What exactly does frugal lifestyle mean? I believe it’s being smart and savvy in your choices. Prioritize and take control of what’s important to you and you will come out ahead.
This blog and website offers frugal tips and money saving ideas to help you live a richer life. Save money on everyday living. Start living the "Frugal Lifestyle" today.
A lot of people dream of being able to upgrade their living space, but dismiss these dreams as something unrealistic. What they don’t realize is that not everything can be measured in hard currency and that some upgrades require more effort and resourcefulness than anything else. Where there is will, there is always a way and here are some cheap and simple upgrades you can make in your home without even breaking a sweat (or your household budget for that matter).
Improving Your Lighting System
When it comes to most electronics in our home, it is highly inadvisable for a layman to dabble in such things. On the other hand, improving your lighting system is an upgrade so simple that it could be done by literally anyone. Making DIY lighting system in your home can mean anything from making your own lamps, lanterns and pendant lights to installing them by yourself. Either way, they enhance the atmosphere in your home while costing next to nothing.
Fixing Your Walls
Now that you have the lighting covered, it is time to address the largest surfaces of your home - the walls. Changing the color of the room starts with the walls, but you will first have to make up your mind on whether to paint all four of them or only one. Accent wall painting is becoming more and more popular amongst frugal homeowners both for its cost-efficiency and the unique impression it creates. To further enhance your walls, you may also want to consider replacing wall sockets with a set of brand new ones. Apart from being a great visual addition this is also a safety measure you want to take. You can search for help and consult project homes specialists for a different ways to make lots of changes and still stay on the budget.
Green Up the Space
According to most real-estate agents, properties with trees are much more valuable than those without them. The reason behind this is quite simple. No matter how urban we become, humans will always feel most comfortable when surrounded with nature. Luckily, greening up your home is not a difficult thing to do. It may take years and even decades for a tree to fully grow, but there are other options in front of you as well. Adding few bushes to your front lawn, trimming a hedge every once in awhile, or simply adding few potted plants next to your entrance door cannot hurt. Finally, in the era of GMO and junk food, the ability to grow your own food becomes even more important, which is why gardens are a number one upgrade choice of most home owners.
Personalizing Your Living Space
The key of turning a house into a home lies in personalizing the living space. This can mean several things, but it mostly has something to do with adding items of sentimental value to its layout. Family photos are a safe choice, but so is adding a DIY shelf or wall accessory. This especially goes for those items that the entire family helped build.
Rearranging Your Furniture
Finally, you can rearrange your furniture in one room, or bring the furniture from one room into the other. Such practice can create an impression of a completely new living space, without you having to spend a single dollar. Still, you cannot just randomly shift all your sofas, coffee tables and tall lamps. This only works if it is a result of careful planning.
As you can see, most of the aforementioned ideas require nothing but your time and determination. With some research and outside the box thinking, you can completely change the impression that your home leaves on people and still be on the budget. Even though it would be foolish to claim that money doesn’t make things easier, it is a poor substitute for creativity.
About the author: Emma B. Joyce is blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She got hooked on home accessories and decorations during her traveling and now cannot stop searching for new inspiration.
For most people, their biggest monthly expense is housing. If you can lower your mortgage payment by refinancing your loan, take the opportunity very soon before interest rates go back up. Shop around for the best rates and speak to more than just one mortgage specialist or lender.
If you rent, it doesn't hurt to talk to your landlord and find out if they can lower your rent in exchange for some handy work around the property or if they can give you a discount if you pay your rent before the first of each month.
I recently finalized refinancing my home loan. The last time I refinanced was about 2 years ago. My previous loan's rate was 4.75% -- now it's a fixed rate of 3.25%. My savings is approximately $150 a month. However, I plan on paying at least $100 or more towards the principal in order to reduce the loan amount. By locking in the lower interest rate, I will pay a lot less interest throughout the loan's term. My ultimate goal is to pay off the mortgage as soon as possible, or rent it out and buy the next house in cash!
My experience the last time I refinanced was okay, but the process took more than 4 months to get finalized. This time around, my experience was beyond pleasant. I initially received a letter in the mail with an offer to refinance with a really good interest rate. I initially didn't think I would work with this company, but I called them a second time and spoke to one of their mortgage specialists who I immediately liked and trusted. After he explained what my options were, I knew I was in good hands. The entire process took only a month -- plus, I was able to skip 2 months of payments, which is a super nice bonus! Read my Yelp review about the company here.
