Amy Suardi, the blogger behind Frugal Mama, uses cost-saving and stress-saving strategies to maintain her familyís lifestyle. Below, she shares some advice.
When shopping, use the delay tactic. You may realize you can make do with something you already have. Someone may give you what you need or you just may change your mind.
Ignore sales, coupons and social deals. These kinds of advertisements hurry us to buy things we donít need.
Write down everything you spend. Use pen and paper initially, because there is a deeper awareness when we write things down. Post a daily spending chart and agree to record every penny so you can determine where all your money is going.
Define your hopes and dreams. Saving money is easier when you have a reason, whether itís a comfortable retirement, starting your own business or adding on to your house. After you decide your short-, mid- and long-term goals, write them down and figure out how much you need to achieve each one.
Make it easy. For essential goals such as paying off debt or amassing an emergency fund, set up automatic transfers to a less accessible bank account. Use charts to track your progress.
Frugal does not mean cheap. Itís OK to spend more on things such as recycled paper, organic food or interior design. If those things are important to you, resolve to cut back on other things.