Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Frugal Habits To Have and To Hold


We began our thrifty marriage almost seven years ago.

At the time, I so bubbled with enthusiasm, I could list a new money-saving trick every day. Now I have to think hard for blog ideas--not because I have abandoned these tricks--but because seven years of practice have ingrained them into our marriage!

Our top frugal habits, in order of importance:

1. Consistently choosing homes and cars below our means. Spending less on our largest purchases gives us big budget flexibility.

2. Considering stay-at-home motherhood a professional career. Practicing home economy as a job instead of a hobby raises the bar for me.

3. Cash budgeting the Dave Ramsey way. We know where our money goes.

4. Food frugalities: since I cook almost every meal, planning around the sales--versus shopping from a preset menu--adds up on a weekly basis. Couponing and cherry-picking a variety of stores fit here, too.

5. Shopping used clothing and household goods first: there is no shortage of high quality, tax free stuff. Yard sales also don't take credit cards. Also keeps us out of the retail market, lessening the temptation for debt and overspending.

I'm sure there are many more--these are the top five used on a daily basis.

7 comments:

Donna said...

I think those five things are really good suggestions...I probably like them because we do those things too! :)

Mama Squirrel said...

I like the picture!

Elly said...

Terrific!!! MiserlyMoms.com has a bunch of info on all of this as well. Meredith: I'm going to put you in the sidebar soon! My friend Tiany is helping me 'figure out the page' over the spring break the kids are on and once it's 'rolling' you're in!! Thanks for the post. It really hits home on what I feel.

Alex said...

Meredith, you mentioned MaMa Squirrel "extends the Carnival of Frugality" and when you go to her page and this article, it mentions it is linked through the Festival of Frugality. Are these other sights or blogs we could go to and where are they? I get so many ideas for saving our family money and improving our lives from you I was wondering if this festival and carnival were other places to learn from too!? You have really blessed our lives....and yes I too understand the idea of building blocks of learning frugality. She is right it is a process...an on going process. Even Amy Dacyczyn of TightWad Gazette said they too could tighten their budgets even further and further with new ideas if needed. It is a life game and actually rewarding and fun.

Meredith said...

Alex, sorry, I meant to include the link to the Festival. It's a weekly "event" at someone's blog which aggregates the links to good posts about frugality. This week it's at the Canadian Capitalist blog--next week it'll be at another one. Great way to discover other personal finance blogs online. I always say I'm going to contribute a submission, but I always forget the deadline. I limit myself to 30 minutes a day online.
Here's the link and I'll put it in the post above, too:
http://www.canadiancapitalist.com/2006/04/11/festival-of-frugality-18

Anonymous said...

Meredith- Were you interested in frugality when you got married, and did you have what would be considered a frugal wedding? My husband and I did pretty well, I think, in terms of what we spent, but, wow, I literally cannot BELIEVE what some people spend on weddings, all in the name of "show". Some of the best weddings I have ever been to have been the ones done on a tight budget, because they were unique and showed the most creativity. Anyone can throw a lot of money at a wedding, and not necessarily get an outstanding result. But it takes a lot more pizazz and creativity to have a beautiful event on limited funds. Since we're coming up on the wedding season, and you're running a little low on normal, day-to-day household savings strategy ideas, maybe you could do a post or two about frugal things that you did or you've seen others do, for frugal weddings.
Susan from Illinois

Meredith said...

Okay, Susan, if you think anyone else would be interested...then I'll try to scan a couple of photos and discuss some frugal wedding ideas.