Frugality Sacrifices – Part 1

Dec 26, 2012 Comments Off by

In order to achieve a higher savings rate, I gave up a few vices to be even more frugal. Frugality is a journey. Frugality goes up and down depending on my life circumstances and there are always areas to improve.

Vices I have given up
Drinking – $1000/yr saved
I used to enjoy drinks out with my friends and at least a bottle of red wine each week. Any drink at a bar is relatively expensive but a bottle of wine at home is priced more sensibly. I love a nice glass of wine but one or more bottle of wine a week was excess calories I could do without and a break I could give to my liver. In addition, reducing one $15 bottle of wine a week saved me $780 a year. When I do have a glass of wine, I enjoy it that much more. I will still meet my friends at a bar for special occasions but it is no longer a regular occurrence.

Eating out – $3500/yr saved
Eating out is often done for convenience after a long day at work or to avoid doing groceries. My biggest drain was eating out during a work lunch. I would pick a cheap lunch item and would add a non necessary sugary drink. After work, I would often pick up some fast food if I had commissions to take care of on my way home. The food I ate was a) not the tastiest, b) relatively expensive and c) not healthy. Once I dedicated myself to always making a healthy lunch and leaving a snack in my purse, I became healthier and saved a substantial amount of money. The biggest revelation was that my cooking tasted much better than most restaurants I have tried. My budget for a homemade meal is $3 for the ingredients. If I find a filling lunch item that is under $3 (very rare find), then I am free to buy it.
I now eat out on very special occasions and when I do, I choose a restaurant that serves better food than what I can make it at home.

New clothes – $800/yr saved
I used to buy all clothes new. One day I left my pride at the door and discovered the wealth of consignment shopping. My savings are now 70% to 90% of the price of new clothes and I’m helping the environment by reusing someone’s old clothes. My shopping skills have gotten better. I can spot non-worn items at a consignment shop and will only buy if the fit and quality is excellent.

New books – $200/yr saved
Text books in school were always bought new. To add to my education, I would often pick up some additional reference books online. Now I use the library.

Driving to work – $650/yr saved
When I was working at my old place, I would drive my car or motorcycle. The distance was not great 10 km (6 miles for my American friends) return but this meant that I would need to have my own vehicle. The cost for my commute was $1250/yr and it included a significant trail of burned gas. Now I take the bus 6 months of the year ($600) and ride my bicycle or walk the rest of the year. I still have a car for my other needs but I don’t waste it driving to work.
My city is transit friendly for all folks who work downtown. To take advantage of this network, I have since moved to a home that is a quick bus ride to work and a short and safe bicycle ride.

What vices have you given up?

Frugality, Lifestyle, Savings

About the author

Clara Cannes, the chief author from Goldeneer is a Canadian that works as a full time employee in the engineering field. Her passion is real estate, entrepreneurship and sustainability. Clara has finally reached financial independence in her late 20's and is on the path to a comfortable retirement by 35.
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