The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living in the UK

Read our top tips for frugal living in the UK. You will soon be able to save the most you can with HyperJar’s expert advice. Click here to discover more!
Amabel Polglase
January 11, 2023
min read

Living frugally is a great way of making the most of your money and ensuring that you make smart and considered decisions about where and when to spend.

Far from simply being cheap, being frugal will help you make much better financial decisions in your life, freeing you up from many of the financial stresses of life in today’s world. If you’re wondering how to be frugal, we introduce you to the following in this article:

·   What does frugal mean? 
·   The benefits of frugal living
·   How to be frugal in the UK 

By the end of this piece, you will have all the information you need to make positive changes to your life, which will help you live frugally and save money on your various expenses.

What does frugal mean?

Frugal living is the act of being deliberate with your expenditure and ensuring that you don’t waste money on frivolous purchases. It’s important to realise that frugal living is not about going without; rather, it’s about buying with intention and ensuring you have what you need to live a happy, stress-free life while making your finances work for you.

As we explain in the following section, there are a lot of benefits to frugal living for you and your family. Frugality is linked to minimalism, a disciplined philosophy that can help you live a meaningful life with less. So, if you’re keen to start living frugally, here are some of the benefits of this approach to money management in the UK.

Benefits of frugal living 

There are lots of advantages to living frugally in the UK, including the following:

Helps you save money

Perhaps the biggest advantage of frugal living is that it helps you save money. Rather than spending excessively daily, you can live frugally and save money to spend on a future holiday, on travelling with your friends or even to pay off your debts.

Helps you live a simpler life

Many people believe that simplicity is key to a simple and stress-free life. And by cutting down on your expenses and living more frugally, you are burdened with fewer expenses and can live a happier and more fulfilling life, something everyone can get on board with.

Become more environmentally friendly

There’s undoubtedly a link between frugality and environmentalism. By consuming less, you produce less waste and use fewer resources like water and energy. People who live frugally are also big into recycling and reusing items, further reducing their carbon footprint in the process.

More freedom

Learning how to be frugal can also increase your personal freedoms. Particularly, it’s an excellent way to work toward financial freedom, enabling you to pursue your passions and interests without being tied to a job you hate for the rest of your life! 

How to be more frugal in the UK

The good news is that anyone in the UK can start living more frugally, and it’s about incorporating various steps and actions into your life. Specifically, you can try the following tips to start living frugally this year:

Make a budget and stick to it

The starting point for anyone hoping to live more frugally is a budget. A budget should include your income and expenses, and you need to be disciplined with it, sticking to it throughout the year. We’ve put together this really handy blog that explains in detail how to learn and budget for unexpected expenses – it’s a great place to begin your frugal budgeting

Cut back on unnecessary expenses 

While life is all about living, spending too much money on unnecessary expenses will inhibit you from living frugally. List all of your expenses and split them into needs and wants. Then, remove some of the wants from your list (eating out, gym membership, football season ticket, etc.) and begin saving the money that you previously spent on these expenses.

Save money on food and eating out

Eating out and ordering takeaway meals is expensive, eating away at your monthly budget. While it’s nice to eat out with your family and friends once in a while, doing it too often makes frugal living impossible. Be sure to create a budget for buying groceries and eating out, and stick to it. You can also plan to buy some items in bulk to save money in the long run.

Use coupons and shop around for the best deals

You can use coupons when shopping in-store and online to save money and access the best deals. If you shop at the same supermarket for your groceries, sign up for the store’s membership scheme to earn rewards and cashback on your purchases

Pay debts

Whether you have credit card debt or are servicing a personal loan, the interest that accumulates every month is eating away at your wealth. So, prioritise your debt repayments and take the necessary steps to get out of debt as quickly as possible to support your transition to frugal living.

Invest in long-term savings and investments

Investing your money is the best way to build wealth for the future, and there are lots of creative ways to save money. If you’re a UK taxpayer, you can set up a cash or stocks & shares ISA to achieve your long-term saving goals, and it’s a great way to start building wealth for your family’s future.

