How to Cut the Crap and Live a Frugal Lifestyle to Save More Money – Now!

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Updated May 1, 2017

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they hit a savings or debt repayment crossroads.

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You know you should be spending less.

But the desire to buy things gets you every time.

You think the only possible way to build savings is by making more money at a better job.

So you search longingly through job boards for the perfect position and promise yourself that when you land the right job with the right money everything will fall into place.

Lots of income, lots of savings, and the high life.

That’s not how saving works.

If you wait for all the puzzle pieces to fall into place before establishing a budget or savings plan you are guaranteed to fail.

You’ll just find more expensive “necessities” to spend money on.

Sure, you may not be making as much as you would like right now and that’s a good thing.

Test how little you need to survive. Use this time to research what investments you want to make in the future when you are bring in more cash.

Then when you make the big bucks, you’ll have some practice in the game.

Money knowledge is just as important as the paper.

Still not convinced you can pay off debt or save with what you got?

I honestly didn’t think so either. My salary was very modest when I started off paying debt and I even pay for my own health insurance outside of work.

I didn’t let that stop me.

All you need is a clear end game.

One goal to get you started.

Mine was paying off my student loan almost three years ago.

I can tell you one thing, there was not be lobster tails or Sauvignon Blanc in our household for a while!

But, I knew that the $0.00 on the My Fed Loan account would be even tastier.

During your journey, there will be temptation once in a while.

You’ll want to splurge. That little voice in the back of your head will tell you to start saving next week, month, or year. Your circle of friends may try to convince you take a trip or spend a dollar you shouldn’t.

The answer to overcoming it is simple.

Cut the crap and GET HYPE!

Get excited! Get empowered!

Focus on how great you’ll feel when you meet your goal. Create a budget.

Set up an automatic savings transfer each month, Digit is a super cool way to do so.

(Check out my full review of Digit here.)

Dream about the secure feeling you’ll have when you have a few months worth of savings in the bank.

Make a vision board of quotes that inspire your money saving. Post savings notes to yourself on your computer.

Listen to music that motivates you!

I blare soca musicΒ or dancehall to get myself in the zone when thinking, planning, and writing.

Find something that gives you an unstoppable feeling.

Because that’s what you are!

And it all starts with one step forward.

— This post or page may contain affiliate links. Don’t worry, though. I only promote products that I’ve used or truly believe in.

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Taylor K. Gordon is a writer and money blogger. She writes on how to live your best life without going broke.

  1. Reply Marc Ad April 11, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Good post buddy

  2. Reply Joe @ Budget Breakaway April 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Playing upbeat music is a great way to associate trivial tasks with fun! This is the trick to working hard; enjoy doing it!
    Great post πŸ™‚

    • Reply Taylor April 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! Totally agree… without music I’m a zombie. Especially between the hours of 7-10

  3. Reply DC @ Young Adult Money April 18, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks for the motivating post! I think having goals – especially big goals – can motivate you to start getting your finances under control. It’s a bit ridiculous but I would love to have my finances set up in such a way that I can go to Hawaii once a year. I think it would be an amazing ‘getaway’ to go to every year. But it’s not realistic with my current finances, so I’m hustling as much as I can to turn my finances around to accommodate those trips down the road!

    • Reply Taylor April 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Thanks for stopping by! I don’t think that’s ridiculous at all. We all deserve a get away each year as something to work towards. If I didn’t set my student loan pay off goal for August 2014 I doubt I would have even tried to pay it all off this year. And I’m about to do so 4 months earlier than schedule. Once you have the motivation skies the limit!

  4. Reply Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter April 22, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Our only debt is our mortgage, though it is a large debt and it’s still debt! I have struggled with saving more in the past, and I find re-focusing in on my goals (like your vision board idea) is really helpful to get me back on track. Sometimes I just get lost in the day-to-day and forget what I’m working towards!

    • Reply Taylor April 22, 2014 at 9:25 am

      I feel you! If I can’t visual my goals each day I get super distracted. Only having mortgage debt is something to be proud of! I’m scared that once I pay off my student loan this month the money will just evaporate. I’m going to try my hardest to not let that happen!

