Being frugal in real life – what’s it really like

Being frugal in real life might not look like it in theory. There is chaos outside and everyone is different and has other priorities.
Being frugal in real life might not look like it in theory. There is chaos outside and everyone is different and has other priorities.

Let me tell you how it is to be frugal in real life. You might have read a lot about being frugal, but theory is often different from reality. 

The following experience is divided in different sections:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Going out
  • Wardrobe
  • Electronics
  • In conclusion


Actually, this was a rather big one for me. This always depends on the individual and the situation, but in my case, I could reduce quite a lot indirectly. 

I moved from a village to the city, but the rent didn’t change. In fact, I went from a 3 room apartment to a 1 room. However, I hate to commute and this is where I saved money. In Switzerland, a normal yearly general travel pass costs around 4300 Dollar, which is significant. 

As you can see, I saved on the train tickets needed to commute. In addition, I saved time, stress and got more flexible. I can take the bike or walk and I am a lot happier.


Regarding my food consumption, I certainly reduced it. In addition, I learned a lot about nutrients and ‘good’ food. 

I slowly stopped to eat desserts, really anything with sugar and also frozen convenience food. Note that I still eat them 2-3 evenings a month with my friends. 

You can Save money and eat healthy even if you don’t have much time.

I started to prepare food, that means that I cook once a week and prepare all the food at once. This enables me to save money (bulk) and time. Also, I don’t have to think about what to eat and cook three times a day. I just take my tupperware, use the microwave and four minutes later I have my meal.

Going and eating out

As I mentioned above, I still go out 2-3 times a month and do stuff with relatives or friends. I decided that it is worth my time and money. This point is different for everyone. Just know that having a nice day doesn’t mean it has to cost a lot. Go to a museum, take a trip or explore the city. Here are more activities: 17 Fun Things To Do With Friends That Are Budget-Friendly

I don’t go to restaurants very often, simply because they are so expensive. Therefore, they are a rare treat. 


This category might surprise you. I actually spent more on the single items of clothing, but all in all I saved money. 

Let me explain: I am fairly active and like doing sports. Therefore, I prefer synthetic clothes that breathe well and are light. In addition, they should also be casual so that I can wear them for almost every occasion. 

I decided to buy high quality clothes like Nike and after some testing I found my T-shirts, jackets, thermal underwear, trousers and more. On the other hand, Socks and long training pants are basic and cheap because I didn’t see any benefits.

As you can see, I did spend money on clothing. However, not in large numbers because I keep them for years and use them all the time. I find this solution better than having second-hand clothing that doesn’t fit in my lifestyle. 


For years, I played a lot on my gaming PC, which was at that time quite powerful with a GTX 1070 and a I7. Later I had a good salary and bought myself a smartwatch, a smart home (bulbs, google nest etc.) and more nice things. 

But, as time went on, my joy and motivation vanished and now I play maybe 2 hours a month. I find it quite interesting, because I just lost motivation to play games. So, I sold my PC and the two screens. Later on, I began selling my smart home accessories. Recently, I decided that I don’t even need my smartwatch. 

So, I got to a point where I have AirPods, a phone, a powerbank and a laptop.

In conclusion – Being frugal in real life

“Generally, the changes were not too extreme, but still substantial. I always tended to live rather frugally,so I reinforced my tendency and learned a lot of new things!”

The citation above is what I always thought, but I was wrong. Actually, I spent money on most stuff that nowadays I warn about in my other articles like Best ways to save money.

You should take an hour from time to time and reflect about your spending. You might think that everything is good, but that’s where a budget and keeping track of your spendings helps.

Anyway, I eat my prepared food, live my day, make things with my friends and don’t spend money on much else.