What are your go-to frugal hacks? Do you pack your lunch for work every day, or make your own lattes? Do you put yourself on library hold lists months in advance, so you can be one of the first people to read a new book when it releases?
Do you automatically deposit money into your savings and investment accounts every time you get paid, or stuff cash into envelopes to give yourself monthly spending limits on restaurants or clothing? Do you cut your own hair?
Earlier this week, the Redditors at r/frugal discussed their “#1 Frugal Tip,” and answers ranged from “As soon as I get a paycheck I always transfer a set percentage of money to savings before I use it for anything else” to “Do what will make you happier tomorrow, not what will make you happier today.”
We had the same discussion on the Lifehacker Slack, and here were some of our responses:
I’ve finally gotten really diligent about tracking everything I spend and it’s been transformative.
When I’m tempted to buy cheap junk, I ask myself where it will be at the end of its lifetime. Lots of stuff I’m tempted to buy (especially for the kids) will be in pieces on the floor in, like, two days.
Everything you buy makes everything you own a little less valuable.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!
That last one was mine, by the way. It’s one of the mantras I use to remind myself not to buy a new version of something (like a different kind of soap or yet another candle) when I still have plenty of that stuff in my apartment.
What about you? What are your favourite frugal hacks, tips, or mantras? I love doing the thing where you keep a running list of all the stuff you want to buy and then remove items from the list after you realise you neither need nor want them anymore. (The latest item to get cut from my list: a Fitbit Premium subscription.)
Discuss in the comments—and feel free to get really honest about your weird frugal tricks. If you make your own laundry detergent, re-use your old Ziploc bags, or time your public transportation trips to avoid peak hour costs, let us know!