Place heavy limits on your consumption.
If you think you might get into something, it seems that the move is to buy gear to allow you to do it.
Beware hobbies that require you to buy new gear.
The fun comes from researching gear, getting to talk to people about it, and the interaction of learning. The actual activity could be secondary.
Bodge a solution.
Bodging a solution is the method of engineers, artists, and dreamers.
What do you have? - Need a soldering iron? Do you have a source of heat and a thin screw driver? You might not even need to buy solder and flux, but just remelt what is there.
Borrow - Does a friend, colleague, acquaintance, or someone who owes you a favor have it? Can you make one?
Make it yourself - Need a bookshelf? Do you have wood, nails, a hammer, and a saw?
Multipurpose > Monopurpose
Have tools that do multiple things before you get single-purpose things.
Get a pot and a pan and one knife (kitchen, paring, it does not matter much). You can cook almost any meal in the world with those tools.
Better to have a pot, pan, and a knife than a device that only makes hard boiled eggs.
When do you get single-purpose tools?
Maybe you make like 8 hard boiled eggs a day, then you could probably benefit from a single-purpose tool. Or maybe not. Is it easier? Is it worth the cost?
Generally if it is something that you do often and would be easier.
What are qualities of things you could buy?
single cost items - instead of things that require a subscription. instead of buying a bunch of subscriptions, you could buy physical DVDs.
durable items - things that last a longer time. if something breaks a bunch, that is something like a subscription.
complete items - some items require you to buy other items, bias against those. for example, you buy a nice new jacket, but now you need a whole new wardrobe to go with it. instead, buy things that go with you.
workflow items - while you can cook with just the tools above, it is nice to have a measuring cup. then again you can use any of the thousands or reusable things we have. while you can cut wood with a saw, if you are building things a lot, then getting something electric may be nice. then again, maybe you like the art and exercise of cutting wood with a saw. tools that provide for necessities (food, shelter, water) and work, and health, and art.
art and exercise - tools for art, but like limit yourself, artifically with bodging. art is born in constraint. exercise and health.
When should you splurge?
clothes are weird because you do not need to splurge, but there are certain items that are worth it.
how to deal when other people judge your for frugalness
when you say you do something weird, people that are small-minded and scared will check around to see if some authority thinks it is okay.
if they think it is cool, than the little lizard will feel more at ease.
also they cannot see the benefit of a full functioning bank account
what is worth it to have?
exercise and health - get a 35 lbs kettlebell and a 53 lbs kettlebell. run outside. pushups. get a pull up bar and install it into a wall...get pipe and screw it in. you will get a sense of if weight-lifting is worth it. you can try out a gym for a few months at a low cost to 'try out' whether you like weights or not. just get a free day or week pass, or hop in with a friend membership. get a 300 lbs weight set (plates and a bar).
camera - use your phone. for me, a dslr is worth it for very specific things that i like having it for, but for the most part a dslr is too bulky to carry around day to day. smaller is better. more convenient is better. seamless is better. but that is just me. if you are doing something different, then maybe it is worth it for you. all these things are context dependent. a waterproof camera is nice if you are going to go to the beach all the time and actually spend time IN the water, going snorkeling.
general principles - smaller is better. more convenient is better. seamless is better. unless you are doing something specific with it, follow those principles. is the orange juice worth squeezing all that fruit? do the pros outweigh the cons?
laptop - work, creation, so many things.
tablet - maybe. mostly as a consumption device. again if you use it to do digital art drawing, then that might be different.
clothes - basically think of clothes first as something to protect you from the weather. that prevents you from like trying to derive your personality from clothes.
maybe put it this way:
tools of daily living
live - food, water, shelter (including clothes), pay bills
work - get money
play - art, socializing
food - so many things, but imagine a cuisine. something that your ancestors ate. your body probably can process that. something that anyone's ancestors ate (less processed foods, more staples). diets are complications and fads. pretty much universal eat mostly dark leafy greens (every culture has them), protein (or fish), and carbs (you need them, but not a lot). eat a multivitamin. consider that all the bullshit diet stuff is mainly white people trying to find culture. also that lots of the things that people say in America for for well white, middle-income, cis men...and now women. people say, "beans give you gas" like it is a universal law...no, beans give you gas because you are white and can't process a bean. "drink milk" is another one, no most of the world is lactose intolerant and also the dairy lobby was really good at that. drink water. eat food that works. people call rice empty carbs and bad for your health, and i'm like there are healthy japanese people living into the 90s with better health than you, and they crush rice.
water - drink water, avoid anything else. caffeine works for some people, but mainly it is to purchase energy. make sure you have the basics of sleep down first, including that you do not snore. boba occasionally. alcohol...gets boring.
shelter - safe, warm, comfortable. in that order. people buy into the house is your personality or your wealth. the most wealthy people i know, well, lots of them get small, luxury apartments, and rent them. i would argue that lots of people cannot actually afford their house. house should be a minor expense and for most people it is a majority of the expenses. that is almost taken to be a given. it is common, but it is not correct. you can eventually reduce it.
clothes - a subset of shelter. that is how it should be considered. clothes should protect you from the weather.
work - what do you need to make money. safely as well. like if you are a writer on a computer, get an ergonomic keyboard. a standing desk (does not have to be expensive, think boxes on a normal table, make a table, buy something that functions). i would say that like consider that work requires costumes and like include that as a cost of work (that is, subtract it from your earnings). like if you think you earned $100 today, but you had to spend $50 going out with coworkers for lunch, then you earned $50 and like your work bought you a $50 lunch. a business owner i knew had a simple office, and the employees were like...it would be sweet to have a nice office. and he was like...we could do that and pay everyone $10,000 less per year. and everyone was like...give me the money instead. now if you can have both, then that is nice, but realize they are taking away from your bottom line.
perks - things you use vs things you would pay for. some people think that like, well,
play - art and socialize spend money here, but also, realize that you do not need to spend much money. likely the laptop and phone, pen and paper already have the functionality that you need.
spend your money purchasing your financial freedom
spend your money improving people's lives, close to you, then further out, being positive force in the world, reducing entropy
big ways to save money
consider that you want a standing desk
use a normal table and move around
make a model - use cardboard boxes
make something nice yourself - make a stand, make a new desk
purchase something that functions without the premium - an adjustable height workbench is better built and works the same
biking is an example of a sport with a premium - you can buy clothing that costs very cheap, but like, if it is biking specific, now the price is usually 2x - 4x at least. high visibility gloves are like $80, yellow high visibility work gloves are like $10.
share things - kind of like borrowing things, but like a little different.