Category: Family

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I’ve been busying preparing for our summer vacation by reading Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I know, it sounds super fun to spend your summer decluttering the house, right?

I’m surprised to find myself relating to her childhood, as I often was told my bedroom looked like a hotel room. I’d ebb and flow from collecting items to place all around my room, to clearing it all out (either donating it or storing it in a bin in the closet) to make it simple, empty, and tidy. I love a tidy space and I despise clutter.

Our current home has become an untidy place, in my mind, as to all of the things we’ve either brought with us from our old home, accumulated while living here, or have been given over the years. I have a hard time saying no to freebies, most often finding a way to utilize something we’ve been offered. Over time, though, we’ve built up quite the collection of items that might better serve someone else; especially when it comes to children’s toys and clothing. Continue reading…

Am I Frugal Enough?

I’ve been feeling a lot lately that I’m an imposter. I have no plans to retire at the age of 35, be financially independent on a homestead in the woods in a few years, or plan to travel the country without a care about my income because I’m living off of dividends. I don’t want to quit my job, though I do want to be free of a mortgage. I do drive a car on occasion to pick up my son on a nice day just a half mile; especially if we are on a time crunch. And I do splurge on unnecessary goodness from time to time.

I started this blog with the hopes of sharing what being frugal means to me and telling the story of frugality and enjoying modern pleasures in the process. Lately, it’s started to feel less me and more as if I needed to prove myself “frugal” enough.

One of the greatest things I always come back to about being frugal is: choice. You may choose what’s important to you and what’s not. When you live frugally and below your means, quality seems to make more sense despite the higher cost at times. It’s being frugal vs. cheap, and being in control of your finances. Continue reading…

Don’t Buy Change

Over the past two months, I’ve been doing a challenge to remove alcoholic drinks from my life entirely. It’s called “One Year No Beer” and is entirely free (as of now). I found in the first 60 days of the 90-day challenge I’ve started to change in more ways than I could’ve imagined. Removing that spending category has also opened up quite a bit of savings from my bi-weekly allowance. I find myself with extra spending money each month, just saving it aside. In addition, I started an elimination diet with the 8SAFE program to focus on my health and get back to square one while finishing the 90 day OYNB challenge and that, too, has changed how I view food and social situations entirely.

The choices to change who I am, how I look, how I eat, and how I react to stressful situations didn’t cost as much as not making these personal changes and continuing to spend money on alcohol or processed foods. These hard choices not only are changing who I am at the core in a healthy way but also are putting cash back in my pocket; as side effect I hadn’t entirely considered before trying them.

Some of the ways we spend money to change ourselves could be otherwise diverted to debt-freedom or other goals. Continue reading…

How to Get the Best Price When Buying a Car

I wrote over two months ago about my desire to buy a newer car, but that it felt more like an impulse purchase than a real need at the time. I didn’t want to take us off our financial path, and surely didn’t want to buy a newer car upon impulse. The type of vehicle I had test-drove several times would’ve done so easily. Last week though, that all changed with a twist of fate starting on Tuesday night.

First, before I share this story, I want to let you know Chris and I swapped cars before Christmas. Both the same Hyundai Elantra model, just his a silver hatchback which I prefer and mine a two-year older blue sedan. I had planned to have him run up the miles on the blue car (he commutes far), so in time it would be ready for a trade for what I truly wanted to get; which I still wasn’t sure.

Continue reading…