Spend Smart! Finding Frugality in an Economic Funk

frugality in an economy
Where do we start? | Image Credit: Konstantin Evdokimov (Unsplash)
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As the World Bank predicts only a 4.5% gain for the second half of Malaysia’s economic growth projection, the third time the projection has been lowered, perhaps it’s time frugality became one of our strongest skills.

Being financially prepared for an economic downturn is an increasingly necessary idea, given that most industries have been impacted severely by lack of mobility and stable funding. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have ample amounts of savings or family that can help in need, so being careful with your own money is a solid strategy!


meal planning being frugal
Value in using all the parts | Image Credit: Gareth Hubbard (Unsplash)

1. Plan your meals

It might be convenient, but relying on take out and delivery for meals burns a hole in the wallet pretty fast! Planning meals in advance not only gets you on a foundation of a solid diet and schedule, but it will also encourage true healthy eating as you buy your own produce and cook in in ways that allow for adjustments. In the long run, stocking up your own pantry and buying in bulk will prove to be the yummiest of economical moves!

2. Squeeze and scrape

Get every drop, and we mean EVERY drop. Dilute the soap, cut open the toothpaste tube, stand the bottles upside down! Frugality entails perfecting a certain level of ‘cheapness’, and getting the biggest bang from your buck when it comes to makeup, cleaning products, and even sauces and spreads.

Bonus: save some bones and vegetable scraps to make your own stock! Embrace a no-waste or minimal-waste approach when thoroughly using a product to get the most out of it.

cosy dog on used couch frugal
Sometimes, the best things come well-loved | Image Credit: Nathan Dumlao (Unsplash)

3. Save the stress for the test

Sometimes the best brands don’t necessarily mean a good assurance of quality. Clothes are not manufactured to last for the sake of seasons and fast fashion. Frugality says be content with what you already have, and keep the spending only to necessity. If something needs replacing, get a substitute that has reputation for being reliable instead of strategically recommended. Second-hand stores can be your best bet!

4. Embrace the ‘cheat days’

These days, are you more low maintenance, foregoing the pre-lockdown aesthetic beauty routines? There needs to be more of those. Getting a facial or fancy haircut is to be an occasional treat, and more styles can be recreated at home instead of spending into triple digits for a salon visit. Understandably, this may be dependent on the line of work you’re in (those in the hospitality industry, for example, need to care for their looks to a certain degree). Try some substitutes should you need to maintain a beauty regime! Homemade scrubs, natural alternatives, and even different ways to comb your hair can make a low-cost difference.

being frugal and investing doge coin
Invest smartly! | Image Credit: Executium (Unsplash)

5. Know your money

All in all, money plans are their most effective when you know how far your dollar can stretch. Saving strategies are best done with a goal, and so is investing for a long-term plan, gauging values during expenditures, and even with frugality measures in place. Being financially competent doesn’t just start with a movement to spend less, it is also a movement to spend smart.

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