The Just Frugal Me Challenge

The Just Frugal Me Challenge

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Learning to live a frugal lifestyle will make you happier and less stressed. That’s why today I am going to challenge you to start living a happier more fulfilled life. Many people fall into the trap of slaving away to earn as much money as possible.  Yeah, those people bring in a lot of money, but they are still empty and unhappy on the inside. The people that I come in contact with everyday look calm, collected, and together on the outside, but all hell is about to break loose on the inside. I would like to encourage you to keep reading to find out how you can live a more frugal (and happy) life as I share with you the details of the “Just Frugal Me Challenge”.

What is a Frugal Lifestyle Anyway?

Some say being frugal is being cheap, let me be the first to tell you that is ignorant!  Being frugal according to www.justfrugalme.com isn’t about being cheap; it’s about being resourceful.  It’s about finding ways to save where you can — whether via coupons, meals, freebies or DIY projects — so you can focus your money and attention on the things you value, whether it’s saving for a comfortable retirement, traveling the world or living a debt-free life.  A person who lives a frugal lifestyle spends smart; not impulsive; resourceful using what they already have instead of buying something new. Being resourceful is the willingness to shop around for the best price; and willing to shop around for the best price for a quality product.

What is the “Just Frugal Me Challenge” Anyway?

Deciding to embark on the “Just Frugal Me Challenge” is a mindset shift that will change your life for the better.

Like most things, learning to live frugally is easier said than done. Most of us are so used to spending money, and you come up with excuses time and time again that it’s hard to change those habits. But if money is stressing you out, causing you not to sleep at night, causing problems in your marriage, causing you to be on the verge of having a nervous breakdown, you’re scared to pick up the phone trying to avoid the collectors, covering and hiding your car from the repo guy… WAKE UP! If you want your happiness back, your peace of mind, and your life back… YOU CAN MAKE THIS “JUST FRUGAL ME CHALLENGE” WORK!

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I am challenging you to choose 20 things from this list below and stick with it for a complete 40 days.  After the 40 days are completed please leave your “Just Frugal Me Challenge” story in the comment box below.  Why a comment? Because you never know the person that you may touch by your testimony.

There are 40 items.  Feel free to add your own, if you do please leave what you are doing in the comment section below.

 

1. Make A Budget

A budget is simply a plan for your money, and you MUST have a plan to be successful with money. Creating a household budget is the first step starting your “Just Frugal Me Challenge”.  Make sure that you use the Just Frugal Me Budget Form.

Read: Dave Ramsey’s 15 Practical Budgeting Tips

  1. Change Your Thermostat

According to the Department of Energy, You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home.

In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and setting the thermostat to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling.

I use the EcoBee thermostat at home.  Homeowners save up to 23% annually on heating or cooling costs, plus ecobee pays for itself within 2 years.

  1. Ditch Paper Towels

These convenience items really add up over time. Invest in a set of kitchen towels to clean up messes and high-quality lunch containers to keep costs down in the kitchen.

  1. Ditch Cable TV

According to Fortune, the average cable bill is $103 a month!  You don’t need to pay that much to watch who got kicked off the freakin’ island!  There are some great alternate modern options out there (like YouTube) and best of all, with an antenna, TV is absolutely FREE!  

  1. Budget with Cash and Envelopes.

If you have trouble with overspending, try the envelope budget system where you use a set amount of cash for most spending. And once the cash is gone, it’s gone.  So what if your broke friends make fun of you! You are on a mission to happiness! Get started with your envelopes here.

Learn More:  The Envelope System Explained

  1.  Save Your Loose Change.

Really?!  You may be asking yourself… uh yeah! Putting aside just 85¢ for 40 days you will have saved $34.00.  If you spend only cash you can easily get back $2.00 in coins daily… That’s $80!!! And some banks and credit unions or apps offer programs that round all your purchases to the nearest dollar and put that money into a separate savings account.

  1. Line Dry Clothes

Save even more electricity by drying your clothes on the line. Especially if you live in a warm climate as I do, clothes will dry super fast in the sun. Making this simple change saves quite a bit over the course of a year.

8.Brown bag your lunch.

The reason you hear this tip so much is that it works!  According to Health.com, The average takeout lunch is around $10 dollars, which sets you back $50 dollars a week, and $200 dollars a month. Over the course of a year, that comes to $2,400!  Come on we’re wasting money! I really think that you can let this one go for 40 days.

  1. Shop and Travel with Groupon

If you don’t have Groupon installed, go get it right now!  Groupon Getaways offers over 1,000 travel deals for hotels, excursions, cruises and group trips from domestic to abroad. You can search by destination, interests, and dates in order to find your dream vacation.  They’re constantly featuring new travel destinations and deals that fall under two types of Getaways: Flash Deals and Market Picks. I even get 50% cash-back from restaurants. If you give this a try for 40 days, I promise you will not be mad.

