15 Frugal Tips To Save A Lot Of Money

A frugal lifestyle is often confused with a life that sacrifices on quality. This is because the term frugal is, more often than not, misconstrued as a negative one. If done the right way, choosing to be frugal can actually add more value to your life. Do you agree? 

The art of frugal living

A lifestyle where you are very intentional with your spending is a frugal lifestyle. It is about prioritizing your money on things that truly matter, and cutting out all the frills that don’t. If you choose to only look at the sacrifices you make, it is bound to get difficult to stay on this path. However, if you look on the bright side, these sacrifices add to larger benefits down the road. 

Why is frugal living a great idea?

The benefits that come with choosing a frugal lifestyle are multifold. 

  • It puts you on the path to financial freedom by accelerating how quickly you achieve your personal financial goals.
  • It allows for a cause-and-effect reality to take hold in terms of finances.
  • You get to decide where you spend your hard-earned money. 

How does one live a frugal lifestyle?

If you’ve tried to lead a frugal lifestyle over the years but have fallen off the wagon, it’s okay. If you are new to this life, then it may seem difficult at first. That is also okay. We’ve been there. We are all for that frugal lifestyle, and over the years we have found tips and tricks that really lower expenses and help us save a lot of money. 

We’ve put together some of our favorite tips for you to save money while living your best life. When we say this, we understand that a frugal lifestyle means different things to different people. We just want to help you live a life that aligns with your goals. 

  1. Start budgeting your finances 

Your first tool towards a frugal lifestyle and your financial success is creating and sticking to a budget. It helps you prioritize things that are important and cut out the ones that are not. There are many tools available to help you plan your budget. You can start by maintaining either a weekly or monthly budget, whatever works for you. 

  1. Take stock of your pantry 

If you ever walk into your pantry and take stock of the food available, you’ll be surprised. In today’s digital world, ordering food at the click of a button has spoiled us rotten. Instead, get into the habit of making meals at home with what is available. The fact that it is healthier than take-out food is an added bonus. Of course, you can indulge in food from your restaurant; you just don’t need to do it four times a week. 

  1. Sell the things you don’t need 

If you look around, there’ll be five things in your direct line of vision that you can do without. Set a day aside, look around the house and put aside things that you have outgrown. With a little bit of effort, this clutter can be cashed through different platforms such as Facebook and eBay, to name a few. 

  1. Start thrifting 

Local thrift stores and online marketplaces can really surprise you with the things on sale and the prices they are available at! Apart from saving up tons of money, you’ll also be saving the planet. A win-win situation, we say. 

  1. Upcycle your wardrobe 

Have you ever considered shopping in your closet? Yes, it’s true. If you look into the deep corners of your closet, you’ll unearth clothes and shoes that are begging for your attention. Sew some patchwork on that jacket or cut your denim and turn them into shorts. You can be fashionable, even on a budget!

  1. Walk or bike whenever you can 

We’re all guilty of taking the car to the nearby grocery shop that is within walking distance. Next time, ditch the car and walk instead. Not only will you save on a lot of petrol money, you’ll also end up burning some calories in the process. 

  1. Workout at home 

A membership at a good gym can really burn a hole in your pocket. Instead, join an online workout class that is relatively cheaper and also lets you work out at ease. Or you can ditch a membership altogether and pull out a video from YouTube instead.

  1. Automate your savings and investments 

It is easy to fall into the habit of overspending when your savings and investments are not automated. Get a financial advisor on board and figure out places where you can invest in and automate them. Also, go through your expenses and set up automatic payments wherever possible. 

  1. Evaluate your subscriptions 

Do you really need subscriptions to six OTT platforms? You’ll be surprised at the amount you pay on an annual basis just to watch one movie from that one platform. Keep the ones that are worth keeping and cancel the rest. 

  1. Get a side gig 

The gig economy is booming in the country and all over the world. Pick up a part-time job near your house or even one that requires you to work from home. There are tons of exciting options available.

  1. Shop in bulk 

You’ll be surprised at the amount you save when you buy certain things like toilet paper, soap, paper napkins, among others, in bulk. The price per unit is low when you purchase large quantities. Make a list of items that you use daily, and next time you go grocery shopping, buy them in bulk and keep them. 

  1. Plan your travels better 

Travelling does not have to be an expensive affair if you plan it well. Try to plan your travels during the ‘off-season’ as everything is relatively cheaper. Ditch the expensive hotels and opt for a beautiful Airbnb instead. Also, avoid the tourist traps and eat where the locals eat, instead. Not only will you save up on cash, but you’ll also get to eat some of the best food!

  1. Make gifts instead of buying 

There is a certain emotion associated with gifts that are handmade instead of store-bought. Gifting during the holiday season can be expensive. You can check out videos on YouTube for some great gift making ideas!

  1. Grow your vegetables 

If you are blessed to have a small open patch in your house where you can grow a vegetable garden, do it! Apart from being fun and inexpensive, there is also a sense of great satisfaction associated with it. 

