– Crap. Hey guys, it’s Dana. And it’s Tuesday so it’s
time to talk about money. And in this video, I’m
gonna share with you 30 frugal hacks. Okay. So this is your year. This is your year to get
out of debt, to save money, to just live more frugally. And I like to think of
myself as a frugal person. I think of frugal as a positive
term, not a negative one. Hopefully you do as well. But basically it’s a way to help you to get more control of
your finances to save money and stop spending so much, have a smaller footprint on the planet. Okay? Alright, so you know how I
like to get right into things, so let’s get started. Number one, to live more frugally, and this is no particular order, is to use up your products
to the very last drop. If you like beauty
channels here on YouTube, then you might have seen
some of the empties, those videos where they talk about the things that they’ve
used all the way up until the bottle is empty. So, we take that quite literally, empties, and we use up our bottles, our products, our shampoos, soaps. I even put a little water
in the bottom of the bottle, mix it up so that we get
every last drop out of it before we use it, and it has saved us a lot of money. Second is to work from home if you can. I work from home one or
two days a week for my job. I’m very fortunate to have
that opportunity to do that, and it helps to save us money in gas. So I’m not driving as much. And when we do drive, if
you can’t work from home, then at least try to plan
out our trips in the car. Be very thoughtful about it. Don’t just drive around or
you go out and come home, “Oh, I forgot to go get that. “I gotta go back out again.” Because it will cost
you more money and gas. So try to minimize the
amount of trips you take, or carpool with people if you can when you go to work. That’s another fantastic way
to cut back on your gas money. Number three is to go to the library. Go to the library for books or use a library app on your phone. That’s what I do for audiobooks. And that way I can read
a ton of books for free. I don’t have to buy the books. I can just borrow them from the library. Our kids borrow a ton of
books from the library. They’re really into that
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and they’ve read every
single book in the series. They read it at night every
night, and they borrow it. They take it out the
library at their school, but you can also utilize
the library for activities. There’s a lot of great programs, especially over the summer at our library. So the kids go, and they have
gaming and stuff that they do. They have all kinds of
good things, puppet shows, stuff at the library. There was a magician at our library so you can go and have free fun. It’s not a bad thing. You can shop at the Dollar Tree. Okay, the Dollar Tree is a
big deal, again, on YouTube. If you’re into watching YouTubers, then you probably seen a lot of people with their Dollar Tree hauls. And the Dollar Tree has been going strong for years, and years, and years. And you really can get some great things at the Dollar Tree,
especially around birthdays. That’s where we get all of
our birthday decorations, plates for parties. It’s great. If you haven’t shopped the Dollar Tree, you’re really missing out. So give it a try. Utilize reusable products. For feminine products, I have always used. Not always, not always. When I was teenager, not so much. But now as an adult woman, I use reusable feminine products. So this is cloth pads, those DivaCups you can get. They work great, they work fine. No problems, and I love them, and I never ever have to
buy disposable products. And so, I highly suggest it. Also, cloth wipes for your
babies, cloth diapers. If you’ve been watching me long enough, you know I have over 85 video tutorials on how to cloth diaper your baby. We cloth diapered our twins. It’s fantastic to get into, especially if you’re just
starting out your family. You can reuse the same cloth
diapers for future children, and you only have to build your
cloth diaper stash one time, and then that’s it. You can use those diapers
over, and over, and over again. It has saved us thousands, thousands of dollars to cloth diaper, and also to use cloth feminine products. Also, in our kitchen we
use cloth hand towels, instead of paper towels. So, un-paper towels, right? Don’t buy disposable paper towels, because it’s going to
cost you a lot of money. Napkins and towels. For paper towels, you can
just use cloth hand towels, and then you just wash
them, use them again. You can get bright colors, make it fun. We fold them up and we put them
in a basket in our kitchen, and we’ve been doing that for
years, and years, and years, and it’s been fine. Obviously, live below your means, okay? Right, live below your means. Spend less than you make. If you want to be