In summary, I highly recommend lowering your housing expense by either refinancing your current mortgage or negotiating with your landlord to reduce your rent. Why pay more when you can pay less for housing! With the money you save, you can treat yourself to a nice dinner, a new outfit or something for the house, you can even use the extra money towards a down payment for a new car or towards that dream vacation!
Click HERE for other frugal tips on Housing. Click HERE for resource books on Frugal Housing, or see below.
One of the best seasons is Autumn... the weather is perfect and it's the beginning of the holiday season celebration!
It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to enjoy and celebrate all the simple yet fun activities. For more tips and ideas on Fall happenings, click here.
Here are just a few on my favorite frugal ways to celebrate the Autumn season:
1. Decorate your home with Fall leaves found in your own yard.
2. Visit a pumpkin patch with kids - it's more fun!
3. Sit at an outdoor cafe and sip an apple cider.
4. Create a fall-themed centerpiece from twigs.
5. Bake anything with pumpkin... yummy!
6. Make hearty soups in a slow cooker that will last.
7. Spend the day wine tasting with friends.
8. Light pumpkin-scented candles around the house.
9. Break out the boots, scarves, gloves, etc..
10. Attend a free Autumn music festival.
11. Do some Fall Cleaning in your closet, home and office.
12. Host a Fall-themed potluck party.
13. Make a list of what you are thankful for. Not just for Fall but all year round:)
Yay!! TheFrugalLifestyle.com made #89 in FeedSpot's
"Top 100 Frugal Blogs with Best Frugal Living Tips and Ideas" list.
Decorating your home is a fun and exciting activity. Yet, blowing the budget should not be an option, not when we can employ inexpensive tools to give our living environment a makeover. Whoever told you that this is impossible did not have your best interests in mind. So, do not turn a blind eye on bigger items, avoid spending money on small eye-candies, and keep a close eye on the bigger picture - your overall style. Put a focus on investments that make a real difference and summon the luxurious sensation without breaking the bank.
Splendor and style
Many things can be purchased for less, while others should not be saved on. Buying expensive artwork, for example, is not really advisable, considering that there is a wide array of cheaper alternatives. So, get your visual priorities straight, and take your time browsing the offers. Antique shops and specialty stores usually have some unique, one-of-a-kind options that will serve as heralds of the luxurious style. Also, remember that the classy look can be achieved with streamlined décor, the appeal of simplicity.
Elements like lighting are paramount, as they act as the very essence of the interior splendor. It complements all the décor components in the home, adding life and sparking interest. For the best possible effect, use ambient, overhead and floor fittings. It is possible to find some affordable and incurable solutions for lighting online, preferably the LED fittings that enable significant energy savings. On the other hand, accents like pillows and rugs are not worth it unless you find an amazing, inexpensive piece.
Image credit: Coolanz
Room by room
In the very center of your home - the living room - there are a few bases to cover. First off, a comfortable and classy sofa is an absolute must. The investment is likely to pay off as quality furniture can last for at least a decade. Next, try to tie the room together with some wall art. Here, the situation is somewhat tricky because original works of art cost an arm and a leg. But, if you have inherited an extraordinary painting, put it in the center of the accent wall, and add some DIY art around it.
Furthermore, kitchens are the new domestic hubs. Now, upgrading to stainless steel appliances is a costly proposition, but kitchen projects offer an unparalleled return on the investment. A state-of-the-art design increases the value of the property considerably, and presents one of the most desirable features in the market. If the budget does not allow it, turn to replacing faucets, taps, and countertops. Pick kitchen cabinets with eye-catching handles, or a functional and attractive dining table.
Finally, one thing you do not want to compromise is a good night’ rest. Therefore, invest in a nice, soft mattress, picturesque headboard, and new duvet cover and bedding. Your bed is the focal point of the room, so do not hesitate to spend funds on items like stylish linens. At last, see what changes can be made in a bathroom, another soothing zone of relaxation. Try to obtain some cutting-edge modern taps and stylish faucets. Also, invest in a shower stall with swell tilting, and make your time spent in the bath the favorite part of the day.
Let the magic happen
Budgetary constraints should not prevent you from injecting luxury in the home. Make it happen through the art of mixing and matching textures, colors and shapes. Do not neglect the lighting, which does wonders for the home’s attractiveness. Invest the most money in the centerpieces of your home’s visual identity, and cut the spending on extra features. There is no need to clutter the living space, and purchase a myriad of accent pieces. With the ultimate reward - the majestic interior bliss - you will enjoy the time spent inside like never before.
