Living frugal...we do not eat out at all...my wife pores over the Wednesday and Sunday newspaper to find out what is on sale...our car is a 1999 Lexus RX300 which we bought new, has close to 300,000 miles on it...we still travel a lot, using frequent flier miles almost exclusively...we shop online...we never run out of staples, no rushing to the store for milk or bread...we live in a very nice and secure home...we have never paid a dime in credit card interest, ever.
We still find ways to tithe to our church...we bring food every Sunday to the food bank...my wife volunteers at hospice and the food bank. We eat right, including leftovers, and exercise...we essentially waste nothing.
Does this sound like sacrifice...if we can do it so can you.
Living frugal has become second nature to us and is the primary reason that we could retire in 1994 and still be retired today.
Upfront let me point out the difference, mostly semantics, from frugal living and living cheap.
Living cheap is adopting a lifestyle that has low cost for shelter. We have lived on sailboats, RVs, lived overseas, been off the grid, and certainly downsized... We have experienced them all and can show you how as well.
I don't think that we look unusual or take unnecessary chances in order to live cheap... We simply enjoy being retired and practice stretching our dollars everyday.
We retired early by using lifestyles that require less money to maintain... We did not eat beans or dog food.
As a matter of fact we do enjoy eating lentils and the like...lentils did not do much for Esau, but we like them as a very cheap source of protein.
These are lifestyles that we've enjoyed since 1994, you decide if they look like sacrifice... I don't think you'll find any...
These lifestyles listed above involve low, sometimes free, housing costs.
Leaving cheap is something that we have done since our marriage in 1975... And I give most of the credit to my frugal wife...she treats nickels like they were manhole covers.
Frugal living means spending only what is necessary with zero waste... This site is not about how to invest better...there are plenty of financial planners around that will help you with that aspect of retirement.
We have made saving money a game, which we play every day.
I wonder if they still teach home economics in our schools, because we're dumbfounded at the checkout stand when the checkout person says, "Everything that you bought today is on sale or you have a coupon"...Duh.
Suggestion to educators... start reteaching home economics...and spend more on trade schools...do you realize that a former president (initials B O) stood before a bridge and declared..."We are going to use stimulus money to rebuild it"...he did...but a Chinese company got the bid...why?
US companies did not have enough welders.
One of my personal regrets is not learning a trade...once you learn one living frugal without fear is so much easier.
We simply have more fun being retired than working... The very thought of returning to work (I do not consider maintaining this site to be drudgery), makes me sick to my stomach.
We wonder why everyone is not constantly aware of wasting money... You have worked hard for your money and you need to treat it with respect.
These are not do as I say, not as I do, these are practical procedures we employ every day.
Living frugal , once you examine the above tips, will not seem overwhelming or require major lifestyle changes.
I am sure you will find these specific ideas very easy to implement into your daily life.