Monday, July 22

Can You Live Frugally AND Look Rich? Yes – Here’s How!

Hello, frugal fellow! Today, I thought we should tackle a very sensitive but also very important subject: the way we are perceived in our social circles. Even if you are a frugal spender (like me), you still have to live in a world full of people who would rather show off and live as lavishly as possible.

If you resent the idea of brown-bagging when everyone else in the office goes out for lunch, if you hate parking your old-school Camry in a parking lot full of BMWs, and if you don’t want to be seen with a myriad of coupons in the grocery store, trust me, I get it.

When it comes to America, there’s a huge issue with perception, and even if no one should be ashamed of saving money, the pressure is still there. If you want to keep living as frugal as possible but want to be more private about it, here’s what you need to do:

Photo by Nick Starichenko from Shutterstock

Cancel all monthly subscriptions

Before purchasing all the things you think might impress your friends and neighbors, you have to make a little bit of room in your own budget, and the easiest way to do that is to cancel your monthly subscriptions. As we know, most subscriptions are based on auto-play.

Even though missing payments might seem convenient, it might cost you more if you forget about them. Don’t know where to start? Well, there are apps such as Truebill and Trim that can automatically find and cancel any subscriptions, but you could easily do it yourself: you just scan your credit card payments for recurring charges and remove each subscription one by one.

Reduce your prescription costs

For those with serious medical concerns, we’re always talking about prescription costs that add up over time. If you want to save more money without having to sacrifice your own health, you could start looking for generic medications and use your discounts.

When you have the possibility, work with your doctor to identify generic drug options, because oftentimes they are just as good as brand-name medications but cost way less. Also, you should consider filling prescriptions for 90 days instead of 30 as it might also help you save more money and improve adherence to taking medications as you were initially supposed to (if we’re talking about long-term medication).

In this case, this solution is ideal, as it might help you stay healthy and lower your overall health care costs.

Shop for a brand-new insurance policy

Insurance is another great area in which you might find hidden savings and more money for priority purchases. If you already have one, that’s great, but you could also look online for other free quotes and compare them to see if you can find better coverage for less money.

Take into consideration that changes in your age and other circumstances might lead you to lower rates or at least allow you to access more competitive premiums. Sometimes, using an insurance agent who knows multiple providers might help you get the best offer on the market. It’s worth the shot!

Be frugal and buy second-hand items

When I say second-hand items, I really mean everything, from designer clothes to beautiful cars. Nowadays, you have the option of getting high-quality goods at a minimum rate simply by purchasing a secondhand version.

If you want to buy a new car, remember that cars depreciate in value the minute you buy them, which makes it easier to find good deals on something that was previously owned. In the majority of cases, models don’t change all that much year-to-year, so the age of a vehicle won’t be that obvious to your fellow colleagues if that idea was bugging you.

buy rich frugal
Photo by Ariwasabi from Shutterstock

Buy at the right time

If you want to own something, there’s another trick you should remember: time is everything. If you want to get another laptop, research WHEN would be the best time to get it. Year after year, there are various sales cycles that will allow you to estimate when prices will get lower, and most categories of goods stick to a certain pricing pattern.

For example, fitness products are always cheaper in January because everyone has that “new year, new me” mentality, while home prices are generally peaking during the summer. As for electronics, the best time to buy something new is during Black Friday.

Rent; don’t own

Sometimes, we use items just to make a good impression, and when it comes to homes, renting is a good solution. Have you ever considered renting designer clothes? You can easily have access through Rent the Runway or even Mine for Nine.

But there are many other things you can rent rather than purchase, such as baby gear, expensive jewelry, and even posh handbags. All these websites will allow you to rent specific items for a specific number of days at their price. So for your upcoming event, you’ll have something elegant to wear without fearing that you’ll have to skip other necessities!

Buy high-quality things

Besides buying at the right time, make sure you keep track of the way you spend your money. Buying expensive items that you will frequently use might cost you less than getting a series of cheaper goods that you don’t really need or that you won’t resist long-term.

Besides, buying something that fits you just right or that works really well in various contexts and environments will increase the chances of using it, which is exactly what we want: to make the most out of what we already have.

Photo by from Shutterstock

Enlist your friends

There’s a high chance that you’re not the only one looking to cut back financially, so for the next Secret Santa at your company, you could suggest a budget for your holiday gift exchanges. I can assure you that your colleagues will definitely appreciate not having to spend a lot of money on each gift.

Friends might also be open to bartering lawn care, child care, Sunday meals, and even transportation and photography for other goods and services. Naturally, it would be ideal to barter with someone who you can truly rely on, but if you can’t think of anybody, there are websites like BarterQuest that might help you with that.

Travel off-season

When you’re deciding on your next getaway, consider traveling off-season. It might be a smart way to save money, but you’ll also avoid crowds of tourists that are just as eager as you to visit these destinations. If you’re planning a trip to Europe, look for dates in the winter. If you want to visit Hawaii, the best time would be in the late spring or fall (the weather is nice there either way).

Go with low-cost experiences

You really don’t have to waste your money to create Instagrammable moments that you’ll really love. After all, heading to the park for a spontaneous picnic with your spouse can be just as pleasurable as buying expensive meals at a fancy restaurant.

Who needs all that fuss? Besides, great outdoor landscapes will offer you more photo opportunities than lavish displays of abundance. Also, there are numerous metropolitan areas with museums and attractions that won’t cost you a dime. For instance, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., is free for curious visitors. It’s definitely worth the shot!

If you’re glad you read so many interesting and useful insights on how to show abundance but also stay frugal, we also recommend you try: Save Hundreds per Month in Retirement With These 6 Life Upgrades

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