How to Live Frugally in India? – 17 EFFECTIVE WAYS

Ankita Kamat

“How to live frugally in India?”- Are you thinking to adapt to frugal living as an Indian? If yes, then you are making the right decision to secure your future. Frugal beings are always smart with their money and they live life happily by being very resourceful.

As an Indian girl, I’m walking on the path of frugality since my school days. In fact, now in my 20s, I’m happily learning and exploring new ideas to be more frugal. In reality, frugal living helping me to get the life which I desire.

I’ve realized that frugal living helps to boost financial growth. So I made up my mind to understand the concept of frugality deeply. This is how I started to make a thrifty living as my way of living life.

How to Live Frugally in India?

How to live frugally in India without compromising a good life?

By implementing simpe frugal tips you can live frugally and save more. As per my observation in India, each individual is different when it comes to frugal being. Some people are more frugal and some people are less frugal.

Now in my early 20s, I’ve experimented some practical ways to be frugal in my life without depriving myself. And daily I try to be more resourceful in my life. Frugality helping me to save more money and also accomplish my money goals.

17 EASY Ways to be FRUGAL in India

There are many practical ways to be frugal in day-to-day life. I would like to share my experiences and knowledge about frugal living in my current blog. Let me elaborate on all important points here which will help you to be resourceful in life.

1. Use CashKaro app to save money

I’ve signed up for and opened my account on CashKaro. This is a mobile app that provides cashback on online shopping. Usually, I’ve seen that when we get cashback we get money in our e-wallet which we should use only for online shopping. But from this app, we can transfer our cashback to our bank account.

Through this app, one can shop from any big online sites like Amazon, Flipkart, Naayka and much more. There are 1500+ websites where you can make online shopping. Then you will earn cashback if you make payment via this app. This app is really useful for Indians to save money on online shopping.

Steps to save money on online shopping in India

1.    Sign up or log in to CashKaro

2.    Select cashback deal which you like

3.    Then click on ‘visit retailer’ and buy products

4.    You will get cashback in your CashKaro account

5.    You can transfer that cashback to your bank account

2. Use your spare time to make PASSIVE INCOME

When you earn more money then you can save more money. Saving money and earning money both are equally important while adapting to frugal living. I’ve personally explored many passive income ideas to make money in my 20s.

Remember, there are individuals around the planet who are much younger to you and have already started to explore passive income ideas. These are the people who will have the most wealth when the days become rainy.

How to Live Frugally in India?

3. Look for FRUGAL VACATION tips

Vacations are meant for relaxation and enjoyment. But this does not mean that you should spend a lot of money to have fun during your vacation. I’ve figured out some effective ways to have fun during vacation without making a big hole to pockets.

Frugal living is all about enjoying life without wasting or overspending money. So know how to live frugally without depriving yourself.

4. Make MONEY from your smartphone

If you are a student or if you want to make some extra money then you can make money on your smartphone. I’ve seen that nowadays youngsters are spending more time on social media. But imagine all of your friends are wasting time on social media but you are making money on social media. You feel exciting, right.

Well, I feel really lucky because I belong to generation z. Gen Z has more online passive income opportunities to make money. So start to adapt frugality and also be financially independent.

5. Use a bicycle and SAVE MONEY in India

In countries like the Netherlands, people give preference for a bicycle ride. People go to offices or work by riding a bicycle. This is such a practical way to be frugal and to save the environment from pollution. I personally liked this idea.

But in India, even college going students use a bike or scooter. Well, during my college days some of my classmates were riding a bicycle. And there are many health benefits as riding a bicycle involves physical activity. So I advise youngsters to save money on fuel and ride a bicycle.

How to Live Frugally in India?

6. Save Money on Groceries and Vegetables

Grocery shopping is an important part of our life. And I feel that if you give a little attention while grocery shopping you can save a lot of money at the end of every month. And I give preference for monthly grocery shopping rather than weekly shopping.

When you buy groceries for a full month in a bulk quantity you will get discounts on price. So take such simple steps to save more money. Well, I’ve shared all frugal tips to save money on grocery shopping in one of my blog posts, you can check this.

While buying veggies also look for seasonal fruits and veggies. Also, you can grow some veggies at home like tomatoes, chilly, etc. Find out a local vegetable market where you can buy veggies at a low price.

How to Live Frugally in India?

Recently I’ve visited a city called Gokarna in India. I’ve captured these pics in the vegetable market. Well, in Gokarna I’ve got fresh veggies at a very reasonable price. So whenever you visit such places don’t forget to buy fresh veggies at low prices.

7. Use solar electricity as much as possible

Solar electricity is the best solution to save money on electricity. There are so many solar electronic items like a solar water heater, solar tube lights and much more. All these require a one-time investment of money but in the long run, you can save more money on your electricity bills.

This is the practical idea to be frugal and save money. If you can’t change all your electric connections into solar electricity then at least you can use some of the products which require solar power.

Solar power bank
Solar mini light
Solar fan

8. Encourage Indian  women to be FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT

As an Indian woman, I’ve seen that still, some Indian women are not allowed to do jobs in India. But I feel that when men and women both be financially independent then the financial responsibilities will be shared equally. This will help to save more money. And most importantly this will empower women to lead their life well.

Nowadays there are so many opportunities for women to make money. Women can make passive income by working from home. Even I’ve created my blog and I work on my blog from home, this is how I’m making money from the internet.

9. Get MONETARY BENEFITS from Indian government schemes

I have personally heard about some government schemes. My relatives are living in Goa state. And a few years ago my cousins who are living in Goa they applied for one government scheme. That was all about free laptop distribution to 12th standard students. So you must look for such schemes and apply.

