When you hear the word frugal, do you think of coupons and thrift store shoppers? I think of frugal as being smart and thoughtful with money and time. I’m one of those who practices a frugal by choice lifestyle, so hopefully, I don’t find myself in a position of frugality by necessity.
I have committed to be fabulously frugal for my remaining years. Luckily I can save money on my daily commute which saves money for fun travel . I recently joined the Vanpool program at work which saves me about $150 a month on gas. The money I save goes into my travel fund.
For a while, I got caught up in the travel rewards and points game.
Rewards programs that give me the most bang for my buck and compliments my frugal by choice lifestyle.
- Starwood Preferred – I use my AMEX for just about everything and get points toward free hotel rooms.
- Total Rewards – Who doesn’t love a little Las Vegas trip once in a while and this program always has free room offers, I just pay the resort fee, usually $25 a night.
- JetBlue Airlines – I think this is the best low cost airline. Great leg room and smooth flights. JetBlue if you are reading this, may I please have Mosiac status?
- American Airlines –I use their shopping portal to double dip on points earning.
- Ebates – A little cash back on things I buy online.
- Gift Card Granny – Only use discounted gift card if you are sure you will keep what you buy, otherwise, you may find yourself stuck with a store credit instead of a cash refund.
Review Your Credit Card Spending
Going over a years’ worth of credit card and bank statements I found my trigger points are clothes, shoes, and beauty products. Of course, this makes sense now, because until you find your “perfect” fill-in-the blank item I kept spending money on the same things. Now I know not to settle and buy something because it’s just “almost” perfect. I can’t even count the number of lipsticks I purchased looking for the perfect neutral pink before I found it, and then it was discontinued.
I simplified my wardrobe so I can stop always trying to find the perfect this or that. Now I have the classic white shirt, black pant, cashmere sweater, striped t-shirt, jeans, leopard jacket, leather jacket, and more than a few pairs of perfect shoes and boots. It may sound boring but a great pair of shoes a good haircut with a well-selected accessory equal’s affordable and chic style.
Review Your Loyalty Rewards Memberships
Currently I’m in the process of canceling all my reward programs for department and clothing stores. I receive too many marketing emails and not enough real savings. All those temptations to buy stuff I don’t need doesn’t fit with my frugal by choice lifestyle. I’m deleting the shopping Apps from my phone. I looked at the last time I accessed each app and frankly I just don’t use them so why have them cluttering up my phone and messing the aesthetics of my home screen.
Regarding my Sephora and Ulta Rewards programs, I’m planning on canceling both. Honestly every time I tried to use an Ulta coupons the item I was purchasing was “excluded”. The coupons are mostly good for drugstore type products, and I can get those cheaper and with additional coupon savings from CVS.
Another area that was simplified is my beauty routine; I found that one lipstick that flatters my complexion, a moisturizer that doesn’t make my skin break out and a neutral shadow that just screams Parisian chic! Also, throw in a quality Made in Italy mascara for $10 and scented body lotion and viola you saved yourself a boatload of cash.
My next simplification project will be my purse collection.