If you've ever heard someone argue against the benefits of being frugal then you've heard the "I-don't-want-to-deprive-myself" argument. It's always the first one to come up. However much we might disagree, there is an element of truth to the deprivation criticism. A lot of times, being frugal means passing up something you'd like to have but don't really need.
Today I'll show you a couple of places where you can exercise your frugal muscle without coming anywhere close to depriving yourself.
With most financial transactions, paying a little bit more will usually get you a little something extra. More polish, extra colour, bigger size, bonus features or better service. Generally, the more you pay the more you get. It's for this reason that being frugal can sometimes feel like deprivation.
My personal view is that you aren't depriving yourself when you pass on something that is totally unnecessary. If you disagree, then you likely have a tough time being frugal on occasion. Luckily, there are a couple of places you can reduce your expenses without losing any of the benefit.
If you've got any amount of debt hanging around, you are likely paying a certain amount each month in interest expenses. Now, if you could get a lower interest rate on some of that debt, you'd reduce your interest charges accordingly. You would still have the same amount of debt, only it would be costing you less each month. Exact same benefit at a lower cost. Not bad.
Credit card debt is one of the best places to look for savings. No matter what your interest rate is on your credit card, call up your financial institution and ask them if they can give you a better rate. I can't guarantee that you'll get a better rate, but you might. I can guarantee that you won't get a better rate if you don't ask though.
Other places to look for savings on interest expenses are mortgages, lines of credit and purchase payment plans. Always be sure to shop around for the lowest rates. Also, don't be afraid to ask for a lower rate than what you are initially offered. Sometimes the agent you are dealing with is allowed some room to negotiate.
Depending you where you live and who collects your taxes, there are more than likely several financial actions you can take to give yourself a tax break. By taking advantage of tax incentives available to you, you'll end up paying less tax.
The nice thing about reducing your tax bill is that you still get all the same services as everyone else, only it costs you less each year. Again, this is a great way to reduce your expenses while still maintaining the same benefits.
In Canada, you can look into:
If you dig into the tax laws for your area I'm sure you find a few others that you can take advantage of as well.
Are there any other areas that you know of where cutting back doesn't mean making due with less? Let me know if you have any tips for the rest of us.