February 01, 2019

Frugal February Survival Guide

Good thing it's the shortest month of the year!

January was a cold, dark month… for our bank account! The decadence of December really hit home for us in these recent weeks. If Santa was a little too generous at your house, we’re sure you’re feeling it too 😭 Well, come on over to our Frugal February party, everyone’s welcome!

When you’re feeling broke, the best thing to do it buckle down and embrace it, right? Go full cheapskate for a month, build the bank back up, and you’ll feel soooo much better about everything. Even if it means opting out of your [favorite disposable indulgences] for a few weeks. That’s what Frugal February is all about: spending little or nothing on the “unnecessary” items on your want/need list.

(For the families of federal employees, we realize you are in a very different kind of financial agony! Here’s hoping that all of the outstanding paychecks have been issued by the time you’re reading this!)

Google “Frugal February” and hello, it’s a phenomenon! So at least we don’t have to be alone in our month of cutting back. Of course, everyone has their own approach to spending and saving, what’s essential and what’s an indulgence. Here are some general guidelines if you want to try your own Frugal February:

Identify your essentials. First things first, you have to know what’s off limits when it comes to spending. Things like rent, bills, gas, and groceries are pretty basic, non-negotiable expenses, right? But you can put some limits on the kinds of food you purchase by only shopping with a list (no impulse buying!), and save money by only buying items that are on sale or discounted. For example, a great way to save on kids’ clothes every time you buy is with Kids on 45th subscription boxes. You can get a whole season’s worth of clothes for your kiddo for less than $50. The average price of each item in our boxes is just $3.29, so cheap!

Do a quick audit. Frugal February can be a good motivator to reduce the recurring expenses that can be a hassle to tackle, like cell phone bills and cable TV service. Sure it’s a total pain to switch phone plans and providers, but Frugal February demands it! Go through those annoying calls to customer service and trips to the phone store now, reap the $$$ benefits later.

Find new fun. Nobody likes sacrificing, especially if it cuts into a fun time. If you’re really embracing Frugal February, you might feel like you have to say no to a lot of social events like after work drinks, restaurant meals with friends, and date nights. The trick is to get creative. Go out during happy hour. Have friends over to your place for a potluck instead of racking up a big bill out. Do date night at home: swap babysitting with a friend and designate the time to hang out with your honey.

Don’t go total deprivation. If getting a fancy coffee and a muffin and meeting friends at the mall playspace is the one weekly ritual that you look forward to, consider ways you can make it work. Maybe you only go every other week in February and skip the pastry. Or ask your friends if they want to take turns hosting a weekly coffee-and-kids playdate for a month. Who knows? Maybe it will turn into a regular thing!

Are you all about Frugal February? How are you saving money this month?

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