This is a guest post from Courtney Phillips

It takes a great deal of determination and dedication to be able to live within your means, especially when you’re confronted with all the things that are on offer at the malls and shopping centers that are dotted around town. It’s harder when you have kids who clamor and throw tantrums asking for things that they don’t need and which you cannot afford. But I’ve realized that it’s not that hard to pinch pennies when you really set your mind to it and follow these simple rules. So here goes, in order to help you face the economic downturn, I’m sharing my A-Z of frugal living with all of you:
  • Adapt to your situation, whether it be a loss of job, cut in pay or sudden emergency, without stressing about it.
  • Be careful with the money that you do have; don’t lend it to anyone or lose it through carelessness.
  • Cancel your credit cards – they only tempt you to spend more than you can afford.
  • Do not envy your neighbors or friends. Be satisfied with what you have.
  • Earn your keep; it’s easy enough to live with your parents and feed off their savings, but you only realize the value of money when you earn it yourself. Take up any job that allows you to live on your own or at least pay for your expenses where you live.
  • Factor in emergencies. Life is never constant, so you need to be prepared with a nest egg to take care of medical or other unexpected expenses.
  • Garage sales are good when you need a little extra money. You can also get rid of the junk that’s lying around your home in the process.
  • Home sweet home should be your new mantra – eat at home to save money, entertain yourself at home to save on the exorbitant costs you need to shell out at theatres, and spend more time at home to save on travelling costs.
  • Itemize, so that you don’t end up buying more than you have to when you go grocery shopping.
  • Jack-of-all-trades save money, so be one around the house. Pick up some basic plumbing and carpentry skills so that you don’t have to pay through your nose when there’s some work to be done around the house.
  • Kill time by creating your own garden. You not only have a healthy hobby, but you also get to grow your own fresh, organic vegetables and fruits.
  • Love what you do – it’s important that you be satisfied with your job to avoid being stressed and fall prey to various ailments.
  • Make the most of what you have, as opposed to cribbing and complaining about what you don’t. You’ll find that life is infinitely more satisfactory this way,
  • Never take out a loan that you cannot repay; loans come with interest rates that add zeroes to your initial amount with alarming speed. So be absolutely sure that you need the money and that you can pay it back according to schedule before you borrow it.
  • Open all the doors of opportunity that are visible to you; earn money through any legal means possible while you’re still young.
  • Pay only for necessities. If you buy things that you don’t need, you’re going to end up regretting the purchase when you’re in a more sober mood.
  • Quell those temptations, especially when you’re out with people who are better-off than you are and who seem to be spending like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Research your purchases well so that you get your money’s worth from them. You don’t have to buy the cheapest; just make sure you get quality stuff at discount rates.
  • Set rules for your household on how money must be spent. This will prevent unnecessary expenditure
  • Think twice, before you spend money on anything other than necessities.
  • Understand your family when they are frustrated because you don’t have much money to spend. Instead of losing your temper, explain to them why you must live as you do.
  • Visualize your future when you have to tighten your belt today, one that does not contain debts and a life of poverty.
  • Work, work and work as hard as you can.
  • Xercise regularly so that you don’t fall sick or become overweight.
  • Yearn for success, only then will you be driven to work for it.
  • Zip up your purse, tightly. It doesn’t matter if people call you a skinflint; you know you’re only being wise.
Courtney Phillips, the creator of, a website focusing on putting "you on the fast track to a better, more lucrative career in the accounting industry".


  1. Eero // Sunday, March 22, 2009 10:15:00 AM  

    Love this clever format for essential thrift guidelines!