It’s often been said that in life, the things you own end up owning you sooner or later. While not everyone becomes a slave to their possessions, it's undeniable that many people are caught in a rat race that involves working hard everyday in order to be able to buy things they don't necessarily need. Owning objects that have no use for you can result in a decreased quality of life, especially when you factor in the following consequences:
Less space to work with
One of the most basic problems related to leading a clutter-filled life has to do with the sheer space it takes up. Most modern apartments and houses don't have a lot of room to begin with, so knowing how to best take advantage of it is incredibly important. In this regard, unnecessary objects only serve to occupy space that you could use in another much more appropriate fashion. Today's homes favor the concept of open floor plans to a much higher degree than ever before, as space itself has become a prized commodity. In such environments, unneeded clutter sticks out like a sore thumb and can leave your home looking cramped and stuffy.
A bigger cleaning burden
It's not a stretch to say that most people are not especially fond of cleaning these days. But, whether you prefer doing some light maintenance work on a regular basis or relegating all your chores to one single day of the week, there can be no doubt that having more stuff automatically translates into a bigger cleaning burden overall. From furniture that needs to be wiped down to all the various tidbits that have to be arranged, this can significantly impact your cleaning times, leaving you drained and with fewer hours at your disposal that you can dedicate to other aspects of your life.
Significant health risks
Speaking of cleaning, it's important to note that having a clean home isn't just a cosmetic issue. By living in a grungy environment you expose yourself to all sorts of health risks due to the myriad strains of unwelcome bacteria that take refuge in such homes. Studies have shown that clutter tends to attract more than its fair share of dust mites, which is why people who live in particularly crowded homes have a higher risk of developing asthma and various allergies. What's more, living a clutter-filled life also has plenty of mental downsides, as your brain will live in a state of constant overstimulation and tire much more easily as a result.
A depreciated home value
Finally, clutter also has a negative impact on your home's overall value. In fact, the price of your home seems to be significantly affected by the amount of clutter you keep, as potential buyers tend to be turned off by places they see as not being particularly welcoming. Renovation experts and realtors alike always recommend removing clutter before putting your home up for sale, a simple process that can boost its value by an average of 7%.
As you can see, there are significant side-effects to having excessive possessions. Luckily, there are steps out there that anyone in this situation can take in order to revert back to a healthier lifestyle.Minimalism has grown in popularity over the last few years, and there are lots of handy guides that show just how you can go about eliminating clutter from your life. To start with, simply take a piece of paper and write down every sizable object you own, then proceed to really question the role each of them plays in your life. You'd be surprised to see just how very few things are actually necessary in order to lead a fun and fulfilling life.
All in all, the road to a clutter-free existence may not always be easy, but, if you truly value your family's well-being, it's something that's definitely worth fighting for. By taking the first few steps towards a simpler life today, you'll be starting down a path that can give you peace of mind, not to mention facilitate a much higher degree of financial independence down the road, so that one day you may be able to look back and see just how far you've come.
About the author:
Mila Payton is an economist by profession. She enjoys traveling, writing and cooking. While looking for answers and inspiration, she can be found on various conventions worldwide.
When it comes to side jobs, most people think of late nights waiting tables, extra shifts as a bartender, or maybe cleaning houses, walking dogs or babysitting. But your phone can get you a few coins with these apps. And who doesn’t like making a little extra money?
From developing your talents to driving around your town, these five apps will make a big difference in your earnings with little start-up costs or training. Don’t believe me? Just try them! You’ll see dollar signs grow by the minute.
Consider Twenty20 the way to capitalize on your Instagram obsession. One part art gallery, two parts commerce app, Twenty20 is the way for you to share your photography skills and get paid to do so. From buying stock photos to selling them, this app is great for cashing in on that perfect moment you took with your phone last week. They use PayPal to pay users, so it’s extra easy! You can also spend time perusing and liking other folks’ photos, which can give you a good idea what everyone is looking for. And the best news: if you’re successful, you can turn it into a full-time business!
If you’re one of those people who is deathly afraid of clutter as well as being a little shortchanged, BookScouter is a great way to make a few dollars off those extra, dusty titles hanging around your house. Just find the ISBN number, and the app will scan over 30 different vendors looking for the title so you can find the best price for your book. It’s really as easy as it seems, and it’s better than trying to sell your books back to Amazon.
