How to Save Money By Living Like You’re Broke

moneyThere are blogging websites dedicated to showing people how to save money and live frugally.

Housing costs usually take up a large chunk of the expenditure for most individuals and families and so it makes sense to check a mortgage calculator to see how much you can afford and if you can save money by changing your lender.

However, a mortgage is one cost that cannot be avoided and so it pays to try and save money in other ways every month. Heck, even small saving here and there can make a big difference to the family budget!

For example, you can make your own cleaning products and buy food in bulk when it is on sale. You can also prepare large amounts of food for freezing. Many families with access to affordable or free fruit and vegetables often preserve the produce. This way, they are able to produce a large supply of preserved food that can be eaten over many months. Individuals who are truly dedicated to living more frugally do not mind making sacrifices in their time to prepare some of these homemade solutions.

There are various other ways to save money. You can sew your own clothes to cut down on costs but when the cost of the material is added in along with the time it takes to do this, it is not always worth the effort. One way families can save big on clothing expenses is to buy their clothes at second-hand stores and the selection is usually large and varied. Many items, including designer brands, can be bought at huge savings over what they would cost to buy new. The same is true for shoes.

Making your own cleaning supplies is easy and very environmentally friendly and effective cleaning products can be made with baking soda and vinegar. For those who are not into making their own products the cheapest thing to do is to buy cleaning supplies in bulk. Most supermarkets have sections that have bulk items that are very cost-effective.

Families often encounter big expenses with their television and cell phone payments and many individuals are not willing to give up these devices. Cutting down on cell phone talk and using SMS instead can help with savings in this regard.

Saving on your utility bills by only having the lights on when necessary and leaving the heat off when no one is at home is another way to save money. Selling the car and taking public transport everywhere may work for some people, but most families would not be able to function this way. Cutting down on unnecessary trips may be an option to save fuel.

It’s really up to the individual to decide where to draw the line when it comes to frugality. Some people are willing to do without their television sets, while others would not dream of this and would rather cut back somewhere else. Saving money on mortgages can be accomplished by using a mortgage calculator.

Photo Credit: Nurse Carla


  1. 1


    It’s a fine line because many cost saving things leads to costing you soooo much time. I think your insurance for saving money is finding extra streams of income while trying vigorously to live well below your means.

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    You really have to prioritize what you want and what you are willing to give up to get there. If you want something badly enough, cutting tv, cell phones and go back over the things you talked about are worth it.

  3. 3

    Forrest M. says

    One of the most difficult parts about saving for most people is actually transferring the money into a savings account or brokerage account. If you increase your income or you cut your budget and you don’t take the steps to move the money into an investment or savings account, then you may end up frittering the money away on something else instead of saving it.

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    Myriah says

    Maybe you can help me solve my dilemna. I know its part of being a product of a different generation that grew up with rotary phones and home phones. I have been unable to let go of my land line, yet also at times use a cheap Net 10 cell phone. So far that’s been fairly affordable ($50 avg for both). Is it worth it for me to ditch the landline altogether? I sound quality is so much better on a land line. Could you help me see the pros and cons of it? Thanks.

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    Joelle says

    When I decided to become debt free 78K in debt…I went all out with living like I was broke. I decided that I was willing to give it my ALL. People called me extreme….I gave away my television ( too many tempting ads), I curtailed all clothing/shoes purchases, I had a minimum cell plan ( 450 min monthly), I turned off my apartment furnished energy guzzling refrigerator and stove and instead I used a $10 thrift store toaster oven + a small 3.1 cubic foot refrigerator + a microwave ( it sounds crazy but my utility bills in the summer dropped down below $25.00, I lived in a cheap apartment….I guess it does boil down to what you REALLY want…by the way once I became debt free I kept saving and paid cash for a little house!!!

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    Matt says

    So you live like you are broke to pay off debt. But then what? Risk it by Investing in stock market and save for retirement. No thanks. I’m not against saving and being debt free but am not sure the reward is worth the effort/ lifestyle.

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      Ken says

      Sometimes it can just be about changing your perspective. I spend very little yet live a life of ‘abundant riches’. Sure everyone has to spend money on food and accommodation but outside of that is there anything you truly ‘need’. I ‘got rich’, by living frugally and saving lots and investing in assets that will mainly pay a long term income.
      Rich is not having to go to work, rich is seeing my daughter every day before and after school, rich is going into my garden and picking fresh fruit and veg.

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    Olivia says

    The cell phone / land line question got me thinking. Once in a while you get these “did you do these things as a kid” type surveys. They usually compare the electronic addiction kids have now to the low tech fun in the “good old days”. There are plenty of things we consider necessary that have low tech alternatives. And they are cheaper. Board games, reading books free from the library, building stuff in the back yard. Cheaper home cooked meals. Clothes from the thrift store. Everything is an acquired taste, but there is huge pressure to conform to the “norm”. Are appearances worth putting yourself into a hole for?

    • 10

      Len Penzo says

      I know that is a rhetorical question, Olivia — and we all know the answer is “no!” Even so, many many people do it anyway. For me, that is one of the great mysteries of life that I will never understand.

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