  1. Get Free Gift Cards

Swagbucks is an easy way to earn free gift cards to your favorite retailers. Simply sign up and install the browser extension. You can earn points by shopping online, completing surveys, watching videos and searching the internet. Save up your points and then redeem for gift cards or PayPal.

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  1. Shop Around For the Best Price

Frugality is the willingness to shop around for the best price; and willing to shop around for the best price for a quality product.  I challenge you to get at least 3 quotes on your purchases over the next 40 days. Price comparisons can easily be done online.

  1. Shop Thrift Stores

Thrift stores such as are a great place to find cheap furniture and home decor, dishes, pots and pans, clothes, and toys. Just make sure to avoid shopping on the weekends – everyone shops on the weekend and all the good stuff is probably already gone. Try thrift store shopping on Tuesday or Wednesday for the best finds!

  1. Wait Before Making Big Purchases

Avoiding impulse purchases is an important part of frugal living. If there is something you really want, wait two or three days before buying. Many times we get so caught up in the thrill of buying or impulsive behavior. A lot of times people make purchases without thinking them through. Give yourself time, and see if it’s something you really want.  Trust me you don’t want to have buyers remorse (it’s the worst).

  1. Stick to Your Budget

You have a budget for a reason.  Creating a budget can help you plan ahead to learn how you can save money for important things in your life. If you wait until you start to pay your bills each month, your money has already taken over.  It’s too late!

There are some tricks to putting together a real-life workable budget.  Click here to learn more.

  1. Freeze Your Credit Card in Ice

If you are having trouble controlling your credit card use, but don’t want to cut up your credit card in case you need it at some point, freeze your credit card in a bag of water. Needing to thaw your card will force you to really consider the purchase before you make it.

  1. Cut the Card!

Are you the kind of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle?  If you can pay off the balance at the end of each month, you minus well just pay cash for it. One big excuse for why people say they need their credit cards is for booking flights, hotel rooms, and renting cars.  That false and just plan stupid! While it is true that you need a card for these activities, a debit card with a Visa logo works just as well as a credit card. Stop believing in that lie that the credit card companies promote!

  1.  Unsubscribe.

Avoid temptation by unsubscribing from marketing emails to the stores you spend the most money at. The reason you’re in this mess in the first place is because you can’t say no.  Delay pleasure for better results. That’s like a fat person trying to lose weight so they get a job at McDonald’s to get free food to save. When you have ads coming to your inbox you are inviting temptation to come in your home and into your mind.  And you wonder why you have the urge to go to the mall. The marketing demon is all in your life. CUT IT OFF!

  1. Meal Plan

Meal planning is one of the best ways to save money on food.  For the next 40 days DO NOT EAT OUT! You will be surprised at your savings.  I love chicken wings… but with our new air fryer, my wife make the chicken wings better than the wing place down the street… and guess what with air fryers it’s healthier too.

Check out my top 5 air fryers.

  1. Download Dosh

Dosh is the free cash back app that finds you money for shopping, dining out, and pumping gas at thousands of merchants and brands nationwide. Start getting paid for doing the things you already do. … Every time you use those cards, Dosh searches for available offers that match your transactions.

Learn More about Dosh

  1.  Don’t Buy Bottled Water or Ice

Always have a reusable water bottle handy wherever you go and keep plastic ice trays in your freezer for free ice.  Do you need to drink water from commercially produced disposable plastic bottles to stay hydrated? Uh, No.  Water is 2000% more expensive than tap water, talk about marking up the price. It doesn’t seem like common sense to continue purchasing bottled water due to the enormous ramifications it causes, but millions upon millions of people keep buying, keep drinking, and keep polluting every single day.  Don’t look like common sense is so common after all. I challenge you to stop buying bottled water for 40 days.

  1. Make a Grocery List

Plan your meals in advance and stick to a list while grocery shopping. People who do food shopping with a list, and buy little else, spend much less money than those who decide what to buy when they get to the food market. The annual savings could easily be hundreds of dollars.  You can create a shopping list with your Google Assistant on Google Home.

  1. Shop Around For Insurance

Comparison shop for homeowners insurance. Before renewing your existing homeowners insurance policy each year, check out the rates of competing companies.

  1.  Refinance

Refinance your mortgage. Explore if you have the option to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7 percent to 6.5 percent can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan. And, you will accumulate home equity more rapidly, thus increasing your ability to cover large emergency expenditures.

  1. Audit Your Home Energy Use.

Ask your local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home energy audit. The audit may reveal inexpensive ways to reduce home heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year. Keep in mind that a payback period of less than three years, or even five years, usually will save you lots of money in the long-term.

  1.  Weatherproof Your Home. Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. Your local hardware store has materials, and quite possibly useful advice, about inexpensively stopping unwanted heat or cooling loss.

