Freeing up extra money every month is important, but there are better ways to go about it instead of being plain old cheap. You can make adjustments in your spending in order to reduce impulse and unnecessary purchase, create a budget, even use cash instead of credit for a while so you can give yourself a limit on how much you are spending each month. To track how you are doing you can take last month’s monthly statement and go line by line and see what charges were necessary, and which could have been avoided. Add up those that could have been avoided and see what those savings were. These are ways you can live the frugal lifestyle without embarrassing those around you, and yourself for that matter, by being cheap.
Don’t Tip for Good Service
One of the sure tell signs of being cheap is that you can clearly afford to go out for dinner and drinks, but by the time the bill comes is when you want to hold onto your wallet. Whether you don’t believe in tipping or don’t understand that waitstaff make their money off tips, proper etiquette is to leave around 20% tip for good service, more if great, a little less if average. When you’re going out with a group of people and you divide the bill up, don’t forget to add in this tip so others aren’t stuck coughing up a few extra bucks to make up for your lack of tip.
No Cable, but Borrows Streaming Passwords
Cutting the cord is a great way to save money each month instead of throwing away a couple hundred dollars on a cable bill that you are probably watching less and less of every year, with streaming services having the best shows, not to mention avoiding commercials and DVR’ing shows instead of watching live. While saving on that cable bill is not an issue, it’s when you are still borrowing your friend and family’s Netflix password and saving the $10 a month it would cost you. You’re already saving on cable, you can afford the few dollars to stream.
Regifting Items Around Your House
I think about the movie Old School where Frank the Tank keeps trying to give away his bread maker as gifts that he received as a wedding gift and didn’t like. Now unless you are getting a victoria secret credit card from your buddy, you can clearly see that is a regift, but it’s the items you have gotten as gifts throughout the years that collect dust in your house and give away as gifts to co-works and family members that you probably don’t care about as much. One day you’ll get caught and you’ll be in trouble.
Stealing Hotel Toiletries
Whether you are on a weekend getaway or traveling for work, sometimes it can be nice to stay in a hotel for a few days, especially if it’s more updated than your own house. I know in mine we have an older bathroom with the bathroom/shower, so when we go to a hotel room with a standup shower it is a nice change of pace, hey, we’re simple people. That doesn’t mean you need to stock up on the toiletries that they give you each day. Sure, they refill them, but they’re single serving, maybe two if you can stretch it out, so what is that really going to add to your linen closet.
Picking Cheap Over Quality
When it comes to products, or quality of work for that matter, money does come into play, and you get what you pay for. Look at paint for example, sure some of the premium brands cost $40 for a gallon while you can get others for $20, and I’ve tried both, you end up doing more coats of the cheap paint where you could have just used one coat of the more expensive paint and it would have worked, not to mention smell a whole lot better. It’s funny you don’t really notice until you use a better paint that you realize you will never go back.
Driving Instead of Using Uber or Lyft
Now I don’t understand why Uber/Lyft hasn’t caught on with the older generation yet, and I’m not even saying I’m young, but let’s say my parents age, they are established, have money, yet still would rather drive then pay $5-10 for a ride somewhere. I don’t get it. I’ve tried over and over to introduce it, but for some reason they will not adapt and avoid the risk of driving after you’ve had a few drinks.