I used to open up my mailbox every day and nervously check the mail. The bills just didn’t seem to ever end. I never seemed to get ahead with paying anything; as soon as I’d mail a payment, I’d get another bill. The fact was that I was living paycheck to paycheck and pretty much beyond my means. My husband and I made it a new year’s resolution to save money and start living cheap. Sure, we had to give up some things. In all honesty, we had to give up a lot of things. When you’re living cheap, the luxuries of eating take-out food once or twice a week seem completely ridiculous. Within a month, we found ourselves saving at least $25 each week by skipping the pizza and Chinese food. I gave up my morning cup of coffee at the Starbucks every morning as well. Instead, we decided to find as many coupons as possible and hit the grocery stores looking for more bargains. Instead of buying name brand items, we’d buy store brand or generic. With paying attention to prices, brands and using coupons, our grocery bills were cut in half within the first month.

There are so many ways to start living cheap. People will complain and complain about their monthly bills. But, those individuals who love to complain will very rarely make adjustments to their lifestyles. If you’re living in a house or apartment that is just not as affordable as it could be, perhaps you should downsize or make a change. It might not be the house or place of your dreams but saving some money each month could put you ahead in the long run and help you to actually afford that dream place someday. Analyzing your utility bills can start to help you accomplish your goal of living cheap. We tore apart our cable bill and electric bill. I called the electric company to get put onto a budget plan and started conserving electricity like crazy. There wasn’t a need for a light or a television to be left on when no one is in a particular room. I found out the peak times for using electricity and adjust accordingly. Within six months, our electric bill went down somewhat. I discovered that there were
charges on our cable bill for features that we weren’t using. I cancelled them and freed up another $10 each month.

After you’re done looking at your lifestyle, living cheap will start to come more naturally to you. You might start to think before you buy something you don’t need just because it would look nice in your house. You may swallow some pride and discover that no one even noticed changes that you were embarrassed about making. If living cheap means making some sacrifices, than that is what needs to happen. Your bank account will grow and thank you profusely.