Friday, February 13, 2009

How Frugal Are You?

Have you thought about it? I have and I think about it a lot. I find couponing fun but being frugal is really not in my nature - why do you think I'm trying to be frugal? To go against my nature!

Have you ever thought about the financial advice you would give someone starting out? The advice you would give yourself when you became an adult and/or got married?

This past summer DH and I were talking to my new sister-in-law. She married my brother last June - maybe 8 months ago and she was thinking about when to have kids. I gave her the one piece of advice I wished someone had given me! I told her to work and bank all her income while living on her husbands (my brother). Not only does that build up a huge savings but they can adjust to living on one income BEFORE the baby arrives.

If I could go back and do one thing over it would be to never use a credit card. EVER, for anything. So, then I get to thinking. I can't go back. I can do over what's already been done but one thing I can do is not continue to make the same mistakes because my even bigger fear is that 10 years from now I'll look back and wish I had taken the hard road then.

And this is what I remind myself every time I think about over spending, every time I wish I could pull out my charge card that if I go for the card I WILL pay for it later plus interest.

I've heard it said that you save one credit card and freeze it in a bucket so you really have to think about your purchase before you make it. This wouldn't help me when I forget my bank card and am in the grocery store with 5 kids just to buy milk (yes, it just happened to me) but I like the principle behind it. For me, rather then freezing my card I remind myself where I want to be. What are my goals? What is my debt keeping me from?

Every time I'm tempted to skip cooking and go out to eat or blow my budget this stops me cold. I don't want to be kicking myself down the road for what I could change now because I certainly wish I could change the person I was in the beginning.

What stops you from spending? Or maybe none of you have the same shopping tendencies I do! I'd love to hear your thoughts about how frugal you are and if you are on your own journey! It's kind of like dieting - once you start you really can't go back because you so easily undo everything you've already done. The plus about "turning frugal" is at least you still can eat the good stuff :) Well, only if you find it on sale...


  1. I've been talking to my younger sister about this same thing... not using credit, making a budget and sticking to it, paying off all debt now before she and her hubbie have kids. What I wonder is why there isn't more formal discussion/education about this topic? I mean, at the very least my parents could have told us!

    It sounds like I'm similar to you... not necessarily frugal by nature, but more by conscious choice.

  2. We were all products of the me generation. And now we all are paying for it. This month we will be credit card debt free (praise the Lord for the Child Tax Credit and Large families)! Then all we will have is the van payment and the mortgage. I hope to have the van paid off early next year.

    I have been definately been teaching my children about living within your means, not credit cards, and saving. Definately saving. My oldest has her first job. We have sat down and built a budget for her and she is doing quite well. I would even call her miserly. Which in this day and age is a great thing.

  3. I wish I was frugal by nature but like you, I am NOT. Thanks to AFLAC we have been credit card debt free for 2 years. I do use my Kohl's credit card once or twice a year but I make sure I spend less than 100 dollars so that I can pay it off when the bill comes in. I like the extra percent off I get for using my card. I love coupons and use them all the time. My last trip to the grocery store I save almost 70 dollars just on coupons alone. However, I am terrible about sticking to a budget. If I have money I want to spend it. I am still working on that one. I am loving blog here!!