How to Live Frugally and Happy

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Some people think being frugal means living stingy. It’s wrong! Frugal means spending money wisely on the things that matter to you most.

For example, Michel lives in apartments for rent under $1200, drives a used car, and always cooks at home. But he owns luxury designer’s handbags. Eric also lives in apartments for rent under $1200, only shop at discount stores or outlet malls, and own a few things. But he goes to travel twice a year.

Michel and Eric are both frugal. They are conscious of where their money goes and budget carefully. On the other hand, stingy people get everything cheaper. That’s the big difference between frugal and stingy.

In this post, you’ll learn frugal living tips. I hope you can find frugal living tips that work for your lifestyle in the list below.

First, the Benefit of Frugal Living

First of all, financial priorities are different for everyone.

However, you can spend more time and money on what’s important to you by minimizing the waste you create and maximizing the value of things you spend money on.

The ultimate goal with frugality is to simplify your life to make less stress and spend money wisely to make yourself happy. Frugal doesn’t make you rich, but it will increase your quality of life for sure.

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Frugal Living Ideas to Make Yourself Happy

Use cashback website when you shop

Use cashback websites like Mr.Rebates and Ibotta to save money! A cashback website pays a small percentage of sales when users shop through their affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you. Some people worry about being scammed by using the cashback website, but Mr. Rebates got an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. They are a legit business.

Ibotta is a grocery cashback app. It will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts. It’s free to download and use. Plus, you’ll get a $20 sign-up bonus after redeeming your first 10 offers within 14 days.

Never spend more than you earn

Consistently spending more than you earn is an easy way to get into unnecessary debt. If you can’t afford something you want, you’ll either need to find a way to earn more or find cheaper alternatives.

With services like Instacart, you can make $7-10 an hour on your own schedule delivering groceries. You’ll see what to buy, earning estimates, your current location, store location, currently delivery before accepting the job.

Here is the list of massive gig economy jobs. These jobs are on-demand, flexible schedule, and instant pay.

Creating a minimalist home

Science proved that clutter can give you anxiety. (1) Fewer pieces of furniture are better for your mental health. Pick a few essential pieces of furniture. Make your home easier to clean.

Meal plan

Planning your meals and sticking to a grocery list are the easiest and most effective ways to save money. Planning what you need for the week also prevents overbuy and waste of food.

Do your grocery shopping online

A lot of non-necessities sneak in your cart if you shop on an empty stomach. It’s not your fault, it just happened. Did you know that you can shop online and pick up your groceries curbside or even have them delivered to your home from most grocery stores? In that way, you can easily stick to your grocery list.

Buy affordable performance cars

Buying the cheapest car sometimes costs a lot more than you think. For example, it might conceal high insurance costs, constant expensive repairs, or hundreds spent every month at the gas station. Buying affordable, good quality, and low maintenance cars would save you tons of money for the long term.

Try Amazon Prime

If you like to shop at Amazon, try Amazon Prime. You can save money on shipping and also get access to a huge library of free digital movies and tv shows. (Amazon Prime has FREE 30 days trials)

Travel during off-peak seasons

There are a lot of ways to make travel cheaper, but travel during off-peak seasons is the most effective way to save money on travel. You’ll get cheaper flights and fewer tourists (less stress from the crowd) too.

If you can, avoid traveling over spring break, Christmas break, and Thanksgiving break.

Use a travel credit card wisely

Find the best travel credit card to maximize your rewards or enjoy luxury perks! We usually use Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, HGVC, Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card, and Hilton Honors membership benefits to save our trip.

For instance, our trip to Las Vegas for 2 adults was:

  • 2 nights for Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas $80.37
  • 5 nights for Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations $59
  • Two-way flights to Las Vegas $325.60
  • Rental car for 7 days $339.21

The total: $804.18

I would highly recommend travel credit cards and reward point programs for travelers.

Don’t pay for banking

Some banks charge maintenance fees. The maintenance fees are automatically deducted from your balance. Do not pay for the maintenance fees. Read how to waive the maintenance fees. If you can’t meet the requirement, change your main bank.

Evaluate insurance

Insurance companies usually increase their rate little by little. Evaluate insurance like auto, home, health, and life once in a while. If you think it’s too expensive, consider switching the insurance.

Use LED lightbulbs

LED bulbs may cost more than regular bulbs first, but they’ll save you on your electricity bill. LED bulbs require less energy to run and last longer than any other bulbs.

Pay down your debt

You can reduce the amount of interest paid if you pay down debt faster. It can also help improve your credit score and mental burden.

Reduce your shopping trips

Reduce your shopping trips to prevent impulse buying. Buying new things feels good! I also enjoy shopping. However, there are many ways to satisfy our desire besides shopping. Here is a list of 100 fun things to do instead of shopping.

Don’t buy too much cosmetics

Girls, we only have two eyes and one lip. We don’t need 100 lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes. I used to spend thousands of dollars on cosmetics, but half of them went to the trash bin after use a couple of times. Get a few good-quality cosmetics instead of buying a lot of low-quality cosmetics.

Shop at clearance racks

Shop at clearance racks and discount stores. End-of-season sales can be a huge bargain. Don’t forget to use the cashback website too.

Take care of yourself

The U.S. is known for overspending on health care. Hospitals, doctors, and nurses all charge are almost four times more than other countries. Maintaining your health and reducing medical bills are smart ways to save your money. Here is how to build healthy eating habits.

Wrapping Up

Living frugally doesn’t have to be a sacrifice or pain. The main purpose is to make your life better. Try out a few frugal living tips to find out which works best for you.


  • Gambelin, A.-M., Preti, C., Motherly, BABYBJÖRN, M. +, Goldstein, S., Stone, C., & Montgomery, S. (2021, August 3). It’s science: Clutter can actually give you anxiety. Motherly.