considered a frugal person, this is sort of a duh, right? Live below your means. Don’t spend as much as you make. And then have an emergency fund. Okay, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to have
an emergency situation. It’s a matter of when. So, eventually, something
is gonna happen unexpected. So you have to set aside some money in order to be prepared
for that emergency because it will help you probably
to make a better decision. So, if something in your car goes out, you blow a tire and you
need to replace that tire, and it’s unexpected, you’re gonna need to have
some money on the side to pay for that tire. But probably, if you’re not stressed out and you have the money, you most likely will comparison shop. Compare different places and how much they’re gonna
charge you for tires, where you can get the best tire. You can think more logically and calmly about the purchase of that
item that you need to make if you’re not stressed out about money, and it will help you to be making a more affordable decision. Okay, it’s true. If you don’t have the money, you’re just using a credit card, or if you don’t have that
emergency fund set aside, most likely you will spend more money on the item because
you’re just stressed out, and you just go with the first person, first place you go to. I don’t know why that works
that way, but it does. At least from personal
experience, that’s how it works. The more money we have in the bank, we have an emergency fund, we actually spend less money
and make better choices on the purchases that we do
make and spend less money. Cook at home, don’t eat in restaurants. Obviously, you’re not being
frugal if you’re eating out constantly for all of your meals. And if you are cooking at home, then if you can prepare foods in bulk, or do freezer meals, that’s gonna save you even more money. The more things you can make from scratch, the cheaper it’s going to be. I love rice, I love beans. Really, I do. And I also eat a plant-based diet which helps to lower our food budget, because we’re not buying as many meats. And so, cook at home. Don’t eat out. It’s going to save you money and probably be healthier because people who eat out in restaurants a lot, I mean sometimes those kitchens are dirty. I don’t know what those people are doing, but you can really get food-born
illnesses much more easier if you’re eating out much more often, and it’s just not good for your heath. So along the same lines is to stay home. So my husband and I are
natural home buddies, and so that really helps us because we like to be home. But we don’t go out as often as much. Honestly, I know this is
kind of me being paranoid, but when we go out and
there’s a lot of crowds, just because the state of the world, the way it’s been the past few years, I feel nervous. Not that that’s gonna stop us from doing things we wanna do. I try not to let that rule my life, but I feel like it’s just, I just enjoy being home. We find things to do things
at home that are free, like playing games,
watching movies together. We take walks. It saves us so much money that we’re not out all the
time with entertainment, and I feel safer because
in really large crowds you do think about shootings and things. Anyway, so, speaking of that, try to redefine your
sense of entertainment. So if you are used to
going out and going to concerts, plays, restaurants, anytime you wanna do something fun, you think, “Oh, let’s go shopping.” I love going shopping,
it’s so fun to go the mall or wherever you go. You have to try to retrain yourself, redefine what you think of what comes to mind when you think, “I’m gonna have fun with friends “or fun with my partner.” Try to think of different
things that you can do. And honestly, it doesn’t take too long, and you can, because you
humans are adaptable, you can create new habits for yourself. Sort of like if you’re a smoker and you’re trying to keep smoking, and if you keep going
to the same restaurants and hangout places and
hangout with the same people that you always did
while you were smoking. It makes it really, really
difficult to quit smoking. So they suggest you try to form new things that you like to do that
doesn’t involve smoking. So you can kinda retrain
yourself with money, too. What are some new things you can do that doesn’t involve spending money that you really actually enjoy and that you might actually find that when you think, “Oh,
I wanna have some fun. “I wanna relax, so I’m gonna do this.” and it’s free because you’ve
been doing it long enough. In the beginning, you might feel like you still wanna go shopping. But over time, you’ll retrain yourself, redefine your sense of fun into something that’s more affordable. So, frugal people find
hobbies that are productive. So, crocheting might be one of them, because then you learn how to crochet, and that can be a hobby, which I did learn in
college with a friend, how to learn how to