  1. Ditch the expensive coffee 

We’ve all been there and done that. Try ditching that expensive cup from Starbucks and instead start brewing your coffee at home. There are some top-notch home-grown brands that source the best coffee from all over the country. Your wallet and taste buds will thank you.

As you can see from the tips above, a frugal lifestyle does not ask you to give up your favorite cereal brand or stay at home instead of going on a vacation. Also, don’t cut back on too many things too fast, as it is bound to backfire. It all comes down to the strategy and approach you choose for yourself. If you get addicted to this lifestyle, we completely and happily accept all the blame!

Building financial immunity during the pandemic

Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s been a gush of information about preventative measures one must adhere to, to remain safe. They are all simple and effective ways to keep the virus at bay. Something even children can follow with ease. One of the important do’s on that list being, building the immune system to stay strong. One’s immunity indeed plays a vital role here as that is what helps to keep the body’s natural defences up and fight any viruses, bacteria and parasites daily without severe complications. However, when we fail to properly take control of our systems, these natural defences weaken over time. The same analogy can be applied to our financial planning. Let us see how.

Very often these days, we come across this phrase, “We are all in this together.”. Yes, we most definitely are. The pandemic is very much an emergency, a critical one at that which the whole world is facing. It came unannounced. Nobody ever imagined what a blow this would be and nobody still knows how long it’s going to last or how much more damage it’s going to cause. Phew! We have our fingers crossed and hope no more. But the one thing that stands out is that while we are in this together, we are not in the same boat. Each one of us is in a different boat flowing through the same turbulent river. Some of us have lost our jobs, some of us are operating under pay cuts, some of us have lost loved ones and some others still have everything intact but are living fearfully every passing day. We’ve somehow adapted to all the new ways forced upon us by nature since the last six months.

As much as we’d like to have everything back in our control much sooner than one can imagine, there are still a whole lot of questions yet to be answered. However, there are some which need to be brought to the fore and spoken about just as openly as the other preventative measures. Building financial immunity is just that and equally important as maintaining physical immunity. Having an emergency fund is a marker of that among many other things. As we find ways to navigate through this crisis, the question on almost everyone’s mind has been how to ensure financial security for their family. There are two important approaches to think of – short term and long term. Short term would  involve your day-to-day affairs and long term would apply to investments made for different goals still  many years away.

Short term

  • Re-assess your budget If anything, the pandemic has made us all realize that we don’t need much to live a happy life. We can actually live well on the very basic and re-evaluate our needs vs. our wants. With restrictions on outings and travelling, we can re-jig our monthly budgets to allot a sufficient amount to necessities, be very mindful with our spending and ensure we save for a rainy day.
  • Don’t ignore your emergency The first point about saving for a rainy day brings us to continue working on that emergency fund. Now, more than ever given that the emergency has actually struck or may be looming around in one form or the other. You’re probably making use of it depending on your current situation. But if not, it’s important to keep maintaining it for any unforeseen circumstances.
  • Be practical about your helper It’s hard enough to work from home that we also have to take care of the cooking and cleaning of our house. Not having our regular helpers for extended periods of time isn’t easy on anyone. Whether to start letting them in or wait till things get better, is another confusing question. Paying them their salaries on time without actually having the services rendered is also not a feasible option for many in these times. But if it does come to that, paying them at least half their salaries (if not full), can be a temporary solution instead of letting them go completely. And if that too doesn’t seem like an option, at least pay them a small token amount to keep them afloat for a short period of time.
  • Beware of coronavirus scams Cyber crimes under the name of coronavirus are a threat in these times. Even if you decide to donate or invest somewhere with good intentions, ensure that the source is credible. Do your research, ask around, don’t transfer any money through unknown links directing you to enter your bank account/credit card details without having checked if the money is going to an authentic party.

Long term

  • Staying invested As far as possible, it’s best not to disturb any investments intended for the long term to accomplish bigger financial goals. The market is volatile and you may not be comfortable looking at prices of stocks crashing. But withdrawing your money now because of this fear might turn out to be an impulsive decision especially if you try to buy back when the market recovers. The prices are prone to be higher then. Seeking advice from your financial planning adviser is highly recommended if staying invested is not an option for you.
  • Re-balancing your portfolio If at all the first point isn’t viable for you, it would be beneficial to consider re-balancing your portfolio before you make any drastic decisions. Again, consulting your financial planning adviser could give you a clearer perspective and help you plan better. The role of diversification or asset allocation can’t be emphasized upon more than in the current times. Hence, it’s best to ensure that re-balancing involves a good mix of various investments.
  • Insurance is a must Life and health insurance should both be non-negotiable. After all, health and finances are tied in so closely. It would be unwise to not have these insurance policies in place. In fact, getting a critical illness insurance policy would provide a bigger safety net by staying one step ahead, in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
  • Pay attention to your retirement account In the midst of everything that you’re trying to set right in these times, it’s possible that you might ignore your retirement account. Ensure that you don’t do that. It’s also important that you do your best to not disturb that either if cash flow is an issue currently. A retirement account should not be mistaken for an emergency fund. Therefore, do you best to not quit it or exhaust it either.

