Sunday, June 27, 2010

Real. Frugal.

"Thrift comes too late when you find it at the bottom of your purse."

Here we are nearing the end of June, and I am realizing that our checking account has dipped to its lowest point in our entire marriage. This is owing to a sort of monsoon of spending which included needing to repair then sell Ken's truck and purchase a new vehicle big enough for the whole family, the annual homeowners insurance which was supposed to have been rolled into the refinance we did last year but didn't get done, the Disney trip incidentals (the trip itself was paid for last year, which we could afford then!) my brand new car battery and alternator, a dozen misguided attempts to find entertainment through restaurant meals, the spa day with friends that we'd been trying to do for over a year, a bunch of other random stuff purchased from Target, and the decision to have a quarter of our income automatically invested in the IRAs and 529s. All of this has left us somewhat cash poor for the moment.

We are now living on Ken's salary from 4 or 5 years ago, and I'm somewhat, no, VERY astounded and disheartened at how we've "grown into" the salary adjustments. I've always felt a degree of pride in living simply and frugally. But now I have to admit that this pile of credit card receipts in front of me doesn't lie. I've gotten a bit lazy, and now we have the choice of either sacrificing our financial future or trimming the fat. Trim the fat it is.

So with a little help from my friends, I will review some of my practical thrifty tips:

Use what you have.

Eat at home.

Earn some extra money.

Take fun, free adventures on the weekend, like the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

Treat your home to a no-money makeover.

Use your library and read books!

Enjoy nature at a local park or forest.

Save fuel by getting out of the car.

"Upcycle" your old clothes.

Make something yourself.

Grow food.

Find fun and meaning in your own backyard.


  1. Must be something in the air. Sam was given a car for free -- a hand me down from his aunt and uncle with abotu 125,000 miles on it -- and it suddenly needed $1,600 worth of maintenance. Still a cheap price for a car, but not budgeted. Then his laptop had a hard drive going out. For a high school junior a laptop is more of a necessity than a luxury, so we spent $400 to get a new hard drive. (Still a bargain compared to replacing the laptop.) So suddenly that's $2K out the door in record time. Ouch. Due to mu long unemployment/underemployment, we are already living about as frugally as we can sustain. We can dig back out from this, but we need the new debt to stop! Please, God!

    So my point is, I feel your pain and share it!!!!!

  2. Murphy comes to call, right? Aye, hopefully things will lighten up. I am just annoyed with myself that I've spent so frivolously---but that's really what people do in the good times, right?