Recently I read an interesting blog post by Trent Hamm: “How to Build a Strong Frugal Mindset”. Hamm is the blogger whose website is well known as The Simple Dollar.
What I’ll do now is to share with you some of Hamm’s key tips on frugal mindset development.
I will also comment on his ideas, and tell you what I think. If I don’t agree with him, I will explain why.
I’ll also share with you my alternative ideas that will help you develop a frugal mindset that will make you an ultimate frugalist.
Hamm: Non-frugal choices feel wrong to him.
Jo: Now, I think this is a great mindset for you to develop, because it implies that only frugal choices and buys would feel right to you.
Feeling wrong about non-frugal choices will enable you to avoid spending on stuff you don’t need.
It means you’ll save more money, and to use it for really worthwhile purposes like paying off debt or saving for your retirement.
Hamm: We need to buy things that are durable and do the job well.
Jo: This would save us money and time. We won’t have to buy replacements – and even cheap replacements add up in cost. We also won’t need to waste time shopping for replacements.
This brings to mind my pair of Wiltshire hair cutting scissors that I paid $20 for. It has lasted me 20 years and it’s still as sharp as ever! It must be self-sharpening.
I reckon it will become my family heirloom!
This scissors has helped us save lots of money. It’s cost us only $1 a year to use it, but helped my family save $300 every single year. Over 20 years, it’s saved my family $6,000.
Here’s how the math works:
There’re 3 of us, 5 haircuts a year each, $20 per cut, multiplied by 20 years.
So, we can see that regular frugalism really adds up in terms of leading to huge savings, and this is just one area of being frugal.
Buying things that last long and do their job well would also be good for the environment, as there will be less waste ending up in landfills or getting burnt.
Jo: Even if you are on a budget, you can buy a used item that is high quality, rather than to buy a new item that of a lesser known brand that doesn’t work very well.
My personal example – I bought a used Vax vacuum cleaner more than 15 years ago for about $70 (cheaper than a new vacuum cleaner of a less known brand).
This wet and dry vacuum cleaner still works really well today – the suction is very strong, and it keeps the carpets in my cars spotless.
The Vax works so much better than a new vacuum cleaner I have that is of a less known brand. (I have two vacuum cleaners – one for my home and the other for my cars and garage).
Hamm and Jo: we share the same idea – make a frugal decision to look at cheaper brands when buying things.
This can be a great way to save money, and it works really well with food and other grocery / household items. Just check the labels to see what you are getting.
Some cheaper brands of food may have more salt and sugar per 100 grams, and use lower quality oils.
Take frozen crumbed fish, for instance. There are certainly cheaper brands out there, but they tend to contain less fish per 100 grams, and may have a lot more fat. Let’s look at the labels of two brands:
You’ll see from above that the better and much healthier choice is brand A, as it has more fish and much less fat (only a third or 34 %) compared to brand B.
So, even when you compare these two brands of crumbed fish prices in terms of price per 100 grams, Brand A is still the better buy even when it costs more.
But guess what?
Brand A costs less when on sale, and I always buy many packets to keep in my freezer 🙂
When considering non-food items, you need to always compare the features and value of what you need to buy.
If what you’ll need costs more, allow enough time to examine its features and compare them with the features of other brands.
Saving tip: Do not assume that a better known brand always has better features.
Confirm it by comparing the features and quality of competing brands.
You can also visit consumer websites to check out and compare prices, brands, features and user reviews.
But be aware that the better known brands of say, home appliances, may last longer and have more after sales service centers.
This may make paying more worthwhile, as you’ll save in the long term and won’t be left with an appliance that has hard-to-get parts and service, which may mean you’ll have to throw it out and buy another one to replace it.
When you apply these savvy frugal living tips, your savings has no choice but to increase fast.
Share this to help others improve their savings! 🙂
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