Welcome to a column from The Financial Diet, one of our very favorite sites, dedicated to money and everything it touches. One of the best ways to take charge of your financial life is through food and cooking. A version of this post originally appeared on The Financial Diet.
When we explore personal finance and living below our means, we consider which expenses are necessary and which are discretionary. It’s easy to identify our Netflix subscription, dinners with friends, and facials as discretionary. Without them we’d survive, but they give our lives that extra bit of luxury or fun that makes everything better.
And when it comes to necessary expenses, it’s easy to list housing, groceries, and clothing. While it’s important to scrutinize your discretionary expenses to see if there are more frugal ways to entertain yourself, few of us look at how we can optimize our essentials. We know it’s important to try for a good deal on fixed expenses like housing, whether that means negotiating rent with our landlord or remortgaging our property to pay less each month, but when it comes to those necessary expenses that can fluctuate wildly each month, it’s easy to slack off.