Live below your means

Living below your means isn’t about deprivation. Rather, how to be frugal is about being mindful of your purchases and not blowing your entire monthly income on things that you don’t necessarily need. You can check out our tips for living below your means and how they can help you achieve frugal living.

Buy only the things you need 

One of the key aspects of living frugally is considering what you actually need and spending your money accordingly. Give yourself some time to consider big purchases and ensure that you actually need the item you’re planning to spend money on.

Ask for help 

If you can, involve your partner, a friend, or a parent in your goal to live more frugally. Equally, you can ask for help if you need it to cut down on your expenditure, with lots of free online resources to help you improve the way that you manage your money. 

Walk or ride a bike when you can

A great way to save money is to switch to cycling or walking where you can, rather than driving your car or booking a train ticket. The money you save on the transport cost can be put to good use elsewhere in your budget.

Frugal money-saving tips for the UK

Now that we’ve run through the benefits and the practicalities of frugal living in the UK, here are some quickfire frugal money saving tips you can employ in your quest to live more frugally:

Use price comparison sites

Price comparison sites like Compare the Market are your best friend when it comes to things like insurance, but they can also be used for advice when purchasing a whole host of other items and help you save money.

Join a cashback scheme

Cashback schemes are great for earning a percentage of your spending back with cash, coupons, money off, or points. HyperJar Rewards is one such scheme, inviting you to access discounts and rewards when you shop at some of the biggest retailers in the UK.

Negotiate a better deal

Although you can’t necessarily negotiate with supermarkets or other retailers, you can negotiate a better deal when it comes to making big purchases. Here’s an example: when you’re buying a new car or home, you’re likely to use the power of negotiation to get yourself a better deal.

Cut back on food shopping

One of the best frugal money-saving tips in the UK is to cut back on food shopping. Consider buying fewer branded products and making the most of a supermarket’s own range of goods to save money. You might also consider a membership to a wholesale store like Costco to save money on bulk items.

Make your own cleaning products

You can easily make your own cleaning products at home without buying expensive and potentially harmful cleaners from the supermarket. For instance, you can make a scented all-purpose cleaner from white vinegar, water, lemon rind, and rosemary sprigs, providing you with a quality homemade cleaning product for the surfaces in your home.

Grow your own fruit and veg

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is another great way to save money, but it’s also extremely rewarding. Whether you have space in your garden, rent an allotment, or have growing trays on the apartment of your balcony, you can save money while enjoying delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables from your own soil. 

Cut down on alcohol 

While many of us like a drink at the weekend or even after work, reducing the amount of alcohol that you can drink is good for your budget (and your health). While you don’t need to eliminate alcohol from your life, take some steps to reduce the amount you drink, and you can use the money you save on other aspects of your budget.

Save on rent

Relocating is one of the best ways to free up some money in your monthly budget. While this is a big step to take, moving to a cheaper area or downsizing your home can save you hundreds of pounds a month in rent. Naturally, this makes frugal living easier and helps you save money throughout the year.

How to live a more frugal lifestyle: conclusion

When asking yourself: “What does frugal mean?” you simply need to know that it’s a great way to save money throughout the year and live more purposefully.

Instead of spending excessively on things that you don’t need or want, being frugal encourages financial discipline and helps you work towards financial independence.

If you need some help with budgeting, check out the HyperJar pre-paid card, as it’s a great way to get on top of your expenses and will help you become more frugal this year.

Amabel Polglase

Chief Marketing Officer

Amabel has diverse experience in business, marketing and entrepreneurship, including founding her own successful startup. She served in several senior leadership roles prior to joining HyperJar including Zilch and Curve Card where she led brand, marketing and communications. Before joining the fintech revolution, Amabel was a managing global client partner at Facebook and prior to that at McCann-Erickson, the world’s largest ad network. She volunteers at Girls Out Loud, a charity created to empower and inspire teenage girls, and is also a mentor at The Girls’ Network. She received her MA in history and international relations from the University of St Andrews.

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