I came from a background that never went to garage sales, thrift shops or places like that, but the past I think about 10 years or so, I have begun to shop like that. A friend taught me, my husband and I are happier, and have less stress, and I only work part time, as I am needed. So that allows me to do a few things for my interest that I wouldn't have ever been able to do, like have coffee with my mother in law when ever she wants to go, and take her to the doctor as needed and work in the museum once a week, things I want to do, and my husband enjoys the fact that I can do these things.
By Pati Mishler
Amen sister! Keep living like no one else, be weird to Quote Dave Ramsey! (07/23/2010)
One thing comes to mind when reading this. A rose by any other name, is still a rose. Whether you purchase that Old Navy sweater, Nike shoes, or Armani suit from a high end store or garage sale or ebay, who really knows? Its still a brand name item. I believe in saving money by shopping thrift stores as well. I believe its our attitude and outlook on life that is more important than what we spend. Too bad some family members aren't smart enough to realize that. (07/23/2010)
This is great, you keep being who and what you are, this is like me. It gives me great joy to recycle and find ways to save money, because then I can buy more things for all my animals. I am voting for this to win!Blessings,robyn (07/23/2010)
By Robyn Fed
You can't take the nice things with you when you go. They don't matter. What matters if you are happy. That's all that matters. (07/23/2010)
Congratulations to you! Very inspirational! (07/24/2010)
Love it! You go girl! :-) (07/24/2010)
Good for you! Watch out later in life, when you have a nice little nest egg for your retirement and they don't have one. They will want you to help them out. Keep up the good work. Waste not want not. (07/24/2010)
Good for you! Stick to your beliefs.They will be wishing they had followed your ways when they get older and can't afford to retire. (07/24/2010)
You are a very special individual in that you have something that thousands of people wish they had: Contentment. It's not being in a state of contentment that is driving up massive personal debt in this country. As a consequence, all that combined debt is affecting the economy of the entire United States. I congratulate you on being someone who is happy with the way things are. I'm sure you still treat yourself, but in small, reasonable ways. You are not an "oddball," you are special! By the way, I'm single with a "furchild" too. Don't ever let someone make you feel bad just for being who you are, and if they try to, they aren't worth your precious time. Keep up the great work! (07/24/2010)
The wealthiest people I know are likewise frugal, and the big ticket items they buy are things that last far longer than the less expensive items others buy. (Cook pot for 5x$, lasts 10x as long, etc.) They do not impulse buy, they seldom eat out (but go to quality places when they do). If they somehow lost everything, they would end up wealthy once again, by doing what you are doing now. Well, they also know how to make money, but so do a lot of others who are broke. (07/24/2010)
Hang in there and follow your heart! (07/24/2010)
May I be the first to congratulate you, Tawnya, for having your sites set right! I hope your brother gets to see you on TV, when one of those news programs highlights your accomplishments. (07/24/2010)
Dear Tawnya,As stated already by someone here posting as well, you are not an oddball, you are special. I too like to be frugal. I can no longer pay retail prices and find it fun to look for clothing at second-hand stores as well as some small and large appliances. I am constantly being complimented on the way I dress ( all second-hand). Keep up the good work and continue to look after you.Best WishesMG (07/24/2010)
Don't flip the brother's card to the they all think I'm weird category. Sometimes we just find cards that make you think of someone without going deep and insulting. Maybe his thought of you (even tho he does not acknowledge it) was complementary about not going with the crowd.
Needless to say, in this economy we all need to get on board and be like you are. Again, needless to say, its the the few of us that become the leaders. The famous people who profess to be frugal, green, etc. are poked fun at but also leaders in their own zones (Bill Gates for example).
I garage sale purchase, most of my wardrobe, household items, etc. How many friends have binge bought to wish they had not? I have lots of Tupperware purchased for a buck or two, new clothing with hang tags, winter coats used 1 season. People call me with their 'needs' and I keep an eye out. Same thing, when I have the extras, I let people know. Right now extra garden veggies to trade out or find someone recently in hospital/long term medical issues, who love the garden stuff, gifted. Same thing when my immediate family goes fishing. We don't eat all fish, so they clean them and offer to elderly neighbors (mostly widows) who love it. Frugal! (07/24/2010)
By Grandma J
Wonderful - wish I could emulate her amazing example to the extent that she has. Each month I become more aware of what I really don't need to buy, to live more and more simply. I'm getting better and better at becoming frugal. (07/24/2010)
By Lois Schmidt
Hi, Although I am impressed with your paying off your debt, I'm confused that Someone so frugal could get that deep, I mean 78,000 is a lot of money for someone who rents an apartment, and drives an 8 year old car? (07/24/2010)
I too am perplexed with the 78,000 debt, but, I think your bro's card was in very bad taste. Down right something. Sometimes people put other people down to make themselves feel better. They are the ones with a problem. It's cool you have a puppy dog bud. They make the best friends, (and cats), power to ya. (07/24/2010)
It is very easy to find yourself in that much debt. Please do not ask how or you may find out. Life deals us hands that we must play. Mine was dealt to me when my daughter was diagnosed with a lifelong autoimmune disorder/disease. When I left the hospital, at the time, she was three years old, I owed in copays over $8,000.00. Her maintenance meds: copays are over $3000.00 per month. You will do what you have too for your children. (07/24/2010)
Hi there! This essay really struck a note with me, you're philosophy sounds very much like mine. I go to charity shops, grow my own veg and make my own entertainment. I gave up my TV and got a little portable set just for watching DVDs on, and I DEVOUR books, but only from the library or second hand book shops and charity shops. I'm really happy with being 'different' to others, and I notice my family members starting to take a leaf out of my book.