  2.  Keep the Sun Out.

Keep your blinds or curtains closed during hot summer days. Blocking the sunlight really does help to keep your house cooler.

  1. Use less water.

Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce your water usage and water costs. You can also just set a timer for 3-5 minutes.

  1. Cut Laundry Detergent and Dryer Sheet Use in Half.

The laundry detergent sold today is usually highly concentrated and powerful. Use the smallest suggested amount, and often you can use less than what’s on the bottle and still get clean clothes. In many cases, using less actually washes more effectively because there’s no leftover soap in your clothes. And tearing your dryer sheets in half gives the same result for half the price.

  1.  Lower the Temperature

Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. For every 10 degree reduction in temperature, you can save up to 5 percent on water heating costs.

  1. Shop Once a Week

A few extra trips to the store really add up. Limit yourself to one shopping trip per week to maximize savings. You may feel that you’re saving money when you are only spending $20 for that visit.  Those small trips add up very fast.

  1. Invite Friends Over

The majority of restaurants charge their customers at least 4 times more than what they paid for it?  That really makes it hard when you are trying to save money at restaurants. For instance, that $20 steak that you thought that was such a good deal is only worth $5.  When you go out to eat, you are not only paying for the food and drinks that you order, you are also paying for the cooks, wait staff, ambiance, rent for the building, advertising costs and more.

Instead of hitting the town, host a fun pitch-in dinner with your friends. Play cards, sit around a fire pit, or watch movies with your guests. You’ll all save money – and have a blast.

  1. Plan Free Family Activities

When you think of financial conservatism, recreational spending allowances normally is the first items axed from the family budget. And with growing dependencies on high-cost, technology-based activities, balancing entertainment with the necessity of keeping costs low can require truly heroic creativity.  Entertaining family activities don’t have to be expensive.

Here is my list of fun projects and adventures that I create with my family.

  1. Turn Off the Light!

Keeping the lights on in your home may not be expensive on a per-watt basis, but it sure does cost money over time. To save as much as you can, turn off lights any time you leave your house – or even when you leave the room. Like I always tell my kids… If you aren’t using a light, turn it off.  If you haven’t made the switch to LED lights, it is highly recommended.

  1.  Switch the Light

Energy-efficient light bulbs might cost a bit more initially, but they have a much longer life than normal incandescent bulbs and use far less electricity. It might be hard to decide which type to use, but either type of bulb will probably be an upgrade from whatever you’re using now.

LED lights light up instantly, are efficient as CFLs, produce a warm glow without getting hot to the touch, and can last for decades.

  1. Do Your Nails at Home

Manicures and Pedicures. Salons in the U.S. charge an average of $19.50 for a manicure. The average cost of a pedicure is $32.25 according to Wise Beard.

Give yourself a gel manicure at home with this affordable LED Nail Light.  It will pay for itself in just about one use!

  1. Don’t Buy Drinks

Frugal people drink water. The markup on beverages is huge at restaurants, so wait until you get home to have that Coke.

  1. Get Outdoors

Enjoy the wonders of nature – it’s fun and free! This is one my favorite frugal living tips because there are so many things you can do for free outside. Go the park, take a hike, swim, jog, or just explore your city.

  1. Find Free Events

Check local guides for free events around your city. Also subscribe to the email lists of your local zoo, children’s museum, Science Center, etc. They often have free admission nights!

  1. Compare Airfare

During the 40 days I would recommend not taking vacations.  However; if you must travel (try driving). If the distance is too far or a road do not lead you where you would like to go.  Research air flights. It amazes me how many people don’t do this! Always compare prices on plane tickets to get the best deal.

Read More: 7 Ways to Save on Air Flights

  1. Check Back with Just Frugal Me Daily

At the end of the day we want to help you make time for the best moments in life; the moments that put a smile on your face.  The best way to enjoy life is when you have less worries. Being frugal isn’t about being cheap; it’s about being resourceful.  It’s about finding ways to save where you can, so you can focus your money and attention on the things you value, whether it’s saving for a comfortable retirement, traveling the world or living a debt-free life. For more inspiration, tips, advice, and recommendations check back daily and visit our YouTube Channel for additional ways to save money.

Visit Our YouTube Channel: CLICK HERE

Numbers (22-28 was sourced from America Saves). Click the link to learn more.

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I am challenging you to choose 15 things from this list below and stick with it for a complete 40 days.  I would love after the 40 days are complete for you to leave your “Just Frugal Me Challenge” story in the comment box below.  Why a comment? Because you never know the person that you may touch by your testimony.

Please choose 15 frugal things to do to start your “Just Frugal Me Challenge”.  Make these small changes today, and you will be shocked how much you save, and happiness that will be restored in your life.

Want more frugal living tips and tricks? Sign up for my Just Frugal Me Newsletter and get inspiration sent to your inbox every week!

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