I have religiously attended Centonomy Open Days since way back when they would be held at the Louis Leakey Auditorium, National Museum. The place could then be packed to the rafters and when they moved to All Saints Cathedral, I followed them. Walking all the way from Koja to the venue was a small price to pay compared to the success stories I would hear of people who had finally hacked the art of frugal living. These stories have always had an impact in my life. How much do you know about money? How often do you engage in money conversations? Of course these will pass as corny questions unless you give them a deeper thought. At these open days, I was able to get rough answers to these questions. I also have been able to differentiate between being stingy and exercising frugality. Here, I will share with you some ideas for frugal living that you can consider applying in your life.
Track your expenses
The only way to achieving financial freedom is by being able to understand how much you spend and having actual figures for that matter. How will you achieve this? Budget. Budget. Budget. With a budget, you will be able to monitor your daily, weekly and monthly spending.
Avoid impulse buying
This will happen when you are not disciplined in your spending. When you walk into a supermarket without a list of the items you need then go picking stuff from the shelves, then you might end up spending more than you intended.
Buy in bulk
Instead of buying one item at a time, why don’t you consider wholesale shopping? You will realize that this will save you much in the long term.
Create ways of generating more income
If you are employed, try looking for other ways to generate more income so that you don’t put a strain on your monthly salary. This could be from your hobby or saving up to open a business that will give you that extra cash.
Get into good debt
Are you borrowing to buy utility things like a couch or a proper stereo or the latest Subaru? Ms. Waceke, founder of Centonomy, calls them flossets. If you have to borrow, get loans to acquire assets that will bring in more income.
People who are working are fond of paying even for errands they can run by themselves, like paying people to go pay their bills. Well, it is understandable when you have to work and rarely get time off but if you can squeeze time and go do it yourself, you will save the errand fees. Again, you could consider doing other chores that you pay for. Instead of spending the entire Saturday on the couch watching NatGeo, why don’t you clean that car?
Carry food/snack to the office
If you do the math and see how much you spend on pricey lunches at restaurants in town, you will be shocked to learn that that is a lot of money. Consider the healthy way of eating and carry food/snack to the office.
Cut down on luxuries
Even if you can afford to pay high fees at malls or salons or other expensive places, try shopping around where you can get the same products or services at half price. Also, do you really need the premium cable subscriptions? No?
Live below your means
Learn to differentiate from a need and a want, and then spend more on the former.
These are basic principles that can go a long way if actually taken into consideration.