The art of saving money is a lesson in learning when it is worth spending and when it is worth saving. Being frugal isn’t about never spending a dime on anything except for bills, it’s about learning how to balance your needs and wants and gauging the value of an item you could have now versus something you could save for later.
In general, this is our formula on what we spend on versus what we save on.
Where We Spend
Experiences we will never get again
Are we going to see the Coliseum when we are in Rome? Absolutely! Did we pay big money to see the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam? Of course! Don’t waste an opportunity you may never get again in life because of your budget.
Whether it is a gym membership, a new pair of running shoes, or more frequent grocery trips, your health is always worth investing in. At the end of the day, all you have is your health. Take care of it and appreciate it every day.
Time with family and friends
We always take the time and money to spend with the people we love. Whether that means going out to your friend’s birthday celebration at a restaurant and paying for dinner, or taking the trip home to see a sick family member, time spent with the people who matter most to you is always worth the investment.
Where We Save
Fancy Meals Out
When we go out to eat, we keep it simple. We don’t spend money on fancy white tablecloth restaurants, as the price doesn’t justify the experience, in our opinion. Dining out should be about enjoying good food with good company, and that can be done at a dive bar or food cart just as easy as at a Michelin star restaurant.
Brewery life is the best life.
New Designer Clothes
Ah shopping. Honestly, I love to shop and I fully accept this fact. Rather than pay big bucks for something I may only wear a few times, I love the adventure of searching through a thrift or vintage store, or taking my hunt to Target. There are so many nice items out there that won’t run your bank account dry.
We haven’t had cable in years. With Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, almost anything you could ever hope to watch is available streaming.
Box Store Decorations
We are guilty of loving a good home decor treasure. However, a few years ago I completely stopped buying home decor from places like Target, Home Goods, or anywhere of the like. Now I focus on finding special gems when I travel that I can look at every day and be reminded of an amazing memory or experience.
Name Brand Groceries
Buy. What. Is. Cheapest. If that means the name brand product is on sale, buy that! But if that means the store brand is the least expensive, don’t stress it! Typically store brand items are almost identical in ingredients and taste to brand name items. 99% of the time you won’t even notice a difference.
My family hates me for this one, but I don’t believe in greeting cards. Since I consider myself more along the lines of a minimalist, old cards never make the cut when I am downsizing. While they are always a nice gesture, your $4.99 is better spent on an actual gift.
Body Washes and Fancy Shower/Skincare Stuff
I have very sensitive skin, so when it comes to my shower products, I keep it super simple. You really don’t need a bunch of nice smelling body washes, scrubs, soaps, etc. Not only are they incredibly overpriced, but scents aren’t great for your skin!
I keep my skincare routine super basic as well. I use a Neutrogena Cleansing Bar to wash my face, morning and night, and keep a moisturizer around as needed. My experience based opinion is that once you get your skin used to foreign products, it is hard to quit them. So unless you have a real need for an extensive skincare routine, work out, drink a lot of water, and let your body take care of your skin as it already knows how to!
Keep it simple and your skin and wallet will thank you!
What are some of your best money saving tips?