As I was working as a clerk at the college office, my students were coming to me to apply for various government scholarships such as Vidyasiri Scholarship (Karnataka State), Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scholarship etc.

Apart from student scholarships the Indian government also encourages to start your own small scale business. So be aware of such schemes where you get a loan (with low-interest rate) to start your own small business.

10. Celebrate Indian festivals in a SIMPLE way by adapting FRUGALITY

Are you thinking about how to live frugally in India? Well, in India, people celebrate more than 100 festivals in a year. And Indian women are very fond of celebrations. Even Indian males took an active part in the festivities. But in my friend circle, I have seen that some of my friends celebrate each small festival very grandly. They buy new clothes, new accessories to celebrate the festival.

I’m not against the celebration of festivals. But I feel Indians spend a lot of money on festival celebrations. As an Indian, I can say that every month one new festivity occurs. If festivity is not there then I’m sure there will be any other family functions as a wedding. So Indians should take care of money matters more while celebrating.

You don’t need to invite more people and celebrate small festivals. Keep your guest list very small. This is how you should be very practical while thinking about frugality. And don’t invest huge amount on clothes, jewellery, decoration and all. Keep it simple.

11. Visit career counsellor to choose the right career and grow  financially

Indian students are not much aware of career counselling. Even I was not aware of it. But now I’ve seen some people who went for career counselling and now they are really doing great in their career. So according to me, frugal living is not only about saving money but also spending on the right things.

If as a student you spend some money to opt career counselling then your future will be really bright. You will really grow well financially and in all the terms.

In India, career counselling is not much popular. So students end up spending money wrong academic course and wrong career path. And ultimately they can’t get a good job according to their wish. All this will affect financial growth. So you must know how to live frugally in India as a student.

12. Avoid visiting sales in India frequently to SAVE money

In India, we can find sales and exhibitions often. And all Indians are aware of the mela (fair). But most of the times such sales are not good for your pocket. In such sales, you will not get good quality, durable products. So avoid purchasing low-quality products in fair or in sales.

As per my observation, Indian women visit fair or sales more often. Here you may get various things like bags, clothes, sandals, toys and much more at very less price. But you must also focus on the quality of the products. So avoid wasting your money on such low-quality products which are not durable.

13. Don’t SPEND MONEY on new vehicles at the age of 18

In India at the of 18 youngsters can get a licence. And this time as a young boy or girl you spend money to have your own vehicle. But instead spending money on a vehicle if you use that money wisely then you can even start your own small business. Have you ever think like this? No? Well, not you can analyse your spending habit and take wise decisions.

It’s not necessary to buy a new vehicle just because your friends are riding their own bike or car. Avoid such peer pressure. Instead of spending money on vehicle and fuel use public transportation more. You can just look at the background and history of successful people, they all were very simple and resourceful. So be frugal and follow a simple life as a youngster. Now if you adapt frugal living you will have financial freedom in your future.

14. Try to solve the underemployment problem in India to EARN MORE

In India, most of the youth always complain about underemployment. Underemployment means underuse of a worker and getting less salary. As India is having more population, we are facing such an employment problem in our country. But instead of complaining about your job and less salary you must figure out a solution for this.

Even I myself faced this situation of underemployment and less salary. But I saved some part of my salary by being frugal. Then I started to chase my dream career. So even if you are earning less, start to be resourceful and save some part of your income. Then with that saving, you can learn any new skill or even start your own small business. By this, you will be boosting your earning capacity. So in India, it’s very necessary to be frugal in your 20s to reach a better financial place in a very near future.

15. Don’t delay your PAYMENTS

Never ever delay your payments. If you are a student then pay your admission fees, hostel fees or exam fees on time. Otherwise, you will have to pay extra money as a fine. So never create such a situation where you end up paying extra money. Be a sensible student.

And also one should look after all other payments also. If you have taken any loan then clear your loan first. I say never take any loans but if you have already taken then clear it first.

16. Save money on electricity in India

Use CFL(compact fluorescent lamp) to save electricity. By this, you can save a lot of money on your electricity bill. Even I have CFL bulbs at my home. So take such simple and practical steps to be frugal in your daily life. If you use normal bulbs then you will get more electricity bill, so use CFL at your home.

And always turn off TV, mobile charger, fan, AC or any electronic device if you are not using them. All this may look very silly and simple to you. But by doing this you are practising to be more resourceful. All these simple steps will help you to learn how to use your resources carefully. And you save more money by inculcating such habits.

17. Indian teens should be encouraged to be THRIFTY

During my teenage, my dad has opened the bank account for me. There was a scheme for students, so I’ve got my first bank account as a zero balance account. That scheme was especially for students to encourage saving. So I used to save money and deposited money in my bank account. I think this is really a practical idea to encourage teenagers to save money.

By this teenagers will learn to be frugal and start to save money. According to some survey, teenagers start to spend more money at the age of 13. So if you are a teenager then you can open your own bank account and deposit money. And if you are a parent then you should encourage your kids to be frugal and save.

Usually in India parents show a lot of love to their kids. They fulfil all the demands of children but this is not the right way. When I was a kid or teenager, my parents did not fulfil my silly demands. So by this, I’ve learnt the importance of money and the importance of being frugal.

As an Indian, if you are thinking about how to live frugally in India, then implement these practical ways. Don’t think that frugal living is very difficult. Take simple steps to be thrifty. 

Ankita Kamat

I'm Ankita Kamat, the creator of Frugal Beat, a blog dedicated to frugal living. Join me in exploring practical ways to save money, reduce waste and live a purposeful life. Let's embrace frugality as a lifestyle together.