Living Stingy: The Fastest Way To Save Money




living stingy

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Living stingy often gets a bad rap.  Those two words themselves “living stingy” don’t even sound enjoyable!

When I think of what that means, I picture a person walking around wearing clothes from 1985 and not spending money on anything to better their life.

To further the bad rap image, CNBC even published an article that stingy millennials are tanking the economy!

However living stingy isn’t cheap living.  There is a difference.

Not only will this article explain what the differences between living stingy and cheap are, it will also detail how to start living stingy and transform your life.

What Does Living Stingy Mean?

what does living stingy mean

In layman’s terms, living stingy is the same as frugal living.

As was noted above, living stingy often gets a negative connotation.

A lot of people practice living stingy including Mr. Money Mustache who is considered the Original Godfather of Living Stingy among thrift savers.

It is very different from frugal living.  Living stingy is about frugality.

It is when you make a responsible decision about the way you spend your money when you practice living stingy.  What you spend your money on is what you value in your life.

In addition, you may have financial goals that you are working towards and that is why you have decided to practice living stingy.

Financially you have decided to transform your life and a way to do that is by living stingy.

What Does Being Cheap Mean?

Being cheap on the other hand is when you don’t spend any money at all.  You don’t have any financial values about what is important to you.

Since your financial values are absent, you don’t value spending money on anything!

Your whole goal is to not spend money in your lifestyle.  It is when you don’t like to spend money and believe that everything in the world is overpriced.

A cheap person would sacrifice going to the doctor because the doctor charges too much in their opinion.

Additionally, a cheap person does not have the skills to manage their money or even be aware of how to improve their personal finances to improve their life.

A cheap person has a completely different mindset that a person who lives a frugal lifestyle. However, both methodologies offer benefits of living below your means in life.

Is it Worth it to Start Living Stingy?

living stingy blog

The answer to that question is different for everyone.

It depends where a person is at in their life.  If you are trying to transform your life, how to build wealth from nothing, and gain financial independence, then yes it is worth it to start living stingy.

Maybe you are not happy with the current state of your financial life and want to change your future.  Living stingy can help change your path for your future.

The result of making those changes is that you will be able to afford anything down the road in your life.

Remember living stingy is not being cheap.

Rather it is placing a value on things that are important in your life.  If going on a family vacation is important to you then you can practice living stingy in order to save money to pay for that vacation.

If you are a secondary-student, a basic college grocery list will go a long way to saving money.

So the answer to the question is it worth it to live stingy really depends on a person’s financial goals and outlook in their life.

It’s worth it to live stingy especially if you are wondering about what happens if you don’t save for retirement early.

Living Stingy Tips: How To Live Stingy In Your Life

There are many different ways to start living stingy in your life.

Sure there are things that I stopped buying here and there to save money in my life.

However the steps below are specific actions that can be taken to transform your finances and your life.

how to start living stingy

1. Goal Setting

In order to transform your life you need to have a road map of where you want to go.

This can be done by goal setting.  The end result of your journey is achieving that goal.

For some people it may be building wealth or maybe purchasing rental properties.

In order to do those things, you may need to start saving money for things such as a down payment.

What is also factored into goal setting is planning.  This is the roadmap and the journey of how you will achieve that goal.

For example how will you come up with money for a down payment for your first rental property?

You will need a plan on how to achieve that.

For these reasons, that is why goal setting and planning have to be thought of as the first and most important step for living stingy.  Goal setting and planning determine the purpose of why you will embark on a journey to transform the way you live your life.

2. Make Reductions in Household Spending

There are a lot of ways that you can reduce your costs within your household.  Be sure to examine your household expenses annually to help further reduce your living costs.  Consider moving into a housing cooperative to drastically reduce or eliminate most of your housing expenses.

3. Groceries

Buying food is a major expense for many households.  However there are many ways you can save money on groceries in your household.  Be sure to look at your groceries as a means to save money.

4. Creating Menus

If you take the time to write out a menu for the week you are way ahead of many households in America.  By creating a weekly meal menu, you will be able to formulate a list of the specific products and ingredients you will need for those meals.

The end result of this is that you will not have any unnecessary purchases (unless you go grocery shopping when you’re hungry of course!)

5. Discounted Grocery Stores

Over the last decade there has been a rise in popularity of discount grocery stores.  Some of these include Aldi’s, which is the most popular one.

I personally shop at Aldi‘s and save approximately 25% on my grocery bill compared to shopping at a big box grocery store.

6. Skip Bottled Water

Bottled water is bad for so many reasons.  It is bad for the environment, bad for your health, and it is a lot more expensive than the water coming out of your tab or well.