My sister competes with me to see who can get the best bargain on the reduced shelves in the supermarket, and she knows to go to the veg shop just before closing and she'll get all her stuff really cheap- I taught her that! My Dad has started going into charity shops, and was so chuffed to come home with a beautiful pair of smart shoes, in excellent condition, for less than £3!
On the other hand, my brother and his wife have a very good income, but constantly exceed it and worry about money problems. I think I'll stick to my low income and contented lifestyle! One question - what exactly is a thrift store? It's not a term I'm familiar with here in the UK! (07/25/2010)
I have been the odd ball for years, but I have a nice home. Everyone tells me that my home is very at ease, they can relax. Feels like a home. A 13 year old jeep that runs great & still looks good, stylish clothing. I enjoy my life. I think I am ahead of the whole game. I buy what I like, to save myself money, but people make remarks like I am a junk collector. They pay top $ amount to copy something I get, or make, or find. Now who is the odd ball? I save, they spend. I win ! (07/25/2010)
Hi, good for you! I wonder why people want to know how you got in debt? Paying it off is the point!Also I think the card was funny.Barb (07/25/2010)
Don't think you are an oddball at all. Great read! By the way-you are thinking outside the box! Good to know you!Keep up the awesome work! (07/25/2010)
By sally mazgaj
A former friend; I say former because I got so tired of her put-downs for me being frugal. Anyway, she stated that she'd never buy used clothes. She's not wise enough or somehow chooses to forget that those new clothes she's just bought have been tried on my "who knows" and multiple times; maybe sometimes by people who haven't bathed in weeks. In my opinion, that relates to "used". (07/25/2010)
Hi it is Tawnya. I am the author of this post thanks for all the feedback everybody. I am a little overwhelmed as I did not expect all of the feedback. Thank you for all of your support! In answer as to how I got so much in debt I was super stupid with my money as I incurred a lot of student loan debt (attending private, very expensive universities and taking out student loans for the whole deal) and a little credit card debt (less than 10% of the total debt).
As you can tell I have not always been frugal in fact I just started changing my money ways and being responsible and frugal about two years ago. So i am so glad that god led me to this website as you all of you are an inspiration and a blessing to me. I have learned and continue to learn so much from each of you! May God Bless each and every one of you! (07/25/2010)
Jamish,I completely agree with you, my stress level has considerably decreased now that I am living the frugal life and eliminating my debt. God is so good, may you be blessed.Tawnya (07/25/2010)
Skibum:Thanks, lets make weirdness an epidemic.:) Tawnya (07/25/2010)
Mintwolf:Thanks for the philosophy. I completely agree.Tawnya (07/25/2010)
@tami333 - I'm so sorry to hear that! How I got so far in debt was partly medical problems, and also the massive dental problems I had, which were related to my health issues. I hated to do it, but I finally had to go bankrupt.
I can't earn a lot of money because I'm disabled, but I'm debt-free. When a beloved relative died, and I inherited money from her life insurance policy, the first thing I did was move to a small town and pay cash for a house, to eliminate a monthly rent/mortgage payment. It's just too stressful to be in debt, especially in these economic times. (07/25/2010)
So sad that being frugal and paying your way gets you labeled the oddball. I understand that your brother was not putting you down; and I think people would be shocked to know how many young people are leaving college with degrees that don't guarantee a job, and astronomical debt! The need to buy that McMansion (and furnish and maintain it) tie them into working forever. And heaven forbid that they stay home with their kids! But the mentality is that it is all necessary. They cannot separate the "need" from the "want".
When I suggested to a young friend that one way to cut expenses so that she could stay home would be to give up cable tv, you'd have thought I suggested she remove an arm! When did stuff become more important that family? It is sad, and I worry for the next generation of kids, who are subtly being taught the stuff is more important than they are. (07/27/2010)
Hi! I would like to compliment you on your accomplishments, however there is one area that you may want to re-consider. Renting actually "costs" you money, much more than owning a home or even a condo. Equity, tax breaks, etc. not to mention appreciation of your investment. I have been reading "Automatic Millionaire Homeowner" by David Bach. You may want to give it a look he has written several similar books such as "Start Late, Finish Rich", etc. Just a thought. (07/27/2010)
Thanks for sharing your touching and inspirational story. (07/28/2010)
Riazmi, thanks for your feedback.I have considered purchasing a home but in my area of the country even a reasonable house in a blue collar neighborhood would cost $100K and at 5% interest I would be paying $5,000 per year in interest and with my current tax bracket I would only incur a $1,250 tax benefit. Also I would have the cost of upkeep, taxes, insurance etc. At this point in time I am better off renting.Tawnya (07/29/2010)
Riazmi, thanks for your feedback.I have considered purchasing a home but in my area of the country even a reasonable house in a blue collar neighborhood would cost$100K and at 5% interest I would be paying $5,000 per year in interest and with my current tax bracket I would only incur a $1,250 tax benefit. Also I would have the cost of upkeep, taxes, insurance etc. At this point in time I am better off renting.Tawnya (07/29/2010)
Love this article! I so relate. This is one of the best articles yet! (08/09/2010)
By Cindy Scinto
Renting does not cost a renter money, how could it? My husband and I are in our late 50's, married for 1 1/2 years and we rent our three bedroom, two bath house. The central air/heat went out on us a couple of months ago, so who paid for the repair, the landlord at a cost of $4,000.00, we saved ourselves $4,000.00! We pay no property taxes, no homeowners insurance, (we have renters insurance on our furniture) nothing for any repairs, such as what the landlord had to for minor repairs after a tornado barely missed us. We are not gonna be sued for any injury, etc. that may occur on the property. So, my question is, how is it costing us money to rent? (09/04/2010)
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