Frugal February: A one-month long frugality challenge to detox the wallet

This month I’ve joined one of my favourite personal finance bloggers, Canna Campbell, in her annual ‘Frugal February’ challenge. It’s a post-holiday season, start of a new year frugality challenge to intentionally try to find creative ways to reduce existing lifestyle expenses by finding substitutes or maximising benefits and rewards to counter costs.

I’ve attempted this in the past, but either didn’t commit because I was too restrictive on my spending and it took the joy out of frugality. However, this time around, I’m focusing on substitution and creative ways of reducing costs in order to become more intentional with my spending, with a goal of implementing some permanent changes.

Whether you’re already on a Frugal Feb challenge, wanting to start one or looking for ways to start reducing costs, here are some of my ideas how to reduce spending:

How to reduce overhead costs (transport/food etc):

  1. Reduce cost of public transport by walking or riding a bike, if within reasonable distance
  2. Stock up on grocery-store bought snacks and easy lunches (like canned tuna and microwaveable rice) at work so if you forget to pack lunch, there is a cheap alternative available
  3. For insurance and phone plans, research into new promotions and discounts to see if a better deal is available and can switch over

Shopping:

  1. For health related expenses like optical costs, see if you can claim these expenses against health insurance and if yes, if there are additional discounts for using health insurance retailers (e.g. Health insurance optical providers)
  2. Before buying new, see if there is is a second hand option available on eBay or in second hand stores.
  3. Pause and think for a few days before buying something you want immediately – this will reduce impulse purchases. If you still want it after a week, go ahead and buy it.

Dates and Socialising:

  • There are many free or cheap alternatives to catch up with friends rather than going out for expensive dinners and cocktails. Alternatives include going out to places with free entry like art galleries and museums, packing a picnic for a picnic in the park or beach or entertaining at home.

What ideas do you have to reduce everyday costs? Comment below!

xx Miss Piggy

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