Being Frugal

11 March 2009
Those of you who are long time readers know that being frugal is just something I do. It is why I started this blog, to help others to be more frugal. I really hope that I've succeeded in that mission.

We have not always been frugal. In fact, we were once awful with money. I look back and realize how stupid were with our finances. Through homelessness, unemployment, having no electricity, and even having food stamps it seems we just made mistake after mistake with what little we had. We spent until there was nothing left. Then we went into debt. Pawn shops, payday loans, if it advertised helping low income families we ended up neck deep in it. We lost so much and it was really scary!

That was as recently as three years ago. What has changed? The way we think about and use money has changed. The biggest thing is we really think about every penny we spend. Well, most of the time anyway. Discovering coupons I feel saved our family. It takes so work, but the savings do add up and it is such a blessing! With the economy so bad right now, I wish I could help others to change their lifestyles so things wouldn't be quite as hard.

I want people to understand that you can live simply, frugally, and still be happy. WE are a family of four, with one income, living on about $1500 a month. We still eat well, have money for entertainment, and can have an occasional dinner out even after all the bills are paid. WE do not receive food stamps, but we do have help with the kids' medical insurance. It is hard sometimes, but we do it. No, we don't live in a fancy house, have new clothes, or extravagant furnishings. Our biggest expense is our car payment, but it was absolutely necessary. DH could not walk the 25 miles to work everyday. I guess we are extremely low income, but we don't see it that way. We are happy and don't feel deprived of anything.

If I had to choose one thing to tell people who are beginning their frugal journey it would be just really think about where your money is going. If you really start thinking about it, you will find areas where you can reduce your spending. Easy baby steps are starting to meal plan & cook from scratch, letting go over the morning coffee or soda on the way to work, starting to use coupons, or simply cutting cutting out unnecessary expenses. Baby steps lead to big things!

SAVING is good.


Kristin said...

I'm really working on being frugal. Spending is a hard habit to break! My husband actually has a great salary plus he gets's just that we've been financially "stupid" in the past and now we're trying to pay off debts and save money. I'm a big Dave Ramsey fan. For the most part, anyway!

Corrie at "Cents"able Momma said...

Great tips!

lynette355 said...

I know we could cut back so much more here. Like take out tv, get rid of pets, don't go out or take any extra trips, i could walk around this town as I have said it is not big. I know I could certainly do less on food as we do not really need to eat much. Switch to water than coffee or a soda. Use natural light and not electricity. Cut out computers to save there too! Hang clothes than use dryer. Lots of things.
But alas I am a whimp and don't do as well as I should.

Carebear said...

I can't believe you live so well on so little! I'm impressed! We are still struggling to adjust to life on one income. We're a one car family now, and have gotten rid of cable, scaled back cell phone plans, etc. It's still tight! Will have to browse around your blog for some frugality tips!

I actually just came by to tell you that the randomly-selected winner of the Cheesecake Factory gift certificate is Joy from Joy to the Blog. Thanks so much for entering my giveaway, and for becoming a follower! I hope you enjoy my blog! I try to visit at least 2 of my followers daily to spread comment love so I’ll be seeing you soon!

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Mom2fur said...

As you get more and more frugal, it's amazing at how little it takes for contentment, isn't it? Things I really, really 'needed' years ago just plain don't interest me now. And I love the 'financial high' of saving 45% on groceries!
When someone tells me they don't have time to clip coupons, I tell them this. Even if I spend 2 hours a week clipping and organizing my coupons, if I save $40, that's like being paid $20 an hour! Tell me what job, that you could even do in front of the TV, pays that?

Brooke said...

its hard not to get frustrated. my hubs and i rent, furnished with hand-me-downs, and still live on about $3K a month. i just don't know where we can cut more.

Frugal Sara said...

Very good tips. Just being aware of where you are spending your money can save you. I suggest also writing everything down that you spend. That way it is easy to track.

Great post!