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Being frugal does not mean one should not enjoy life, just that we should examine our way of life to see if what we are doing is bringing us pleasure for the cost associated.
I recently had the problem of deciding to fill in the artificial nails that was given to me as a gift from my husband or taking them off and saving the money spent for upkeep. I do feel like I'm worth $15 every other week, but in the end I think it just comes down to the fact that I have other interests that I would rather put my money.
In deciding to explore just what I could do with $15 bi weekly I realized that just as artificial nails require upkeep, so do many other items in our lives. It just comes down to is the price to keep the item worth the sacrafice somewhere else.
In my instance, the item cost at the bare minimum $15 bi weekly or 26 times or $390 yearly. $15 biweekly does not sound like much but when one takes it a step further and then investigates what could that $15 really buy that would give equal joy to myself, then that is where the significance is really seen.
For me personally, I decided I would get just as much enjoyment for my $30 this month in the following way: I could buy school supplies for a child I do not know or I could buy a lot of pencils and take to the school for use when a child does not have one. The next month, I could find a nursing home in my area and take $30 worth of socks in all different sizes or I could save my money for a couple of months and take some nightgowns and PJs for the ones that do not have family.
My nails were pretty but I found after examining that I can get much more joy for my money. I'm gonna take the same money and buy some polish, calcium and vitamin D (as someone mentioned) and work on my own nails and use the leftover money in a more frugal and neighborly use.
My frugal life began when my peaceful existence received a sharp jolt. I'd been living in America with my husband where we had a stillborn child, our beloved daughter Kitty, and our marriage broke up. I returned to England with no job, very little money and nowhere to live.
I have now settled myself in a tiny cottage on the edge of Oxford, in the next village to my sister and nephew. I pay a small rent and take writing jobs to keep me going (in my former life I was a journalist); I am writing a book on domestic service and try to give the whole morning to working on it.
It is nearly a year now since I left New York and I can now think my life there must have been a deep slumber without the disciplines of saving money, buying things only because I really need them, enjoying small treats. I used to roam the streets, sipping enormous Starbucks' coffees that I threw away half-finished - nowadays, I cycle through the country lanes enjoying the smell of spring blossoms; the sight of cowslips in a ditch or my laundry billowing on the line in an April breeze gives me more pleasure than I could ever have imagined.
Some days I spend no money at all and never give shopping a thought. I've learned to be disciplined about electricity and gas; I shop online (in bulk) or in the village shop for what I really need and I think carefully about what that is. I don't have a car (occasionally I borrow my mother's in emergencies) but don't miss it - I've worked out how to use the buses.
When friends come to see me they bring a bottle of wine and I cook a stew from cheap cuts from the farm shop in the village. I don't see people much so the pleasure of conversation is more intense. What I have learned I am profoundly grateful for: that I can be alone; that the small experiences of everyday life can be as rewarding as the big events; that there is nothing to match the pleasure that comes from working hard for something; and that sometimes the tragedies of our life can lead to a rebirth.
By Lucy from England
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I've been thinking a lot about the world and the terrible state we are in. One thing I've been thinking is that we would all be a lot better off if we didn't say "someone ought to do something" and said "I'm going to do something" instead.
I have found myself in reduced circumstances pretty chronically for the past 5 years. I am sure that I share this fate with many people, but, in spite of knowing this, my predicament has seemed like a very private and shameful hell.
I've always been pretty smart with money, but three very special little boys have taught me that simplifying all areas of our lives is one of life's sweetest lessons learned.
Manufacturers are so good at persuading us that we HAVE to have their products that it's difficult not to end up buying all sorts of things that we really don't need.
The recession has taught me the difference between wants and needs, and how grateful I am to have a warm home, loving family and friends. Some things money just can't buy!
My tip is to keep looking on ThriftyFun, as you never know who you will find. In January 2008, I posted about my washable nappies.
So, alright, I work at Wal-mart and see all kinds of shoppers. Some are good and buy mostly generic. Others use coupons. Then there are people that buy 6 makeup items and spend almost $50! They could have taken five minutes and saved almost $15 in coupons!
I work just a block away from home. I had been walking to work, but pulled my Achilles Tendon and had to start driving to work.
My earliest adult encounter with frugal living was as a twenty-something single woman living on $425 a month in the 70's. I was exasperated with most of the budgeting articles in ladies magazines with titles like "How to Get the Most Out of Your Roast".
In my small community there are many traditions including having enough food for people that visited around a meal time. It was important to feed them, so this was done by taking out a few more things than was needed for our family.
Times are definitely tough for many of us and there is little or no cash for treats and little luxuries. At our house to make belt tightening a bit more fun, we have invented a game; "Good to the Last Drop".
No one wants to struggle, to say no to themselves and their children, to feel as if they're going backwards rather than forwards. But the easiest way to get out of the slump of despair is to think of everything you do have - and most of us still have a lot.
I have been frugal all my life. Thrift shop, giveaways, and garage sales have been as much a part of my life as breathing. In my early years it was out of necessity.
How do I make my money stretch? I buy used as much as I can. Garage sales, thrift shops and www.craigslist.org are my go to places for everything. I purchase most non-food items from thrift shops.
During a stressful time in our lives, my DH and I did not have the money to pay our rent, so we had to search for a more frugal life for the two of us, our daughter and three children who were at the time living with us, plus our son and his two children who also stayed part-time with us.
Every day people throw out product packaging and then turn around and purchase boxes, bins, and caddies to organize their homes. Instead, reuse the things that you're about to throw away, things that will fill landfills otherwise, and use them to save money and organize your home.
There seem to be quite a few crafty ladies on this site. Many of you also enjoy thrift shopping. I wanted to share a couple tips that I use to save even more at Goodwill and craft stores.
Being frugal has always been part of my life. My Mom had a chronic illness and had to stay at home. Our family lived on what my father made at a non-union factory job. We definitely used it up, wore it out or did without.
F: Find alternatives for expensive ingredients or purchases. R: Research online before making your purchases for something you want. Is it a NEED or just a WANT?
I found my true calling. I know how to save a buck or lest try. As soon as I finish this post, I will be going to get my Sunday papers and look through the coupons, sales and ads.
I love saving money. I love shopping. I love living the good life. Sometimes those worlds collide with each other. I wonder if the occasional going out or buying something with a coupon or on sale, makes me a frugal fraud.
As the youngest of 5 sisters, my frugal life began with hand-me-down clothes, even when I didn't quite yet fit in them. As I grew, my mom made sure I was FRUGAL, by not wasting any food on my plate!
Thinking about it, it seems to me that the greatest thrifty tip is employing ingenuity! If you have a household problem, look at the conventional way of tackling it (which probably costs lots of money), and then try to turn it around to a more frugal option.
Growing up, I had two cousins who lived across the street from me. They were sisters. One was bigger and the other was smaller than me. The clothes went from my cousin to me, then back to the younger cousin. This went on for years.