks. If you want a new phone, save for it. You could have a sinking fund just for a phone upgrade just so make sure your monthly bill doesn’t go up. If you want to learn more about sinking funds check out our post about it here.
Frugal people are known for always budgeting every penny. They have a plan for their money and they know what they want their money to do. So many people who are in debt don’t realize how important a budget is to be able to understand and organize their finances! If you skip budgeting for even one month if can put you back years in your financial plan.
The Zero-Based Budget is the perfect beginner budget because it has a plan for every dollar that comes in the door. Check out the website everydollar.com for a mobile or desktop version of their ridiculously easy to use budgeting software.
I have been guilty of emotional spending. Sometimes when you’ve had a bad day or a bad week you think that spending a couple dollars on a new outfit will make you feel better. It can be a temporary band-aid for the problem but the high will go away so quickly. Frugal people know that the storm is going to pass and that the momentary joy they get from a purchase will not solve all their problems. It will only create a budget problem that they’ll have to solve later.
Eat Out More Than Once a Week
I know, food in a restaurant is always more delicious than food at home. I can’t cook. I’d love to eat at restaurants every day. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing I can do for my wallet. Eating out just twice a week will blow my entire grocery budget for the week. Frugal people are aware that eating out costs around $20+ a person, and you can easily feed two people for less than that at home. It’s so important to not eat out more than once a week.
If you need to eat out once in a while, check out my post on how to save money at restaurants!
Buy Too Much House
Buying a home can be a really emotional experience. You go to a bank and get preapproved for way more than you can actually afford and you just assume that it’s okay for you to use it all. Banks love to lend money because they get their interest and that’s how they make money. The bigger your loan, the longer you’ll be paying the bank money.
It’s so important to ensure that your monthly payment is not higher than 25% of your total take-home pay (after taxes). Being house poor is a real and horrible thing. You don’t want to ruin the rest of your life because you bought more home than you could afford. Frugal people take a real look at what they can afford and what they really need.
Spend Money Every Day
Frugal people are big fans of no-spend days, weekends, months. Being able to avoid spending any money really focuses you on whats important. Being able to spend time instead of money is a big plus! Spend more time with your loved ones instead of buying them presents and expensive adventures.
Frugal people will often leave their wallet and cards at home and focus on the people they’re with and not on the things they could buy. When they do bring their wallet and see something they want, they’ll give themselves a time buffer before buying.
Throw Away Left Overs
Chances are when you made dinner last night you made too much, right? What did you do with the leftovers? I really hope the answer is you threw them in some Tupperware and ate them for lunch today! There are so many people who succeed at the first part, but end up throwing them away a few days later when they start going bad.
You should make a plan to incorporate your dinner leftovers into your lunch schedule for the week. This will save you money both by not wasting food, but you’ll also not have to blow an extra $10 to buy lunch the next day!
Pay Bank Fees
Can you believe that it’s totally normal for people to throw away around $15 a month just for use of their own money? I personally started banking with the Canadian NO FEE bank Tangerine a few months ago and would never go back. It’s crazy to me that banks can charge people to use their own money when they are already charging crazy high-interest rates every day. If you want to learn more about Tangerine and how you can get a $25 just for signing up, check out this post!
Frugal people hate throwing away their money and never pay bank fees.
Pay Late Fees
This goes right along with paying bank fees. Frugal people are always focused on their finances. They know exactly when their payments are due and how much they owe before they even get the bill. They know exactly where to send their money!
Having all this knowledge means that they NEVER pay late fees. Late fees are just money down the drain. Never miss a payment!
Ignore Clearance Racks
Back when I was in high school and shopping with my friends (and my mother’s money) I used to ignore clearance racks because there was something in my brain that told me I was too good for them. I didn’t need discounts. I had mama’s money! Who was I kidding? There is no reason to think like this. Fashion is fast and people think that if it’s on clearance it can’t still be in style. How ridiculous is that?
Frugal people know to check the clearance racks FIRST. You can honestly find awesome things in clearance racks, sometimes you’ll find a shirt that’s 75% off just because there’s a small tear or a string hanging. Grab a sewing kit and fix that crap and save yourself some money!
Skip Free Events
Why spend your hard earned money on an expensive night out when you can find tons of FREE entertainment in any city? There are so many free options for concerts, festivals, walks, bike rides, and so much more. Being frugal means you’re totally awesome and aware of these free events and know that you should take full advantage.
Try to Live Someone Else’s Life
The final thing that frugal people don’t do is try and live someone else’s life. The key to being able to save money is to not focus on everybody else. You don’t know what their true financial situation is. They could have a $30,000 car, but a $29,000 car loan. Their awesome clothes could have been purchased entirely on credit. The truth is you never know what other people are experiencing and what kinds of negativity there is behind the facade they put on.
FOMO is a real problem in our society because of social media and it’s causing more people to go into debt because they see these perfect lives on Instagram. The truth is, people only post the best parts of their day. They would never post their credit card bill or their utility bill. They will post their beautiful clothes and beautiful car. You need to know that you are not alone. You can get out of debt and be happy without feeling like you’re missing out on something.
Do you have any great frugal living tips? Are you guilty of doing anything on this list? Let me know in the comments!
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