There are all kinds of folks who market all kinds of products, books, smartphone apps, software, and subscription services all designed to save you money. They want you to believe that spending money on their solutions will be just what you need to save money.
And some of those things work. But a lot of them don’t. I’ve discovered that when it comes to frugality, it’s really all about spending less. It’s about getting back to the very basics.
Fortunately, the best frugal tools are the most basic. These frugal tools are easy to find and easy to use.
Best Frugal Tools to Help You Save Money
Pen & Paper. You can plan a budget, write down your goals, sketch a plan, make an organized shopping list, draft a dinner menu, or brainstorm money-saving ideas to try. You’re only limited by your imagination.
Calculators are another budgeting must-have and a great way to help you try out different financial scenarios to see which works best for you. Use that calculator to figure out the cost per unit at the grocery store and you’ll save money. Use that calculator to discover how much your debt is really costing you. Use your calculator to figure out a budget that works for you.
Library card. If you want to call yourself frugal, a library card is as necessary as the air you breathe. The library is your ticket to a world of information that can help you save money – from frugal living books to cookbooks to gardening. The library is also your source of free entertainment through books, music, videos, and community events.
Newspaper. One of my favorite sources for coupons is also a great place to look for job opportunities, garage sales, free community events, and of course, news, sports, and entertainment. And when you’re done reading the newspaper, you can use it to wrap gifts, line a bird cage, keep weeds out of your garden, and much more.
Elbow grease and brain power. These two resources combined will cost you nothing, but they have the potential to save (and earn) you lots of money. When a problem comes along, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Be willing to try new things and get your hands dirty. Get creative and you may surprise yourself with great, low-cost solutions to all kinds of expenses.
When it comes to saving money, remember that simpler is almost always better. And it’s usually cheaper, too. Ignore the marketing hype and get back to the basics and you will save money.