The last several months have been testing times for each one of us. With the new normal, multitasking is redefined and anxiety levels have been at their peak. But we’ve got to remember that there are a few things that are still under our control. Taking good care of ourselves and being responsible citizens is of course, the most important one. And being cautious with our finances, understanding the do’s and dont’s about money management in these unprecedented times is even more crucial to tide through this pandemic. Safety, to a large extent today lends itself to being financially immune too. A positive mindset is another one not to be forgotten in this list. Whatever boat we might be sailing in, we will get through this together.

Stay safe!

How to keep things on track during the pandemic?

A handy checklist for your reference.


  • Increase liquidity – Enhance your emergency funds to double the amount
  • Reduce extra expenses – the lockdown is making us online shopaholics. The general tendency is such that the need for gratification is finding solace in spending online.
  • Use surplus time to build a financial plan
  • Take calculated risks
  • Take a health insurance and a term plan


  • Take your job for granted
  • Break your emergency fund to trade in the stock markets for short term returns
  • Assume that endowment plans / LIC policies are sufficient life insurance
  • Think that all risks are bad and that one should not take any risk whatsoever

5 Lessons of Financial Prosperity Inspired by Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha, also known as Ganpati is believed to be the God of wisdom, a symbol of happiness, prosperity, knowledge and remover of obstacles. Adored by his devotees, there is a lot of inspiration that we can take about financial planning from the Lord himself.

Here are 5 lessons of financial prosperity from Ganpati Bappa.

Listen out and loud 

The Lord’s big elephant ears signify how it’s important to have your ears wide open at all times, pay attention to all the information coming your way, absorb all the knowledge and filter out what’s not necessary. Lord Ganesha is also known to be worshiped for beginning new ventures. Therefore, by taking a cue from there, you can start saving and investing money early, ideally as soon as you begin to generate income. As investors, there can be an overload of knowledge and information that comes your way. However, making the right decisions at the right time with the help of sound knowledge and guidance of financial advisors, by listening to them carefully can be a big step forward in your financial planning journey.


Think big to achieve bigger

The Lord’s huge elephant head signifies that one should always think big. From a financial planning perspective, it’s important to identify goals and categorize your investments accordingly. Thinking big about your future is a way to secure it better, by knowing what you want to invest for and thereby identifying your short, medium and long term goals. Goals can be met when they are prioritized well. In order to do this, it’s also important to keep your thirst for financial knowledge alive. Lord Ganesha symbolizes wisdom and intellect, which gives us the inspiration to be financially literate and understand the various investment options that can be suitable for our goals and give us good returns in the short or long term, as planned by us. While thinking big, it’s also important to realize the magic of compounding which is earning interest over interest and generating more wealth over a longer period of time. Secure yourself by taking advantage of this and working towards the bigger picture.


Concentrate and stay focused

Although bestowed with a big head, the Lord has very small eyes which signify that in all the big plans that we take on, it’s very important to concentrate and be detail oriented. With attention to the minutest of details, this feature of the Lord inspires us to understand the nitty-gritty of our planned investments, the pros and cons involved in each of them and therefore, be mindful of how we plot this journey for ourselves. Even after making that commitment, it reminds us to stay focused and be consistent with it to ensure that we don’t deviate from our plans and disturb the financial planning process for ourselves. Not to forget, the focus also enables us to be protected and prepare ourselves for monetary turbulences, which should be paid just as much heed as we do to any of our other investments.


Trunk-like patience to adapt in all conditions

The Lord’s trunk symbolizes the virtue of patience that we must all possess as it’s unlikely that things always go as planned. Having a foresight towards this and ensuring that we can adapt to new circumstances as per the changes or new developments, is an inspiration for us to take. The long trunk also signifies that the Lord can sniff out danger or negativity, which is why he’s referred to as the remover of obstacles. This teaches us the lesson to be vigilant towards our investments and not be lured towards lucrative offers and those that promise anything big in a short span of time. To sense the unrealistic and frivolous nature of any such investments and steer away from it, being aware of market conditions and the risk involved in the investments that we choose to make, is an important lesson to bear in mind.



Strong tusk power to fork out bad investments

The Lord’s strong tusks are a reminder to us to have the strength to take the right decisions and eliminate any negative influences that there might be. Building your perceptions after critical analysis is a way to attain that sense and strength to fork out poorly performing investments that hold back the potential of the portfolio.


The lessons above lead to financial security in the future, well represented by the laddoo in the Lord’s hand which signifies that the fruit to patience, focus, perseverance and good thinking always results in something sweet. On this Ganesh Chaturthi, let us acknowledge Bappa’s lessons that we can follow for life and work towards a safer and wiser path of savings and investments. Best wishes from CAGRfunds to everyone on this auspicious occasion. Ganapati Bappa Morya.