You might have done a double-take when you read the title of this post, I know. Because you must be thinking, how can I live off less money than I am now and even be able to save more? But I am here to tell you, you can!
If you have been reading our posts for some time, then you will know that we both spent the majority of our working lives as teachers. We were well paid, to be perfectly honest. We found that with the money came a lot of flippant spending, a lot of unnecessary food waste, a lot of giving and all the other things which come with having a lot of disposable income.
We have spent the last year or so living with a lot of regrets, all of which are related to wasting money. Our two biggest regrets are:
- Not paying off our mortgages, which we easily could have if we had been financially savvy.
- We also regret lending or giving money freely to so many who came with various hard-luck stories. Most of the borrowers never repaid the loans and we feel rather stupid about that. But never again! If we are able to help someone in real need, we will but we have vowed never to lend again. After all, we are not banks and banks and other institutions are perfectly willing to lend.
So now, we have learned to live on less, make mortgage overpayments regularly, buy less meaningless things, reuse, repurpose, recycle, waste less and more than anything we make a conscious effort to spend quality time with those we love, rather than giving them things which keep them segregated from us. In short, we have learnt to live frugal lives and we enjoy it!
We are not adding to enormous food waste ‘mountains’, we try to reduce our carbon footprint by taking fewer flights and we plan our meals so that we purposely shop for just what we need to prepare those meals.
In this post, we will share with you some of the frugal things we have done as we continue on this journey to financial freedom and more purposeful living.
Meal Planning when you live on less
This continues to be a weekly effort whereby we plan in advance the meals which we will have and then we purchase only the ingredients we need for those meals. We make an effort to check our food storage cupboards, fridge and freezer and make written notes of what we don’t have and which are necessary for the meals we planned.
Some of our meal planning ideas
These are all homemade meals by the way and some of these were shared on the tv program Shop Smart Save Money
I am amazed at the number of people who don’t know that they can use their spare time to complete surveys and earn cash or gift cards and money off vouchers. But then again, that was us a few years ago. We now consider ourselves to be survey queens. Making about £100 per month isn’t bad, and good use of time spent on your phone or laptop when you would otherwise be wasting time.
See how we recently got free spending money for our holiday to Morocco
There’s so much to add here
- switch off appliances when not in use
- buy second hand when you can
- plant some of what you eat
- shop wisely
- Make nice homemade meals more often than eating out
- Buy used sometimes rather than new all the time.
- make hand made gifts if you have the skill to do so. These are usually more treasured.
- invest in experiences that give lasting memories rather than tangible gifts that are soon not loved.
Making the most of bus journeys
We don’t get the bus perhaps as often as we should. When we do get the bus, we plan wisely. We find that it is more cost-effective to purchase what is called in our region, a Daysaver than to purchase tickets for each phase of the bus journey.
We do as much as we can in terms of travel on that day and once we are finished with traveling for the day, we always try to find someone who does not have the means to purchase a ticket but who needs to travel. We donate the ticket to them, that way spreading some love.
The ideas presented here are by no means exhaustive. I am sure you can add to this list and we encourage you to do so using the comment box below.