Frugal is as Frugal Does!

Staying with the theme of my last post, I wanted to elaborate on my pledge to live beneath my means.  For years I lived on the edge of financial ruin and didn’t realize it.  I made good  money, had multiple credit cards and never thought anything would go wrong.  Who….me??  Anyway, you know how that worked out for me.

After I crashed and burned financially I was terrified of it happening again.  I saved every penny I could find.  After all, pennies make dollars! I also opted to eliminate all, ALL unnecessary expenses for at least six month.  I cut my cable, house phone, subscriptions, extras on insurance and every frill I could find.  I subscribed to multiple frugal websites, decided to “shop” from my pantry for at least one week a month instead of going to the grocery store, and to make my own cleaning products when possible.  For cleaning, vinegar is my old standby.  I mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 2-4 drops of concentrated dish liquid and water in a spray bottle and I use it to clean counters, windows, and most other surfaces.  I also decided to make  my own laundry products such fabric softener and laundry detergent.  There are a ton of free recipes on the internet; look around and find one you like.  I also make my own fabric softener using Alberto Vo5 conditioner, which is .69 a bottle.  I pour the conditioner in a gallon container, fill with warm water, shake well and use a cap full per load.  When I want more scent I use a couple drops of essential oil.   I carry my lunch and snacks to work–bonus–I’m eating much healthier!  I don’t want my lifestyle to sound like drudgery and doing without.  That isn’t the point I want to make.  By saving money in as many areas as possible, I have the opportunity to spend consciously rather than absent-mindedly.  When I want a pedicure, I get one.  If I want a new outfit, I buy one.  However, I make sure it’s not an impulse, trendy reflex purchase.  Added bonus here-I look better too!

Keep track of all of your spending for at least three months.  I was living in denial and did not realize I have a problem with eating out.  A LOT.    I also became a big fan of Dave Ramsey and Suzie Orman.  PAY off debt first!   I hope you’ve gleaned a few ideas to save money and improve you consciousness of spending.


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