Calling all people persons out there! Uber is a great way for people with a little extra time and a car to earn extra cash. If you dig conversing with strangers, put your driving abilities and your local know-how to use by plugging in your availability and turning your downtime into money-earning time. The great thing about Uber is you can make your own schedule. There’s no money changing hands, so it’s not difficult to get started, and you can make money instantly without having to buy any extra tools.
This online reward system is perfect for people who dig games like Bejeweled. Swagbucks is a California-based reward program where online activities such as taking surveys, shopping, reviewing, commenting and more help earn retail gift cards, PayPal cash or other rewards. For me, it’s an easy way to keep myself busy and earn money at the same time. I use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in conjunction with it to keep the websites I review from saving any cookies and using location services to track my information. It keeps things simple and me free from any of my personal information being sold elsewhere.
If you’re handy with odd jobs, then this is the app for you. By checking out your location, Fieldagent pulls up jobs in your area for you to peruse and then accept. Once you check yes, you’ve got two hours to get the job done. Everything from arranging store end aisles to snapping local pictures for corporate businesses is available, and while the jobs may not pay much, you’ll not likely spend much time doing them either, so why not?
Everyone likes to earn a little pocket change on the side, and I’m not different, so if you’re into turning your downtime into some extra cash, check out these five to earn a few bucks. Just don’t quit your day job!
Disclosure: We appreciate you letting us include affiliate links in this post. Thanks for your support.
About the author:
Cassie is a pack rat, coupon cutter and technology guru who hopes one day she’ll be able to save enough money for an 180-day trip around the world. From apps to the best online finance tools, she’s all about getting to the bottom of a good deal as fast and technologically beneficial as possible.
Can you believe Summer is almost over? You don't have to spend any money to enjoy what's left of summer. If your budget is tight and you still want to feel like you're on a mini vacation or staycation, keep reading! Here's 10 of my favorite ways to have a fun, fabulous and free ways to enjoy the remainder of this summer season!
It really is possible to make an extra $25, $50, $100 a month or more in your down time! You can even make $200, with a little more effort, of course.
There's a fun, easy and completely legitimate way to do this. You can do this in your spare time, the more you do this the more cash you can make.
I've been making money with Swagbucks for almost a year now. My favorite ways to earn are... watching movie trailers (before they hit the theaters) and answering interesting surveys & polls! But there are many more ways to earn. Here's how...
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is an online rewards and cash back program. Simply do the things you'd normally do online, such as search the web, answer surveys and polls, watch videos, play games, and shop; you'll accumulate digital SB points (swagbucks) that are quickly redeemable for free gift cards, PayPal Cash or pre-paid cards from Visa. It's completely free to join!
How to get started?
1. Go to Swabucks.com and click the "Join Today" button.
2. Fill in your information on the form.
3. Validate the email you receive from them.
4. You are on your way to earning SB points!
More ways to earn SB Points
In addition to the ways to earn listed above, there are other ways to maximize your earnings:
1. Refer your friends to join and earn 10% for life! You get 10% of their SB points.
2. Take a chance by entering one of their Swagstakes. Entries are made with SB points.
3. Add a SwagButton Chrome extension on your browser. It automatically notifies you if the website you are visiting offers SB cash back for shopping.
4. Enter a SwagCode. After downloading the extension, you'll be alerted on where to find the Swag Codes. It could be on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.. Enter in the code and redeem for SB points.
5. Download their mobile app and earn while on the go!
How to redeem SB points
Once you've collected enough SB points, the fun part is redeeming them! Here's how...
1. In your account, click on Redeem your SB / Rewards.
2. Based on your SB point total, choose your preferred gift card(s).
3. You can also redeem your SB points towards charitable donations. Click under "Do Good" for a list of charitable categories.
4. Once you've selected your reward, click on the "Snag This" button.
5. Verify your reward selection in the email you received. Make sure to do this or else it won't be valid.
6. In about a week, you'll received confirmation that your Swagbucks gift card is ready. Click on the link in the email to activate your digital gift card. It's that simple!
Swagbucks.com is the leading destination for earning real rewards through online activities you already do every day. At home or on the go, you can conveniently earn Swag Bucks when you: Shop your favorite stores, Search the web, Answer surveys; Discover great deals; Watch videos; or Play games.
Swag Bucks (SB) can be redeemed easily for cash or gift cards to your favorite stores. With over 13 million members, Swagbucks has awarded over 85 million dollars in real rewards. Always free to join, Swagbucks is the smartest and most rewarding way to spend your time online. Start earning cash today.
Click here to get started.
Disclosure: I receive a small commission when you sign up using my link.
Real Savings + Extra Earnings = A Richer Life