If you are looking to take water on the go with you, consider buying a reusable glass container.

I recently purchased one of these for $6.00 that holds 20 ounces of water.  Not only is this convenient, but I’m saving a tremendous amount of money each month by not purchasing bottled water.

7. Insurances

A big household expense is the cost you pay for your home and auto insurance.  You should look at these expenses as they can add up to substantial amounts of money each year.

I recommend doing a financial assessment on the financial health of your household.

If you don’t have an insurance agent, I would recommend getting one.  Not only can you save money by bundling insurances together, but your insurance agent will also make you aware of additional discounts.

If you were to buy your insurance online through an online carrier, you would never know about the additional discounts that may be available to you.

I recently did an experiment where I compared online prices with insurance companies versus with my own insurance agent and I ended up saving hundreds of dollars by going through an insurance agent.

8. Restaurants

Going out to eat is a big expense for households and families.  If you are trying to adhere to living stingy, think about using cheap meal recipes to feed your family.

Not only are they cost effective for large families, but they can  be more healthy than eating out.

However often times if you do find yourself going to restaurants for convenience or a special occasion there are ways you can save money as well.

This is especially true if you have young kids in your family.

There are restaurants across the country that offer kids eat free opportunities.

9. Create a Budget

Once you have reduced a lot of your monthly expenses in your household, you need to create a budget so you have a spending plan going forward.

Remember a budget is necessary and part of the journey to achieve your goals.

Following a budget each month is sort of like the vehicle you are driving down your journey to achieve your goals.

There are many different personal budgeting methods that you can use.  Be sure be sure to use the one that is the best fit for your finances and household.

10. Limit Your Dating Expenses

If you happen to be single, you may want to consider reducing your dating expenses.  Over the last couple years I went on 42 dates in 18 months and ended up spending close to $3,000!

There are tons of cheap date ideas out there that you can do to save money.  In addition to reducing your dating costs, a cheap date doesn’t have to be a horrible date.

These dates and activities mentioned above are all a lot of fun.  As long as you show the person you are going out with a great time, they will not be concerned about the cost (or lack of cost) of the date.

If they label you as a cheap date, then you may want to do some self reflection because you may not want to be with this person down the road.

11. Don’t Buy a Jones Lifestyle

Speaking from personal experience, I lived a keeping up with the Joneses lifestyle for about 15 years of my life.  This derailed a lot of my personal financial goals in my life.

Living this lifestyle set me back by at least a decade on my journey to achieve financial independence.

If you are currently living a Joneses lifestyle, my advice to you is sell it.  Not only will you be living stingy once you don’t have those expenses anymore, but you will also find new meaning and purpose in your life.

Those two things are greatly undervalued in today’s world.  I currently save about $30,000 a year since I no longer am trying to keep up with the Joneses.

12. Reduce Your Housing Costs

Another way how to live stingy in your lifestyle is to examine your housing costs.  There are so many ways that you can save money on housing by just knowing about simple tricks and educating yourself.

One of those ways is to consider purchasing a home warranty plan for the mechanics of your house.  I sold real estate for several years and many of my clients would often overlook buying a home warranty plan.

Ongoing maintenance of a home is generally 1% of the total value of your home.  If you have to replace specific mechanical items it can become very costly.

Items such as furnaces, air conditioners, and even some appliances can run thousands of dollars.  A home warranty plan on the other hand can be as cheap as $20 per month to cover some of these items.

Additionally there are things such as efficient window treatments and also upgrading your lighting (both interior and exterior) to LED that will save on your utility and energy bills.

13. Do Free Activities With Your Family

There are so many free activities for families that a family can do to save money and live stingy.  Depending on the time of year, there are a lot of free things a family could do such as sledding, going to cider mills, and even going to parks.  Those are all winners.

I often take my kids to the park so we can fly drones which equates to an hour or so of free entertainment.  After that, we sometimes have a picnic there instead of going out to eat lunch or dinner at fast food restaurants.

14. Take Your Lunch To Work

If you have a day job where you work in a major downtown urban setting, lunches can be expensive.  It’s very common to spend at least $15 a day for lunches in any downtown area.

If you bring your lunch to work for a full five days on the other hand, that would equal about a $300 a month financial savings.  That’s a huge amount of money that can be applied to your goal.

15. Consider Downsizing Your House

If possible do an analysis whether or not it would be worth it to downsize your house.  One of the biggest monthly expenses in a household budget is your housing cost.