crochet, and I was able to. I can make Afghans if I want for us to use blankets in the house. It’s very cold in Pennsylvania right now. Or, I can get them out as gifts, which gives me an affordable way to create a gift for someone. I can make scarfs. There might be something else. Gardening, if you wanna get
into gardening, that’s fun. Not only will you be
being outside, outdoors. It’s healthy, enjoyable. You’re having fun doing it. You may be growing food for your family, so that you can lower your
grocery store spending if you’re growing your own food, right? So that’s a win-win situation. So, frugal people then go onto YouTube and they watch how-to
videos, how to do stuff. You can learn on YouTube how to do anything, really, anything. You wanna learn how to
do, you can YouTube it. I was trying to teach
myself how to play piano off of YouTube videos. I was doing pretty good
a couple years there, but then I stopped. You can learn how to do stuff by watching free YouTube videos. All you need is an internet connection which most of us have on
our phones or on a computer, and you can learn how to do stuff without having to pay
someone to teach you. Alright, frugal people
save all their money, save their change, save their pennies. Okay, because I think
it’s interest how people when they get change back at a store, if they’re paying with cash, they don’t keep their change. They sometimes put it in the trash. I find change on the
ground and I pick it up. If you save all that change in a jar, you can take it to a
Coinstar or coin machine at your grocery store or the bank, and you’d be surprised
how much that change can add up to be. That’s actual money. Alright, so, fixing things, right? You gotta fix things as best as you can. So, instead of just replacing stuff, we use things sort of like the products that we use, the shampoo bottles, until the very end. So, this is appliances. We try to fix it. Just like with your car,
you gotta try to fix it. A lot of times it’s the hassle factor is enough to prompt people
to just buy something new. Our oven wasn’t working. It just stopped working, the oven, and it was annoying. It was annoying to have to YouTube it to figure out how to
replace the heating element inside the oven. But my husband and I did, and he was able to… He found he could purchase
the heating element online, on Amazon, or some
appliance parts place for $12. So we ordered the heating element. Then we watch the YouTube video, and we replaced it in our oven. And so, that was $12, and some time, and some hassle, granted, to replace the heating element, but then now, then the oven works. So we didn’t have to
replace the entire oven. We just were able to fix it. So you have to try to fix things as best you can. So rea give it an effort before you just immediately
go to replace it because it will be more
affordable to fix it than to replace it almost every time. And so, since we just
were talking about cars. Frugal people drive the
same car for a long time, without a car payment. So, frugal people pay for cars with cash, which is what we do, and then drive those cars all
the way till the end, okay? So if it’s functioning, then you drive it. Just because it has a high mileage or just because it’s been five years, you finally paid it off, “Oh, I paid off the car.” which is this is what a lot of people do and what we used to do. We have a car payment, and then five years are
up, we paid off the car. Yey, now it’s time to trade
it in and get a new car, because our car payment is up. But really, why? That car is still
functioning perfectly fine. And so, if you want to be able to invest that car payment money and build wealth, or save money, or get out of debt. Then the best thing to do is to drive the same car as long as you can, and try to fix it as long as you can, at least until the repair
cost more than the value. Then you probably would have to sell the car and then trade up in car. Not a lot of if you’re
trying to get out of debt, but you get what I’m saying. You get me. Okay, so we live in a
1,400 square foot house and we have six of us in our family. And the kids share bedrooms. I shared a bedroom growing up. I share with my sister, and her and I are really close, and I almost feel like we’re closer because we shared a bedroom. And I don’t think it’s
necessarily a bad thing. In America though, a lot of people buy these enormous houses
with huge mortgage payments. That’s gonna make it
really hard to build wealth or to do other things, save
money, get out of debt. So, living in a smaller home, our kids like to watch the
Tiny House Hunter show on HGTV or the Luxury Tiny Homes or whatever. These are houses that
are like 200 square feet, which is too small for us. But these are really small homes and it’s interesting to watch
