Pope Francis on Tuesday urged a group of young adults in Estonia not to be “slaves to consumerism.” Live within your means, forget the latest iPhone, brew your own cup of joe and leave that Louis Vuitton handbag for some other sucker.
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But it’s not just the pope preaching the art of frugality this week. On Reddit, nearly a million subscribers gather to discuss this very topic. The group’s tagline: “Frugality is the mental approach we each take when considering our resource allocations. It includes time, money, convenience, and many other factors.”
This week, one post, in particular, resonated. DissySissy asks, “What are some ‘Poor Man’s Habits’ that are worth adopting?” Thousands of responses later, and she had more practical ideas than she could have possibly expected.
Here are 10 of the top tips, some obvious, others not so much:
1.Eat right before you leave the house.
Thrilldigger: “I’ve noticed a huge difference in purchasing habits when my wife eats before going to the grocery store. Much less junk food and other impulse purchases. This even works when ordering for pickup or delivery. How hungry we are has a significant impact on our ability to resist temptations and impulses.”
2.Make frugal-minded friends.
Caffeine_Induced: “This is something really important than often gets overlooked. Not just for being frugal, but for being healthy, ambitious, etc. You tend to become like the people you are friends with. Choose carefully.”
3. Delay gratification.
Jfreez: “You have to learn to tell yourself no. Even if you want something badly, it is often better to delay your impulses just to make sure you’re thinking rationally. Don’t make impulsivity a habit.”
4. Utilize your local library.
Ezcblack: “Yes, I know Amazon AMZN, -1.65% has books for cheap (usually). But having a huge resource like a library at your fingertips will save you a huge amount. Not only in books, but magazines, ebooks, DVDs, CDs. Some libraries even have other stuff, like board games, video cameras, camping equipment.”
5. Get rid of cable TV.
Sonja_Blu: “It still surprises me when anyone under 50 has cable. I haven’t had actual TV since I moved out 7 years ago.”
6: Don’t get into credit card debt.
Anianna: “If you have a good handle on your finances, use a credit card with cashback rewards as if it were a debit card (in other words, only spend what you have earned and pay it off every month).”
7. Bike to work if the commute sounds reasonable.
BuckRafferty: “I’ll do 7 miles each way on mostly flat trail and road in the nice seasons. Save money on gas and avoid expensive car accidents and traffic. Sometimes I’ll actually get there faster than if I were to drive.”
8. Pick a week every month and live like you’re broke — spend zero dollars from Mon-Sun.
EndlessSummerburn: “Go grocery shopping the Sunday before and buy cheap but healthy stuff as you normally do. Eat anything frozen or in your cupboards. Revel in the fact that you are not spending a single dollar for seven days then notice the difference on your next paycheck.”
9. Move to no contract/BYOD cell plans.
ProperPiper: “I am a single person and I was paying almost 160$ a month with AT&T T, +1.28% for unlimited everything. I realized how much of a money pit this was and started looking into no contract/month-to-month plans. I settled on cricket wireless. I bought an unlocked Samsung s7 Active for 150$ and now pay 60$ a month for unlimited everything.”
10. Embrace the DIY culture.
LookslikeyoureSOL: “Go on YouTube and learn how to fix your own car, do your own oil changes/maintenance etc. Save even more by buying used parts in decent shape from scrapyards. This one weird trick has saved me thousands of dollars over the last few years. Mechanics HATE me for it.”
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