"A Jack of All Trades is a Master of None, but oftentimes better than a Master of One."

What if I biked to work?

Before becoming officially Mrs. FM I always enjoyed riding a bike, and Mr. FM is even more enamored with bicycle riding. Back in 2006 or so, I didn’t keep great records of big purchased back then, I went to a fancy bike shop and bought my first adult bike.

My big girl bike was a basic blue Schwinn cruiser, with a big comfortable seat and a basket on the front. I knew nothing about bikes, researching bikes, or gears and the like. I was a biking amateur. All I knew is that I wanted a comfortable seat and $400+ later I shoved a bike into my tiny Accent and drove home with Chris squished in the front. From there my foray into the world of adult biking began.

At that time, we lived in a relatively okay area for biking, though the roads were all rather high-speed town or county roads, with few shoulders, and lots of traffic. The food store was down a huge hill and up another major hill, so the ride home always was a walk because with 1 gear and straight up there was no way I could get myself and gallons of milk up safely. I also worked nearby, about a 10-mile roundtrip commute and my goal was to ride to work on a regular basis, as well as to the food store and oftentimes, even to the gym. Continue reading…

No New Clothes: May Update

Another month has gone by, to make it over 6 months since I went on a clothes shopping ban. Let’s see what happened this month…

I didn’t purchase any new clothing, but I did receive 5 shirts as a part of registering for 5 running/triathlon races. Two were from local 5k races, one from a triathlon, and 2 tank tops from virtual 4 and 6-mile running races. Whew! I didn’t realize how much I spent this past month towards races, but they were all donations to charity for the runs, except for the triathlon (which I did not complete, bummer).

Continue reading…

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…