Just curious who else is living super frugal

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by HeatherLynn, May 17, 2011.

  1. TallChickMagnet

    TallChickMagnet Songster

    Apr 30, 2012
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Well, let me explain myself:

    Frugal = Riding a bike to work to save gas. Poor = Riding a bike to work because you have no money for gas.

    Frugal = Buying a used car when you can afford a new car. Poor = Not having a car.

    Frugal = Raising chicken in order to keep your food bill down. Poor = Raising chiken in order to eat.

    Frugal = Buying clothes at a thrift store because it is the hip thing to do. Poor = Buying clothes at a thrift store or go without.

    Frugal = Working until you are 75 because you just want to work. Poor = Working until you are 75 because you never made enough to retire.

    OK, I'm not really that poor, but I feel that I'm close.


  2. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I'm actually good with being poor. Government would label us as such because of our family size, even though we live better than most because of the financial choices we make. I think living well and within your means is an art form. We strive for a quality of life our wealthy friends cannot afford( by their own choices). I don't take poor as an insult though. Its true enough by society standards. I don't take it as a hindrance to fulfilling my dreams either though. Poor or rich, frugal is a great way to be. Living a sustainable lifestyle that is less stressful gives a greater quality of life. Living debt free keeps you from being a prisoner of the banks and credit cards. I'm pretty happy.

    I just did the budgets through Christmas. We are a bit behind setting our year end goals so I sat this morning and worked through our finances. Before Christmas we will have 6 months living expenses saved up AND all cards paid off. The only debt we will have left is a small school loan. We are building a house mortgage free on our farm so I would say another year and we will have no debts at all. School loans will get paid off 4 years early if my plans work out. All on one income. Very thankful. Poor isn't so bad when you are free from debt. I thought Dave Ramsey was nuts when I first looked at our finances and income and his plan but I have to admit its starting to feel better and better every month.
  3. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Crowing

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    I am trying to be frugal and haveing a hard time with it I think becuase Im so use to haveing almost nothing. Now that I have the money to have pizza from dominos or something once or twice a month I find my self doing it knowing that I should spend it in a better way but when I grew up we were lucky if we got a single happy meal or somethimes just a burger and shareing fries kind of thing . Any one have tips for being frugal when your pretty tight cash wise . I mean I dont have a car I dont have a bike I have to budget bus tickets in or ask friends to take me shopping for grocries and out idea of a major splurge are things like buying a little giant bator for 50 bucks or going to the movies a couple times a year. I dont mind so much though Im always looking for thoughts or ideas the way I look at it in the end is how can I be mad or sad about being this way when I can put food in my sons belly and a roof over his head and a few toys for him to play with , when in a lot of places in the world there are mothers that have to watch there child not only go hungry some times but starve to death and there isnt anything they can do about it to me thats truely poor.
  4. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I think a way to do this and make it a touch easier is to set short and long term goals. When we started it was very very hard. No vacations, no special outtings, no presents, no eating out. NADA We bought only what was needed to live on and it was wicked hard and horrible. The kids hated it. All I ever said to anything was no but it had to be done. We needed an emergency fund and we needed to get our bills paid down so things were not so barely scraping by. So I made budgets out 6 months. Each month I tried to find some way I could shave a bit of our expenses down to put toward the emergency fund. Initially our goal was 500, then a thousand. We took an honest look at our finances and figured out what we had to get our bills down to in order to feel less like we were barely surviving.

    We write our goals down. Usually the beginning of the year we sit down and set goals for our year. We were a bit late with that this year but as soon as I was able, thats what we did. It gives us a focus. Each month I do the same thing. Each month has a written list of goals. Granted I budget in ice cream dates with the kids now and maybe a special meal here and there. We tend to cook most of our special meals because my kids are spoiled on home cooking. Splurging on a few nice steaks and sides to cook at home is tons cheaper than eating out. For the cost of going out for pizza, I can put on a pretty yummy meal.

    Anywho I still do even after all this time each month try to find a way to improve our money management. Its a constant challenge. Just keep at it. Even small changes and small goals can make huge impact in the long run.
  5. Raiquee

    Raiquee Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Big Bend, WI
    Being frugal is hard, but like heather says, goals are a good place to start. Once your goals are out in the open, it motivates you more. I also agree with budgeting treats. You work hard for your money, and it's to fun to see if every paycheck go just towards debts. Budget it an ice cream run, or if pizza is your thing do that. Coffee is my pleasure, although I make a lot of my coffee drinks at home now. I do "treat" myself to a Starbucks now and then when I have to go there and study. I hardly makes stops on my own, where before I was there once a night. Stupid!!

    Gardening is my other simple pleasure, and luckly that goes with being frugal so I am always budgeting in plants and seeds for the garden. Summer garden goes in this weekend!!

    Eta: a few other things...

    I don't want to continue with all the bills I have right now. If I was to continue, I would be paying bills like this til I was 57. (assuming with a 30 year mortgage. ) I don't want to do that! I want to have that house paid off early 40s. In order to do that, I need to free up a lot of our monthly expenses. Two car payments, credit cards are the main culprits. I plan to have one car and 2 credit cards paid off by August. Then I have 1 car and one credit card. Then after the cars are paid off, we will only get one vechile on a loan at a time ever again. Two is too much. I figure I have 4 years to get rid of all our debts, because then my student loans will need to be paid back. I don't want to be paying any other debts at that time.

    Hubby told me "I want to have a good retirement put aside, so we can do things" I can't due that with a mortgage until 57. I also want hubby to retire early as he works a very physical job and that Is very wearing on his body. I'm not sure how long he will be able to work it.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  6. How to cut your grocery store bill by 90%!

    Here in Texas we have a grocery store chain called HEB. ( http://www.heb.com/home/home.jsp ) OldGal has left her security job at WalMart and moved to HEB. Last night she witnessed something that surprised her. A lady came into the store and searched out all of the expired stuff. Produce, canned goods, frozen foods, everything! Some were only 1 day out of date, but they were expired.

    When she got to the checkout, she told the cashier about their status. The cashier called a manager who gave her everything at 10¢ on the dollar. She says she does this once a week. I don't know if it's only this one store that will do this or if it's HEB policy, but it's worth a try. [​IMG]
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Wow, that's clever! One of the supermarket chains here said if you find anything expired on their shelves, they'll give it to you for free. I found a pot of yoghurt once... They were horrified. They must have people employed for the sole purpose of checking expiry dates!

  8. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Crowing

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    I will have to go check with my local stores and check it out. Along those lines I watched a documentary recently talking about expired food and such here is a link to the website but I just watched it for free on nextflix watch instantly

  9. In His Service

    In His Service Wise Men Still Seek Him

    Apr 25, 2010
    Absolutely unbelievable...so much waste!
  10. Blame the legal climate. Everyone is afraid that if they let people into the dumpster and they get sick... [​IMG]

    That's why so many places lock their dumpsters now.

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