  5. Reply Tara Zee April 22, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I have myfedloan too! I have some super low interest loans in there (below 2% as they’re prior to 2006) but all the high interest debt in them will be paid off by mid 2015. I think the hardest motivation for me sometimes is when work gets stressful and I don’t want to cook when I get home. I’m working on getting better about cooking dinners for the week on Sunday so we don’t fall prey to the cheap and unhealthy Chinese food dinner on the walk home.

    • Reply Taylor April 22, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Myfedloan sister πŸ™‚ You READ my mind.. I’m having the same problem with not wanting to cook after work lately. I usually jump into writing and don’t feel like cooking. I may borrow your idea to cook on Sundays. That will save me a lot of money and help me lose some extra pounds.

  6. Reply Ben @YoungMoneyFinance April 26, 2014 at 10:27 am

    There are two ways to increase your cash balance: increase income or decrease expenses. Its amazing how many people forget that decreasing expenses will easily increase your leftover money each month!

    Love the idea of getting pumped up and hyped!

    • Reply Taylor April 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      I totally agree Ben and I’ve seen it time and time again. An income increase does not mean more money to play around with… if you view it that way the extra dinero will go down the toilet!

  7. Reply TheBrokeProfessional April 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Nice motivational post. If you stay hyper focused on your goal to pay off debt, more than likely you will achieve it. I know hate is not a good thing to have, but it also helps to hate your debt and realize what it’s doing to your life. It is literally cutting off your choices to so what you want. Imagining life without debt puts a big smile on my face.

    • Reply Taylor April 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      I love that… if you hate anything enough you’ll make a change! And boy do I hate my debt! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  8. Reply Stefanie @ brokeandbeau April 30, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    If I waited for my life to fall into place in order to start budgeting, I’d still be waiting πŸ™‚

  9. Reply Student Debt Survivor May 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    The day I finally had my “oh crap, I gotta get myself out of student loan debt” moment was when I used the loan calculator and figured out I’d be paying my loans at the same time I was sending my kids to college (and I don’t even have kids yet). That fear combined with a healthy dose of motivation and sacrifice fueled my fire. I also kept a debt paydown poster on my fridge and every time I paid down debt I filled in my “debt thermometer”. Great post.

    • Reply Taylor May 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      OMG yea that would definitely jump start to take action! I’m sure a lot of people are in that same bought and don’t know it yet. I love the idea of a debt thermometer!!!! I think I’m going to borrow that idea for savings.

  10. Reply The Phroogal Jason May 2, 2014 at 12:54 am

    I call that lifestyle goal. Have a clear lifestyle goal and the financial goals that are tied to them. Sometimes we dream of living of being free to explore the world but we’re so focused on buying a house, buying a car or landing that high paying job which takes us away from actually achieving the lifestyle goal.

    • Reply Taylor May 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Totally true. It’s so important to work towards your dream goal and recognize that everything in life is a step on the journey… that promotion is giving you the funds to live your dream not define you. When we get stuck in the financial goals without the end game that’s a sure fire way to be unfulfilled.

  11. Reply DC @ Young Adult Money May 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I think it’s much easier to think of excuses for not saving money than it is to think of solutions for how you can make it happen NOW. This is especially true of an emergency fund, which should be a priority over making additional debt payments. Thanks for sharing and getting me pumped to save!

  12. Reply May 12, 2014 at 4:02 am

    I think it is a very interesting idea. It will let you to explore and learn more.

    However, in our everyday lives we are all under huge pressure to buy and own. More over I want all those things, regardless how frugal am I.
    It is all just delayed consumption, imho.

    What is it for you?

    • Reply Taylor May 12, 2014 at 11:46 am

      I do see your point. I do want a lot of things, however usually once I make up my mind to skip a purchase I can stick with it. It also has to do with your endgame… sure I may be delaying consumption, but it’s in hopes to spend it on something I need and retirement rather than just what I want right now.

  13. Reply Holly Johnson May 21, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I actually have a page in my office with my favorite quotes. They do inspire me to do better and remind me why I work so hard to begin with.

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