Condo living is often associated with luxury and convenience. In so many ways, that’s true. Location is supreme, condo amenities are world-class, and comfort is of prime importance. But this doesn’t mean that trends in condo living do not value being practical, realistic, prudent, and even frugal.
The concept of frugal living isn’t really new. A lot of us have already been doing it out of necessity. But frugal living trends nowadays have been elevated as a matter of lifestyle, something that people do to live better. In the past, frugality was associated with negative connotations such as penny-pinching, tight-fisted, and even cheap. But times have changed and frugal people now are wise consumers and prudent human beings finding ways to live well within and even below their means.
A 2014 study on stress and health by the American Psychological Association found that money issues as the top stressor for American adults. This is what the frugal movement wants people to understand. Being frugal doesn’t mean living like a pauper in a hut or out in the street, but about enjoying a better quality of life that is simple and less stressful.
It is no surprise that home and condo trends now include a lot of recycling, do-it-yourself activities, and going back to basics. This is what frugal living is all about: reducing waste, saving resources, and living simply. Living in a condo doesn’t mean you have to live as extravagantly as what some people associate your choice of residence with. In fact, condo living will give you a lot of opportunities to live frugally. Here are frugal condo trends that you should know about.
Stop eating out of the box, start growing your own food
Home cooked meals have regained their charm. Suddenly, people subscribe to online cooking videos, enroll in cooking classes, and find people who can cook sexy. Condos in the Philippines recognize the renewed appreciation for home cooking and transformed kitchen and dining areas more functional and stylish.
So stop ordering take-out meals or calling for delivery. You have very good reasons to stop eating out of the box. You eat healthier and save money. It is also recommended to prepare your own lunch to bring to work instead of eating out.
Frugal living tells you to cook your own food and start growing your own food. Even if you live in a condo, you can grow herbs in the kitchen or create your own urban garden right at your balcony. Not only do you save on spices, your house will look more alive and vibrant with all those greens.
Get a roommate, split expenses
Are you living on your own? Does the idea of having a housemate bother you? If not, then get one. Finding a roommate, subletting, and putting your condo for rent are among the real estate trends today. And for good reason — split the bills, save more money.
Never mind if you live in a studio or one-bedroom unit. Haven’t you seen 18 sqm transformations yet? If you’re not home most of the day, getting a roommate is really a practical solution (especially a roommate that does not share the same shift as yours so you can still have the condo on your own). Having someone split the bills, association, dues, and monthly rent will allow you to put your money where it matters. You may also rent out your parking slot.
Embrace a sustainable lifestyle
Sustainability and green living are such big industries these days. After all, natural resources are wearing thin and we owe it to the next generation to protect the Earth.
Start this noble lifestyle at home. Unplug things that are wasting power. Don’t put appliances on standby. Get a power strip that you can flip on and off easily. Keep thermostat at 25 or 26 degrees Celsius and save on electricity bill while still feeling comfortable.
Open up more to let natural light and air come through. Make your own dishwashing soap and freshener, and use baking soda and vinegar as your main cleaning agent. Getting ideas on how to recycle things around the house is just one search query away. Some of the common things you can repurpose are plastic containers, empty bottles, newspaper, clothes, and even compact discs.
Ditch cable and find free entertainment
The good thing about technology is that it renders entertainment subscriptions, such as cable and home phone, obsolete. You know what makes that even better? Condo trends these days provide technology for free.
Ditch your cable subscription and use the free Wi-Fi in your condo. Major condos in the Philippines also invest in game rooms and entertainment halls, so use them. You can also try and be more active by playing basketball or pool. That’s not only free entertainment, you also make new friends.
Enough with clutter and fight impulse
Remember this: a buy one, get one bag for free promo only makes sense if you need two bags. Fight shopping impulses and stay away from malls. It would also help if you leave your credit card at home, and better if you pay off the debt and cut your card in half. Also, stop subscribing to e-mails of your favorite shops and brands to tell you about the latest sale and promo.
Adopt a minimalist lifestyle at home. Invest in a few pieces that you actually need. In choosing your wardrobe, go for ones that go with everything else. If you usually wear casual clothes to work, stop making an excuse for buying that ultra-expensive pair of leather boots that you probably won’t use anyway. This will also make picking an outfit less stressful. Two words: Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. Successful people stick to one wardrobe because they’re too busy changing the world to even stress out on what to wear.
When it comes to furniture pieces in your condo, don’t overdo it. Space won’t allow too many pieces anyway. If you don’t really need them, don’t buy them. If you have things you don’t use, sell them.
Do it yourself
Try to do things on your own and get a little bit more creative. Smart trends in condo living encourage you to “do it yourself.” This will take more time and effort but it could be more fun and educational, and absolutely more satisfying. Make it a family project if you must. Need things done inside the house? There’s always YouTube. You need to give a gift to someone? Personalize it. Need storage for books? Make one.
Save on transport, stay at home more
Ask your condo neighbors if they want to carpool with you or you can carpool with them. Use your feet and take the public transport more. Try to run multiple errands on one trip. Want to give bike-to-work a try? And finally, make staycations fun so everyone will be more excited about staying at home for the weekend.
Frugal living requires a change in mindset and lifestyle. Never think of it as a cheap effort, but rather an attemptrt to live a life that is simple and within your means.