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The 5 Rules of Frugality

Pinching pennies doesn’t have to ruin your quality of life.

Trent Hamm, author of The Simple Dollar and writer of the popular website, says you can save and stay happy by following his simple rules:

1. Don’t give up the things you love.

Thriftiness should never outweigh happiness. It can lead to happiness, however, by helping you save for the bigger goals in life that you’ve dreamed about.

2. Find inexpensive ways to enjoy what’s most important to you.

You don’t have to own the books you read or the movies you see. There’s plenty of free music on your radio and computer. Public golf courses require no membership.

3. Cut back on anything not crucial to your happiness.

If you’re not defined by the clothes you wear, give thrift shops a shot. Gourmet food may be central to your existence, but you can cook it in low-cost pots and pans.

4. Never go shopping without knowing exactly what you’re getting.

Don’t even enter a store without a plan, or you risk purchasing something you don’t need. And it’s the things you don’t need that sacrifice your dreams.

5. Use the “30-Day Rule” for purchases.

Jot down the item you’re considering on a piece of paper, then give yourself a month to think about it. Use the time to find it at the lowest price—and to ask yourself if you truly want it. If so, go for it.

Adapted with permission of FT Press, an imprint of Pearson.