to see how people really, they do, they can live in smaller spaces. And so, if you try to switch your mindset and just think like we’re, minimalism, right? So, this is another great thing. So, if you try to switch your mindset, which I said in previous
videos many times before, to living more of a minimalist life where you make it as if that’s your goal, to cut back on stuff, get rid of things, even if you’re not a minimalist, this is retraining yourself. Try to get rid of some stuff and try to downsize your home or wherever you’re
renting, where you live, try to downsize, make it smaller, and just do it on purpose, as if intentionally
that’s what you wanna do. It will save you money because your utility bills would be less, your rent or your mortgage
payment will be less, and you’ll have more
money for other things. And really, are you using all that space in your home that you’re living? Is it really necessary
to have all that stuff? Does it bring you joy? So, it’s definitely something to think on to live in a smaller
home, smaller property, less grass to mow. It will give you more
time back in your life to do other things that
maybe have more value to you. Okay, and so, buying, right? You wanna buy used, used cars, unless you have a really high net worth. I don’t see the value in
buying a brand new car, because the value of that car is going to drop significantly, just the minute you drive it off the lot. So we buy used cars,
at least two years old. Somebody else then had
taken that hit in the value. So I think that’s just
a smart thing to do. Let someone else take
the hit in the value, and then you buy it at
least two years old. Buy used cars. We buy used, a lot of things used. We buy clothes used, furniture used. I love Goodwill. I just think it’s fantastic. We have a really awesome Goodwill near us where they have amazing. So many clothes, they are like brand name, with tags still on them. So I feel really lucky in that sense, is that we can wear clothes
that look perfectly fine and they’re just $2 for a shirt. It’s just amazing, amazing prices. So that saves us so much money, especially because we have
four kids who are growing. So, shoes, I don’t buy new. I don’t buy shoes used though. We buy new shoes, because this I think are important. Anyway, that’s something else. Okay, so, moving on. Pack your lunch, right? So pack your kid’s lunch for school. Pack your lunch for work. Don’t buy out. I have coworkers every single day. I see them walking over to
the cafeteria and they buy. All that money really adds up. And so, I just think it’s, again, healthier, and so much more affordable just to pack your lunch. And that’s what we do. Frugal people plan and make goals. You have to plan ahead so
you know where you’re going. Goals are so important, I think, just from a personal standpoint to have something that
your striving towards. I think it kinda makes, helps you become a better person. And goals are something
that you have an actual idea of how to get there. It’s not just a wish or a dream. It’s something that you
have written down on paper. You remind yourself of it. Very often throughout the year you talk about it with people. You say, this is what we’re gonna do, whatever that is. We’re gonna save money for this. And then you actually
take steps to get there. So, I think that’s just an
important thing in life to do, is to have a plan. I always tell the kids. I say, what are the most
important things in life to have a successful life? And it is to have a plan and avoid debt and follow God. So those are the things
that are really important. So yeah, so have some goals. Alright, so you have to budget. Budget, right? What is a budget? A budget is a plan. That’s basically it. You need a budget every
single month, a new budget. Every money, you have to create a new one, a unique budget where you put at the top of the paper or the top of your spread sheet or the top of whatever you’re using how much money you expect
to be getting in that month, and then how much money you’re gonna be paying out to bills, to
your savings account, to whatever. So then at the bottom of your sheet, there’ll be a big fat zero. So that every single dollar knows where it’s going, you have a plan for it, and that’s gonna keep you on track. Okay, do a budget. Camp out or go camping. Frugal people go camping so I’ve been trying to do this four years now in a row now. We do it over the summer. In the beginning, I
don’t like camping, okay? I didn’t grow up camping, but it’s a fantastic way to save money. If you can do it, it’s like
a fraction of the cost. $20 a night, right? So, give it a try. I suggest doing it for
one night or two nights at a local campsite, state park. That way you can sort of figure out what kinda supplies you need, what kinda gear, how you like it. That way you can head home if you’re having a really bad night. When we started that, we went to a place that’s 45 minutes from our house that way I figured we could
