Living a frugal lifestyle is not something that needs to be unpleasant. Unfortunately, with the recent concerns about the economy and with people worriedly tightening their belts across the board, living frugally has gotten something of a bad name. The truth of the matter is that living frugally, or living well within your means, is surprisingly simple to do, and it can even make you appreciate what you do have instead of pining for what you do not have.

When you are thinking about how to live frugally, take a look at the places where you are wasting money. Most of us don’t know when we are throwing our money away, and you’ll find that this can be an enlightening experience. Everyone has different spending habits, and you’ll find that the best thing that you can do is to start keeping a journal of everything that you pay for over the course of a week. No matter how small or trivial it is, if you pay for it, put it on the list. You may be surprised at where your money is going and this can tell you something about your spending habits. People waste money oftentimes by not realizing that they are spending it in the first place.

If you want to start living a frugal lifestyle, start by making a budget. Put together all of your living expenses, including things like rent, car payments, grocery bills and gas money, and then write down how much money you make. This is your budget to start with. Part of living frugally is going to be living within your means, and part of that is identifying what you have to work with! Figure out what your bare necessities are, and then take a long look whenever you get ready to pay for anything that is not on that list. You may want to allocate a small entertainment budget that you can spend as you please.

There are lots of places that you can look to when you are thinking about cutting costs. Consider any luxury services that come into your home. Do you really watch your cable television channels, and do you really enjoy all the subscriptions that you have? Cutting your costs starts with the luxuries, but it can go on to your groceries. Start planning out your meals and you will find that your grocery bills start looking smaller. Avoid eating out and this can save you quite a lot of cash overall. Keeping things like this mind can help you get started when it comes to living a frugal lifestyle and you’ll find that it tends to get easier as you go.

Finally, live within your means. This is a poor time to buy something that you are not sure how to pay for. Keep your purchases as vital and as within your budget as possible. When you want to live within your means, always make sure that your necessities and your utilities are paid for first and that you save as much as you can.

Aaton Maston writes family money saving tips for Cheapspenders, which is a money saving website that offers tips and advice on saving with grocery coupons, automotive supply savings, food and travel tips, starting a small business, and much more.