If you are able to move to a smaller and cheaper home, not only will your mortgage payment be less, but so will other expenses.  Some of those would include your homeowners insurance and also your property taxes as well.

16. Get a Roommate

If downsizing does not make financial sense, there are other ways to live stingy.  One of those ways is to get a roommate.

By getting a roommate you will receive extra income that will go towards paying your housing costs.  This will help your overall monthly housing expense and you can also pay off your mortgage early with the extra rent money coming in each month.

You can work out the details of the arrangement to be just a flat fee per month or maybe that roommate will also pay a portion of the utility bills as well.

Whatever you decide, a roommate is a great way to help you reduce housing costs and live stingy with regards to housing.

17. Declutter Your Clutter

Going through all of your personal household items and clutter in your house is a great exercise to do.  There are also many advantages to doing this and also helps reinforce the message of living stingy.

By going through your items and getting rid of items you don’t need, you are forcing yourself to make decisions about what really are essential items in your life.

Living stingy should mainly focus on essential items that you need and not the items that prevent you from achieving your goal.

18. Be Stingy On Purchases – Join Cashback Apps & Sites

One of the great advantages of the Internet is being able to shop quickly.  Today there are a lot of cashback websites out there as well that offer tremendous benefits for the consumer.

These sites are free for consumers to join and there is no cost to them.

The companies make their money by referring you.  Using these sites is a great way to be stingy on your everyday purchases and finding the lowest price possible for the product.

19. Eliminate Wasted Time

With social media these days a lot of people waste time.  Well yes it’s a new form of media, but sometimes it’s not the best use of your time for your lifestyle.

Recently I reduced my time on social media which had a significant impact.

I found myself being a lot more productive in achieving my personal goals I had set for myself.

Being stingy with my time really forced me to use my time more efficiently.

Just like living stingy with your expenses helps achieve personal goals you set for yourself, the same methodology is true with time management and usage.

Out of all of the ways you can practice living stingy, this is probably one of the most important ones to follow.

20. Be Stingy With Your Consumer Choices

That’s right the choices you make when you buy products ultimately affect how quickly you will be able to achieve your goals financially.

If you are able to buy generic products, you will be able to save a lot of money.  Sometimes name brand products are double if not triple the cost of the generic version.

Cereal is an excellent example of this.  Often times, the same company is making the same cereal for the name brand and also the generic brand as well.  The only difference is the packaging of the cereal box and the name on it.

Advantages of Living Stingy

living stingy advantages

Financial Decision Making

If you are practicing living stingy then congratulations!  You have made an active decision to be involved with your day-to-day finances and have set goals on what you hope to achieve.

Placing Value On Purchases

All of the decisions and purchases you make now have meaning behind them.

Every time you make a purchase you are placing a value on that purchase.  You now have to answer the question by making this purchase does this help me achieve my goal?

Will this purchase bring happiness to my life and help accomplish my goals?

You are now in control of the journey towards achieving your goals.

A Productive Lifestyle

Up above I mentioned about being more productive with your time.

Once you eliminate the wasted time in your life every day, you can redirect that time and effort to achieving your goals.

Think of this as the fast track way to achieve your goals.  Since your lifestyle is more productive, you can complete things faster and quicker every day.  That in turn reduces the time needed in your journey for goal completion.

Disadvantages of Living Stingy


Yes you read that correctly.  Accountability could be considered a disadvantage to living stingy.

Many people go through life and are faced with no rationale on the every day purchases that they make.

As a matter of fact they make impulse purchases.

If you are practicing a living stingy lifestyle, you now have accountability in your life for every purchase that you make.

Remember it’s not living cheap but it is making a rational decision on purchases and expenses if they bring value to your life and help you achieve your goals.

Becoming Accidentally Cheap

If you are too focused on living stingy there is the possibility that you may become cheap on accident.

It’s possible that you may develop a mindset where you believe everything in the world to be just too expensive.

As a result, the psychology may tell you to just not spend money anymore on anything.  It’s important to do a reflection every so often of your spending patterns and habits to make sure this does not happen to you.

Living Stingy: How It Can Change Your Life

Living stingy is a great mindset to follow and one of the best ways how to deal with lifestyle inflation.  It’s also a great way to attain financial freedom and direction in your life.  By creating goals and setting a plan, you are taking the first step to control your financial life.

If you are the type of person who has always been struggling with finances, living stingy can change all that.

You will now be in control of your future if you follow the steps above.

Opportunities will cross your path that you probably didn’t know existed.

You can change your personal finance world.

All it takes is some goal setting and a plan.

If you are willing to do that, follow through and execute, you will change your financial future.

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