Category: Our Finances

Hitting Rock Bottom and Getting Back Up

It was March 2010. We found out in a few months we’d both be unemployed. We sat in the living room in silence watching the sun set behind the trees; wondering how we were going to pay the mortgage in a few months. Maybe even wondering how we were going to eat. What jobs could we even get? Our current careers were being decimated.

This wasn’t our absolute worst bottom yet, but it was what became our first rock bottom and what sparked the first glimmer of our frugal lifestyle.

For years prior, I had been saving my income to pay off my student loans and Chris was paying the minimums on his. We didn’t have a plan, but I wanted to be debt-free, even if it was just debt-freedom personally, but not as a married couple. The reimbursement I’d get in six months would be able to pay the last of my loans off (I was currently taking 3 post-masters courses and luckily the 1 year in my current position allowed me to get reimbursed for about 1/2 of it). Though, without a steady income that reimbursement would be important to just survive.

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3 Questions to Ask Before Investing in Your Company’s 401k or 403b

I’ll be honest. I’ve been a little afraid to start this blog and even more afraid to write about real world problems and how we can fix our own little financial worlds in the midst of all this chaos. I’m going to do my best to share my thoughts and let the chips fall where they may.

One topic I’ve researched a lot over the years, watched documentaries on, but personally do not fund are 401k retirement plans. We do have a pension system (while in disarray) that we are paying into and we fund Roth IRAs. We have the option to fund 403b accounts, but at this time we’re investing that money in paying off our mortgage.

If you want a true picture of the 401k (or 403b), read Why Your 401k Is A Scam! by James Altucher. So far, that’s probably the best piece of writing I’ve found that explains it straight forward.

I know not everyone will agree with me, but that’s okay. That’s why personal finance is personal. As long as you’re comfortable with what you’re doing, then don’t listen to anyone else.

One of the biggest things I’ve said to others who talk to me about personal finance is to ask questions. Lots of questions. If someone is coming to meet you in your work lunchroom to manage your retirement, you’re paying them. This isn’t a free meeting. They are getting paid in fees and bonuses for all the money they are bringing into their company. Don’t be fooled. Continue reading…

Keeping Up With the Mom-ses

About a month ago, I almost made a huge financial mistake on our path to financial independence and debt-freedom. I almost financed a newer car.

Since our second little baby guy Crab came along, it’s been a lot more difficult getting out the door every day with two kiddos in tow. For the first few months of his little life, while on family leave, I drove my oldest to school (or walked before my 6-week postpartum grace period, eeek!). In that time, I found myself envious of all the CRVs and minivans parked along the road, engines humming in the gorgeous fall air, waiting to pickup their cherubs.

How easy it looked to put your infant and toddler into their carseats at waist height. How simple my life would be if I just had a bit more room for strollers and a higher backseat so I didn’t have to bend over… A door that closes on it’s own? Cool.

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Frugal Momster Beginnings

I’m Kate Nesi, and I’m the Frugal Mom$ter!

I wasn’t always frugal, and I wasn’t always a Mom(ster). About 10 years ago, back in 2006, I was in a financial mess of thousands (and adding semesterly) in graduate student loans, a brand new mortgage with only 5% down + lots of PMI with my soon-t0-be husband, and no savings to be found. We were struggling week by week to make ends meet, we didn’t have a gauge on how to save money together, and we spent our Friday nights perusing the aisles of Target to shop shop shop after going out to eat meals we could’ve cooked at home.


We were planning our wedding, fixing up our new home, and trying to stay on top of monthly payments, debts, and adding to the pile in the process. While I never had consumer debt (I learned from others how horrible it can be early on in my young life), my soon-to-be husband at the time was drowning in a bit of it. It wasn’t pretty, but looking back after hitting our financial bottom, we’ve grown into a power frugal couple and have learned a ton of things about personal finance and added to our skillsets on top of it. If I had never come across a site about getting rich slowly, I probably would be far worse off today.

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