11 Frugal Living Tips Millennials Can Learn From Baby Boomers

Millennials, who have a reputation for being high spenders and reckless with their finances, are reeling under massive debts. As per a report published by the Wall Street Journal, millennials in their 30s racked up debts for more than $3.8 trillion in the fourth quarter, a 27% jump from late 2019. On the other hand, baby boomers are heralded for their frugality and resourcefulness, which can be extremely helpful in the rapidly evolving economic landscape marked by high living costs and financial instability.

Read on to learn 11 frugal living tips millennials can learn from baby boomers.

Embrace DIY Skills

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Baby boomers learned basic skills like plumbing, sewing, carpentry, cutting hair, and gardening. They often handled various home and personal tasks, including home repairs, fixing things in the kitchen, gardening, and sewing or stitching clothes. Rather than engaging costly professional services for minor home improvements or repairs, this do-it-yourself approach saved them money. Through online tutorials or workshops, millennials can reduce expenses by learning basic DIY skills.

Practice Delayed Gratification

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As there were fewer credit options in the 50s and 60s, baby boomers grew up with the mindset of saving up for their needs or wants rather than purchasing on instant credit. This practice helped them avoid debt. Millennials can practice delayed gratification as well. By setting savings goals for more significant purchases and resisting impulse buys, they can build a buffer against financial emergencies and spend more thoughtfully. Practicing patience in financial matters can lead to better financial stability.

Prioritize Needs Over Wants

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Baby boomers were clear about their needs and wants. They focused on essential items for day-to-day living and avoided unnecessary or vanity purchases. They created a budget that prioritized their basic needs and adhered to the budget. By adopting this mindset, millennials can cut down on the culture of consumerism, where more is always less. They can thus spend on their priorities. This approach not only helps in not accumulating debt but also helps save for retirement or building an emergency corpus.

Cook At Home

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Millennials eat out frequently, maybe because they don’t like cooking, it’s more convenient, or they enjoy socialization. However, dining out or delivery is expensive. On the other hand, baby boomers prepared meals at home. Be it for office potlucks or birthday get-togethers, they made food at home. Preparing meals at home allows better control over ingredients and portion sizes and is cost-effective. Millennials can adopt this practice of home cooking to reduce restaurant bills. Planning meals and cooking in bulk can further enhance savings.

Repair Instead Of Replace

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Instead of replacing old items, baby boomers extended the life of their belongings through regular maintenance and repairs. This saved them money and reduced waste. Millennials can repair items like electronics and electrical appliances by learning basic repair skills. If the coffee machine is broken or the printer is not working, try to mend it first at home. This approach will help them prevent costly replacements.

Indulge In Second-Hand Shopping

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Shopping at thrift stores and garage sales was prevalent among baby boomers long before they became trendy, allowing them to find good quality furniture, clothing, and valuable household items at a fraction of the cost. Shopping at garage sales or thrift stores not only saves money but also helps in reducing landfill waste. Adopting this approach of repurposing pre-owned items and reusing goods instead of buying new ones can help millennials cut costs.

Use Cash, Not Credit

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Baby boomers often used cash for daily transactions, which helped them keep their spending in check and avoid accumulating debt. This method helps create awareness of money flow and stick to a budget. Millennials can adopt this practice by using cash or debit cards for everyday purchases to curb overspending and manage their finances better. A cash-based system helps with financial discipline.

Grow Your Food

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Many baby boomers grew their fruits, herbs, and vegetables, reducing grocery costs. Growing food at home can lead to significant savings over time. Millennials can follow the same practice by growing herbs and vegetables in small garden containers. If space and time are limited, they can join community gardens.

Indulge In Quality Over Trends

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Baby boomers often chose durable, high-quality items over trending items. They focused on longevity and functionality. Millennials indulge in fast fashion, where the focus is not on quality or durability but on chasing ever-changing fashion trends. This leads to waste and financial strain. Investing in well-made products, whether clothing, electronics, or home goods, often proves more economical in the long run.

Limiting Wants

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Millennials fuel the economy of consumerism with closets full of designer clothes, shoes, and accessories. Their kitchen has the latest electronic appliances, though they eat out frequently and don’t cook much. While baby boomers never had so many choices, they also had fewer wants. They didn’t need many pairs of shoes, ties, or socks in every color and print. Focusing on purchasing what is essential and limiting wants can help declutter home spaces and reduce debt. Ask yourself if you need that air fryer if you hardly ever cook or a cocktail maker if you don’t entertain guests.

Exploring Low-Cost Experiences

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International travel was less financially viable for baby boomers. Hence, they explored local attractions, traveled regionally, and indulged in low-cost experiences like picnics, parks, museums, and events in the city. Millennials can embrace this practice instead of spending on expensive trips abroad.

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