Are You Up for the Frugal February Challenge?
Did you know February has been deemed Frugal February? What is Frugal February you ask? Think of it as a spending fast (only not quite as extreme). For some, it may mean skipping your favorite take-out on Friday nights or your morning coffee runs. And for others, it may mean dialing back on some subscription services. Here are a few ways you can participate in the Frugal February Challenge – try one (or try all 5)!
- Freeze Spending. Where do you spend the most money? Is it dining out? Subscription services? Clothing? Choose the two categories where you spend the most and “freeze” your spending in that category during the month of February. For example, if dining out and office lunches are your biggest expense, commit to bringing lunch and eating at home more.
- Reduce your monthly bills. This challenge may be easier than you think, and only involves a few phone calls and being more vigilant about looking at your itemized statements.
For example, is there an opportunity to reduce your car insurance bill by shopping around for a better rate? Oftentimes, companies will honor a competitor’s rate if you let them know you’ve been shopping around. Do the same with your cell phone provider. And while you’re at it, give your bill a once over. Are you paying for mobile phone insurance? You don’t have to with The Perks.
- Remove your card information from retail apps (and digital wallet). It’s easy to tap and pay when your credit card is stored in a retail app or your digital wallet. This oftentimes leads to impulse purchases and overspending. You may be less tempted to spend when you need to enter your card for each purchase, each time. Take what you would have spent and put it toward your savings!
- Shop at the right time. There is a season for everything, and shopping is no exception. Take fruits and veggies for example – purchasing them when they’re in season will help you rein in your spending. There are even certain websites that track the time of the year when products are most likely to be discounted. Who knew there was a good month to buy a new TV or get that new lawn mower you’ve been wanting?
- Take advantage of free or low-cost entertainment. Do you find your budget being eaten away by entertainment costs? There are free (or low-cost), fun things to do all around. Date night? Pack a picnic and head to the park. Family outing? Go for a bike ride, volunteer together or check out a museum.
At the end of February, look at all you’ve put away. You might be surprised by how much your savings account has grown. Adjust if necessary, then repeat next month!