Now is always the perfect time to make some changes to better your financial situation. The problem is that people often make this much more difficult than they need to. 

As a result, they never get started.

There are several things you can do to cut back on your spending that won’t make you feel like you are making huge sacrifices to your lifestyle. 

In fact, many of these must do’s for living cheap are normal things wealthy people do.

Here are 6 must do’s for living cheap to implement in the new year. 

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1. Give Yourself an Allowance

Our first must-do for living cheap is to give yourself an allowance. 

That might sound paradoxical, but I promise you it isn’t. 

Everyone should have a budget. But you should not budget down to your last penny. If you budget every last purchase, you’re not going to stick to your budget.

Instead, budget for your discretionary spending;

For example, set aside $50 for discretionary spending. When you feel the urge to get a latte, use some of your $50 budget. 

Your allowance should also be a rollover budget. Whatever money you don’t spend by the end of the month gets rolled over onto next month’s budget. That way you can save for expensive purchases.

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2. Declutter Your Expenses

Sit down and go through your bank and credit card statements.  Take note of your discretionary spending. See how quickly it adds up. 

Are you spending a lot of money at fast food restaurants? If you notice these kinds of purchases, create a plan to cut back on your spending in this area. 

In addition to identifying spending issues, look for recurring expenses that you can eliminate. 

Do you have unused subscriptions that you need to cancel? Then cancel them. 

Pro tip: rotate your streaming subscriptions. Watch a show on Netflix. If the next show you watch is on Prime Video, cancel Netflix and buy Prime Video.

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3. Use Free Cash-Back Apps

There are a few apps and services that offer free money. Here are some of our favorite cash back apps and services (they are all free to use):

  • Upside: Use the Upside app is earn free cash back at the gas station. You can redeem your money via PayPal, direct deposit, or gift card. Use the promo code AFF20 to grab a 20 cents-per-gallon sign-up bonus. Download the free Upside app.
  • Capital One Shopping: Even when you’re living on next to nothing, you still got to buy stuff online. The free Capital One Shopping browser extension is a great way to save money. Capital One Shopping finds valid coupon codes at check out, and it price-checks other online retailers to help you find a lower price. You can also earn free gift cards with loyalty credits. Get the Capital One Shopping browser today.
  • Dosh: If you want to put cash-back rewards on autopilot, then Dosh is the app you want. Link your credit and debit cards, and you automatically earn cash-back rewards at participating retailers. It truly is that easy. Download the free Dosh app and watch the cash dash in.

4. Switch Insurance Policies

Most Americans spend thousands of dollars each year on insurance. There is a big chance you are overspending on insurance. 

Experts agree that you should shop around for home and auto insurance each year. 

It is surprisingly easy to find lower rates. Insurance is a competitive business, so you can compare rates and find the best rates for your situation. 

Additionally, consider bundling home and auto insurance for even better rates.

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Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop

The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.

We want to help you do both.

Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt. 

What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:

  • Hacks to lower your monthly bills
  • Hacks to spend less on debt
  • Hacks to start investing
  • Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)

This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.

Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.

5. Eat More Fresh Veggies

Eating more fresh vegetables is a great way to improve your health and your finances. 

They are cheap and easy to cook. Plus, their health benefits lead to spending less money on medical bills in the future. 

There are simple ways to add fresh or frozen veggies into your meals: Sautee, steam, or roast them. 

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Here are some vegetable options to consider:

  • Broccoli
  • Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Snow Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus

And some seasonings to use:

  • Lemon Pepper
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Greek Seasoning
  • Curry Powder
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Steak Seasoning
  • Garlic and Dill
  • Simple Salt & Pepper

To saute them, cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, add some butter or olive oil, and your favorite seasonings. 

When roasting vegetables, preheat an oven to 400 degrees, toss your cut vegetables lightly in oil and your favorite seasonings, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

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6. Drink More Water

Along with eating healthier, watch what you drink. 

A change in your drinking habits is highly beneficial to your health – and your finances! Soda and juice are expensive. Each seemingly inexpensive soda or bottle of juice adds up quickly.

Instead, switch to H2O. 

Drinking tap water saves you money! Invest in a quality reusable water bottle, and you can fill it up practically anywhere for free. 

Many places now have water bottle filling stations (with filters) instead of traditional water fountains. 

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7. Protect Your Teeth

Investing in your teeth is important for your dental health, physical health, and financial health.

No cavities means saving money. Changes in your diet and drinking habits help! Try to eat less sugar. Brush, floss, and mouthwash twice/day every day. 

The better you take care of your teeth, the more money you will save. 

You Can Live Cheaply Without Feeling Poor

Living cheap doesn’t have to make you feel poor. Simple lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on your finances.

  • Release some of the pressure and give yourself an allowance.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. Take care of your wallet and your health.
  • Be mindful of your spending. 

This is going to be your year to improve your financial situation!

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