get home at night if we had to. Frugal people don’t smoke
or drink a lot of alcohol. All those cigarette packs,
they’re expensive, right? And alcohol can be expensive. So try to cut back on your vices. It’ll save you some money. Try to cancel or limit your subscriptions. Okay, whether this is Netflix. You could have newspaper,
magazine subscriptions. You might get those
boxes where they send you boxes of products in the mail. I think sometimes people sign
up for these subscriptions, and then they’re just like on autopilot. And then they’re getting them and they’re not using them anymore, but it’s just, again, it’s too
much of a hassle for people to go and figure out how to cancel it. I had some subscription to Amazon Kids. Amazon FreeTime. Kids had a subscription
to Amazon FreeTime, and I couldn’t figure
out how to cancel it. So, every month, we were getting
charged this subscription, or every year I just. So, finally, I had to
take the time and sit down and go in and figure out how to cancel it. So, just check your subscriptions and see if there’s something
that you can cancel. And then speaking of canceling, cutting cable is a good idea,
if you still have cable. Does anybody still have cable? I don’t know. But you can get one of those antennas, and you can hook it up, and just get the free antennas. And then if you have, we have Roku that was $10 or something. There’s ways to get TV now, YouTube, that you don’t need to
be paying for cable. Cutting your own hair. I need a haircut. I’ve been cutting the kids’ hair. I learned on YouTube, and I’ve been cutting the boys’ hair. I even cut the girls’ hair sometimes. But you can go to a haircut
school if you want to, and they’ll give you cheaper rates. So that’s a great idea if you can look for a school nearby. You can go and get it done there, and that’s gonna save you money. Hang dry your clothes. Our dryer has broken several times, speaking of fixing appliances earlier, but we hang dry clothes, and we’ve done it because the dryer broke, and then also just to do it. I use to hang dry all the cloth diapers. That’ll save you a lot of money on your electric bills. You’re not running your
dryer all the time. And then in the winter months, too, it helps your air in your
house to be moisture. Is that the right word? So you don’t have to
have humidifiers running. It’ll help keep you healthier if your clothes are hang drying
in the house in the winter. And it makes me feel like I’m European, which kinda makes me
feel cool when I do it, because, supposedly, I’ve
never lived in Europe, but everybody there, most people, not everybody. So, pretend your European
and hang dry your clothes. Alright, and then drink water. Better for your body anyway. Water is free, or cheaper if
you have a filter that you buy to filter the water. But water, just water it up. Stop buying sodas, drinks. My husband used to drink a ton of iced tea and all this stuff. I mean it’s just so expensive. Alright, so don’t… And if you wanna have iced tea, just buy the tea bags and make it at home. Try to minimize how much
you’re spending on drinks, because you gotta remember
there is water available. We’re lucky to have water
so readily available. And so, try drinking water, more water than you are now. Make it a challenge, because it’s healthier, too. Okay. Alright, you guys, so what
are your frugal hacks? What are your frugal tips? Leave them down below in the comments. And like I said, make this your year to try to save money, get out of debt, live below your means, okay. And partially, to do that,
is to live more frugally. So, thrifty, thrifty, frugal, they’re all positive terms. Not negative. You don’t have to be living without, okay? I don’t feel as if I am breadth of things in my life. And the kids don’t feel that way. It’s not like we’re
living this militant life and making the kids live without stuff. We enjoy our lives. You can still have a life of abundance and be living frugally. Like I said before, you just have to redefine
what abundance means to you. It doesn’t have to mean a bunch of stuff or spending a lot of
money on things, okay? Alright, so, if it’s your first time here, be sure to subscribe. I’m here every single Tuesday
talking all about money. We’re a family of six living
in the Philadelphia area, and I work full time
outside the home in finance, but I enjoy doing this. I enjoy doing it, so I keep doing it, and it’s been years now, seven years. Alright, so thank you
guys so much for watching, and I’ll talk to you guys next week. And be sure to check out my blog. If you have it, I’m trying really hard to post more often. I have a new goal for this year. Every year I feel like I have this goal. I have a new goal this year to post once a month on, not once a month, once a week on my blog. So I’m trying to stick to that. Just check it out. Debtfreedana.com. Okay, alright, talk to you later. Bye guys.