Living well on a limited budget means maximizing what you get out of life for the amount of money you spend, says blogger J.D. Roth, a contributor to the book 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget (Skyhorse Publishing; $14.95). Roth, Trent Hamm, and 18 other bloggers have written an easy-to-read guidebook about saving money, making sound investments, increasing earnings, and much more. The book’s money-saving techniques speak to a broad range of readers, from high school students to baby boomers.
Hamm and Roth agree that the first step toward frugality is determining what’s important and then spending less on the things that don’t matter as much. Adjusting your spending habits doesn’t have to feel like punishment, they insist. “Think of the money you’re saving and how you can spend it on something you enjoy,” says Hamm.
The book offers summary advice to help readers develop a frugal lifestyle in areas such as dining, travel, shopping, green living, and education; personal finance help includes investment tips and advice for creating a sound budget.
Making frugality fun and meaningful is different for each person. “You have to find ways to use what you like to do in order to save money,” says Roth. For example, he and his wife enjoy gardening, which lowers their produce bill. Roth also likes bike riding, which saves him money on gas. It is important to define frugality for yourself.
The authors also point out the need to use what you already have rather than going out and buying new things. Conversely, “if you’re spending your money on something you derive real value from and it aligns with your goals, I think that is being frugal. There’s an alignment of values and spending habits that needs to occur,” says Roth.