In the age of consumption it almost seems blasphemous to not want to spend. That’s why we’ve found ways you can be frugal while still having some fun.

 

I furnished my entire house for less than $3,500; and it’s been featured in Canadian home buying articles for its classiness and style. Rather than spending a small fortune on brand new furniture, I hit up eBay, Craigslist, auctions, garage, estate and going-out-of-business sales. I scored my dining-room table for $50, TV stand for $8, stove for $60, bedroom set for $600 and gorgeous couches for $500. Most items were unused and still in their original wrapping.

 

You can still be frugal without haggling store clerks or sacrificing your image. I have nice outfits, a spacious house, a cool car, and I take a sweet vacation each year. But, I never pay full price for anything.

 

Savvy spending saves me time and money because I know when, where and how to shop.
The best time to shop is when there are sales; so sign up for email notifications and watch for red or yellow clearance signs.


Last-minute travel deals, for example, are advertised on websites and by spam email.
If what you want isn’t marked down, ask for a discount — yes, this actually works, especially when you’re paying in cash.


The best places to shop are those where you can buy on-sale high quality goods. Many reputable auction houses, for example, offer superior products like cars, furniture and art at bargain prices.


Using discretion, avoid products that have a reputation for shoddy workmanship; they’ll break and likely cost you more in the long run.


The best way to shop is to first determine whether you actually need the product or just want it.
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it; no matter how good the sale is. Being an overzealous, debt-ridden shopaholic is unhealthy and won’t help you achieve financial independence.


A good deal you can’t afford is never a good deal. But, if you’re primed for a purchase, try paring down (choose the iPod Shuffle vs. the Nano) or buy “used” through reputable online websites.


For regular household items, buy in bulk or shop in stores with concrete floors. Last, sign up for loyalty programs so you can collect points — everyone loves freebies!


The more you save, the bigger your net worth grows, getting you closer to financial freedom — and that’s a future you really want to afford.