5 Frugal Minimalist Lessons: How to Save Money in 2024

Ana Goldberg
by Ana Goldberg

What are the first two words that come to your mind when you think about money in your life? These words describe what money is for you, really.

For me, it is security and freedom. For some, it's status, power, confidence, achievement.

I am 41 years old now, and I have realized with years, that sometimes money in fact can buy you happiness. This is just the way our world operates at the moment, unfortunately. I do not love money.

I am money neutral. I perceive it as a means for living a decently good life. And as someone who came from poverty, I know the price of money very well.

Today, I want to share with you some simple truths about money, frugal living and minimalism, that helped me stay afloat in the most turbulent times. Hopefully they will have you save money in 2024 as well.

1. Diversify your savings

Saving is important, but not enough. I started having a savings stash at a very early age, maybe 8 or 9, by mimicking my parents, who always put away money, as I grew up in a very turbulent post-Soviet era.

I have always had an emergency fund, but it was not until recently that I started diversifying my savings, i.e. keeping my money in different currencies and in different forms. It could be on your bank account, on platforms like PayPal, in investments, and also in cash.

After I had to leave my Siberian home city in 2022, almost all my savings were gone. Diversification helps ensure the safety of your funds.

For example, if banks fail to perform their obligations, you will have other stashes and vice versa. If one currency plummets, you will be able to balance your savings out with another currency.

Bank savings

2. Being debt free is a privilege

If you are debt free now, appreciate it and try to keep it for as long as you can. I was lucky enough to get free education and free healthcare for most of my life, and even when I had to pay for something, I used my savings.

I never bought a house, an apartment, or a car. I used to have a credit card but I closed it almost right away because I saw how it could destroy my spending habits.

Being debt free is a privilege and partly a choice. Most people I know have debts, whether large or small, I know people who had to go through a bankruptcy procedure in order to write their debts off.

It is a very delicate topic and unfortunately, very often people are lured into taking a debt they either cannot afford or do not need. I will probably have to take out a loan at some point in my life, but for now I can keep this privilege and I am happy about it.

3. There is no shame in choosing cheaper options

Some people find it tacky to buy things that are discounted or to go to a lower price level grocery shops. In my opinion, choosing cheaper yet still quality options makes you a smarter consumer, not a cheapskate.

My father was a real master in finding good things at surprising prices, and I learned a lot from him. I love thrifting, and I know what materials and what food is good for me, and what I want to spend my money on.

In the early 90s, my family was very poor, and we lived off food that we grew ourselves and got clothes from humanitarian aid sent from western countries, which were treasures for me.

Living within my means and finding cheaper options has been an essential component for staying debt free.

Large house

4. Status symbols are mostly just money suckers

Perhaps some people need status symbols for their jobs, but generally speaking, I strongly believe that our personality and our worth should not be comprised of price tags and brands.

By refusing to spend money on anything expected to elevate my social status, I choose to own old refurbished phones, an old but reliable laptop, and an apartment on the outskirts in a not desirable neighborhood.

I believe that real status is in how you treat other people and the world around you, in what you think, read, watch, or do, but not in what you own.

5. Dream big, but be thankful for the small

People often feel discontent about their financial situation, and it is completely understandable. I feel that too, alongside with worry and even panic sometimes.

Unfortunately, our lives depend on so many factors we have no control over, such as the general state of the economy and the politics of our country. I have lost many opportunities, streams of income and overall financial safety due to these external factors, but this does not keep me from dreaming big.

Everyone’s idea of a big dream is different. For me, it is just living safely with my partner in our home, getting our cats back, adopting a dog and starting a little garden.

Your dreams can keep you motivated and excited about your future, but on the other hand, in some instances, they can also rob you of your present. Being in a financially challenging situation can make you resentful about what you have now, make you hate your job or your neighborhood.

However, we have to remember that we never know what will happen in the future. Gratitude helps keep your dreams fresh, crispy, and sweet. Try to avoid bitterness at any cost, in all areas of your life, as it is something that prevents you from living fully.

Save money in 2024

These are the five lessons about money that I have learned so far in my life. These are the reasons I am so interested in minimalism and frugality, and I invite you to incorporate these into your life as well.

What have been your most important insights in the area of finances? Share your thoughts and advice in the comments!

Next, check out these 6 Important Minimalist Lessons That Will Transform Your Life.

Join the conversation
  • Nikki Nikki on May 02, 2024
    great article.
  • Muhammad Faezin Muhammad Faezin on May 14, 2024
    This is a neat article I need (already shared it on WhatsApp group). As a minimalist myself, I'm learning to embrace it and incorporate it in my daily life.P.S: I love #4 - Status symbols are just money suckers Even though I owned Apple products (iPhone, iPad and iMac), 1 of my favourite Apple products is: Refurbished Apple TV 4K (64GB) Owning a refurbished Apple TV 4K is better than, owning an original Apple TV 4K besides, it's cost-friendly and sustainable. Perhaps, I want to incorporate it to my iPhone, iPad and iMac to suits my needs.