Finally, I’m writing my Frugal Living introduction post. Better late than never, I always say. I wanted to say hello to my fellow FL living blogger Mary Ann Romans, and all of Families.com new bloggers. Since starting with this website about a month ago I’ve been having a lot of fun writing in my various topics. Being able to share and learn is a wonderful thing.
As the title of my blog today states, being frugal truly is a way of life, not just one area of it. Many times someone may start out counting pennies in the area of groceries or cutting back on their utilities, but once you see how much you can save every month you just may get bitten by the frugal bug. I know I was.
As a single, work-at-home mom for the past seven years I’ve had to learn to budget not only my finances, but my time as well. Instead of feeling like I was getting the short end of the stick after my divorce, I chose to feel eager and excited about my life. Cutting corners and saving as much as I possibly can has become both a habit and a passion of mine.
How has my life changed now that I’m a frugal zealot? Here are just a few examples of how cutting back can really make life richer.
*I moved out of a 2500 square foot two story home and into a one story that is roughly half the size. This saves me $200 a month in rent, plus the utilities are lower. It’s in a better neighborhood and we have beautiful trees and bushes on our property—which is a rarity in Tucson. If I had had the same amount of money I did years ago, I would still be in that bigger home trying to keep up with the Jones’.
*Each of my bills has been cut in half, if not more. For example, my electric bill is half as much as it was last year at this same time.
*My grocery bill is $300 per month for a family of four, and this includes toiletries. We eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, whole grains, and other healthy foods. Buying all that prepackaged garbage and not taking advantage of sales is what eats into the food budget a lot of times.
*For phone service I use the Magic Jack. At $20 a year you can’t beat that, especially when I was paying $45 a month for phone service before. The quality may not be optimal all the time, but I think their service and price far outweighs any problems I’ve encountered.
*Sending away for freebies is another frugal pastime. I can try many new products on the market for free.
*Instead of traditional cable that used to cost me $65 a month or more, we now have the Dish Network. The Family package is only $25 a month and has enough channels so that everyone is happy.
*Having Internet at home is a must since my income comes from freelance writing. With three girls in college who need to do research and homework as well, there’s no way we would want to omit this service from our lives. I went through a local company and get Internet for a flat rate of $40 a month for life.
*I’m also more frugal with my time. I say no more often to people and projects I don’t want to spend time with, and have a loosely organized schedule for my work each day. This leaves little room to get sidetracked since I know what needs to be done when. I can then relax at the end of the day and spend quality time with my girls rather than catching up on work I should have done hours ago.
These are just some of the ways I’ve cut back without feeling deprived. Over the years, trying to get the best deals and saving as much money as possible actually gives me an adrenaline rush! I’m sure other frugal living lovers know the feeling.
Being frugal is a way of living life. It’s about keeping our eyes and minds open for new and positive ways of saving, not only money, but our time as well. I look forward to sharing more frugal tips with everyone here at Families.com and reading other posts as well.