Budgeting and Living a More Minimalist Lifestyle

Felicia Atkinson

Being mindful of spending habits.

The cost of living varies from place to place, but if there’s one common thing about living anywhere — it isn’t cheap.

No matter where you live in the world, you have to pay for necessities including groceries, rent, utilities, gas, car insurance, and so on. The list of monthly expenses is endless, and unfortunately, all of these things add up pretty quickly.

Something that isn’t commonly talked about is ways to save money. One of my regrets is not taking a business course or financial advice course in college. I think it would have been a beneficial class for me to take during my undergrad.

With that being said, I’ve found simple ways to save money on a budget. While the cost of living can be high, there are ways to greatly lower your cost of living and save money in the process.

Disclaimer: The resources and information shared in this article are solely for entertainment purposes and aren’t intended to provide any professional advice.

Budget your groceries

I recently started budgeting my groceries and planning out my meals for the week, and it has helped immensely. I bought enough food for one person, and it usually lasts me an entire week. However, I don’t always buy the same foods each week — it changes depending on which foods I’m out of and need to restock.

Foods like apples, bananas, carrots, zucchini's, sweet potatoes, and potatoes are all pretty inexpensive foods I like to buy. I've prioritized buying more produce such as fruits and veggies, and it has helped me save money on groceries.

Budgeting before you go to the grocery store is key. This way, you’ll know exactly what you need to buy so that you don’t overspend or end up with more food than you need.

If you budget and limit your spending on groceries rather than wandering around aimlessly and throwing food in your cart, your grocery expenses may be lower than usual.

Be mindful of your spending on clothes, shoes, etc.

In today’s day and age, people like material items. They want designer clothing, luxury cars, and expensive homes. And while there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself or splurging if you have the means to do so, a lot of people spend more than what they can afford.

Something to keep in mind is that you don’t always have to have the best of the best. Yes, it’s nice to get a new phone or new pair of shoes every once in awhile, but that newness wears off pretty quickly.

Rather than spending every penny on things you may regret buying down the line, it may be best to not spend money on things you can't afford. I bought a used car and I absolutely love it. It was the perfect car for me, and I didn’t need a more luxurious car.

It’s a car I plan on keeping for the next 5–10 years if it holds up. Sometimes it’s better to save your money now so that you have more in the future.

Find more free activities

I’ve been to various other theme parks and I’ll admit that they’re fun, but they’re not cheap. Going to the movies, going bowling, and going out to restaurants cost money as well.

If you’re trying to save money, find free things you can do with your friends and family. Something I use to do with my friends all the time is go for runs on scenic running trails.

It was enjoyable to socialize with my friends, but we also got in a good workout and didn’t spend any money. It was a win-win situation.

Or, you could have a picnic at the park, go on a long bike ride, or enjoy a movie at home. While there are fun things to do that cost money, there are also fun things you can do that won’t cost you a penny.

Living isn’t cheap, and there are numerous expenses that everyone has to pay. With that being said, there are ways that you can easily save money and greatly reduce your cost of living.

Doing things such as budgeting when you go grocery shopping, being mindful of your spending, as well as doing more free activities are just a few changes you can make that may help you save money.

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I'm an avid runner and a passionate vegan. I enjoy writing about food, work, productivity, health, fitness, and more!

Raleigh, NC

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