Self sufficiency gives individuals a sense of independence and pride. The first step towards self sufficiency is to become financially independent and maintain an element of frugality within life, this cuts our required income down and allows us to invest more of our income into ourselves or our preps. The less money you spend, the less you need to make to survive.
Travel takes up a big chunk of time and money if you have to commute daily to work and around town. Carpooling with people that live and work in similar areas can potentially cut your gas costs and collective mileage in half, alternatively you can use public transportation methods such as buses, rails and ferries. Living closer to work is an even better fix, however with housing costs potentially being higher, a personal choice between cost and convenience may need to be evaluated. Another way to save on travel is work out of your home through remote work and telecommuting.
Living expenses can be cut by becoming aware of your energy efficiency and working to adjust your schedule to use less power during peak hours which may be costing you more. Maintaining proper insulation within your home can cut on heating and air conditioning. keeping your thermostat set to a baseline level can even out your energy bill. Cooling during the summer in hot climates will effectively double your electric bill so using fans and open windows to keep cool is a real saver.
Clothing costs are relatively easy to cut down on with a little effort. Go to outlet shopping malls where they have lower factory prices on top of sales, which can result in up to half off deals. Goodwill and thrift shops offer bargain deals for used clothing and consignment shopping at a discounted rate for good quality used clothing.
Food costs can be cut by buying non perishables in bulk quantity and cooking at home. Finding out the costs of hunting licenses and permits for your area is a good idea if you are interested in bagging your own kills, a good sized deer or elk can provide plenty of meat for an extended period of time if you have a large freezer and know how to safely clean an animal. Growing your own produce in a small garden is a cheap and healthy alternative to buying produce regularly, even if the yield is not substantially large it can still save you some money if you do all the work yourself (check out “secrets to a high yield garden” for further information)
Eliminating credit card and other high interest debt is a must. The interest payments greatly increase your cost of living and are wasted money each month. Going to a cash only model will not only give you more money but will also reduce your stress.
Cutting costs when it comes to living expenses is a good way to reduce the amount of time you need to spend working in order to provide for yourself. Sacrifices must be made in order to live frugally, however there are advantages to all your hard work in the end. You will get more time to work on the things that you care about and prepare for whatever your future may hold.