Getting Back to Frugal

Hello. My name is Ida and I am a frugal fraud. There. I said it.

When our family was going through its tightest financial times, I was a cost cutting, value adding, coupon clipping, laundry detergent making (ok so I still do this!) picture of frugality. I swore that our family would be that way through thick and thin. We were going to keep from falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation once our financial picture got rosier. I was wrong.

I slowed way down on couponing and deal shopping. We stopped giving every dollar a job and let it start to trickle out of our fingers, untracked and unaccounted for. We allowed ourselves to justify unplanned spending $10 here… $20 there. We started allowing excuses for unplanned dining out to creep back into our lives… too hot, too tired, too, busy.

Yesterday, I got the estimated bill for my oldest daughter’s first semester of college. After scholarship and student loan offerings, the gap between what is paid and what I have to cover is pretty huge.

The jolt that came from this made me immediately evaluate every dollar I’ve spent in the last several months and I didn’t like what I saw. So, our family is getting back to living on a budget. I’ll be listening to my CDs of Financial Peace University and going through the workbook again.

It’s time to stop Justifying away our money and start making it work as hard for us as we work for it.

Ready. Set. Take Two!

7 Replies to “Getting Back to Frugal”

  1. So glad to know I’m not the only one who slipped into bad habits way too easily. We’ve been working on tightening it up again too as we have a few house projects we would like to do but refuse to go into debt over them.

  2. Really don’t feel about that. And if your daughter has to pay for some college, don’t feel bad about that either. I am paying for my grad student loans still, it sucks, but it is life. I know we eat out too much. If I had every dollar that I have spent on going out to eat…

  3. I also had a very bad time what I did was save 25% spent 50% and invest (including education of children) 25%. So when the income goes down you have to automatically reduce the savings and expenses. But don’t reduce investments since it is for you future.

  4. Hats off to you Ida. Truly said that we should waste money without any urgency. There should be a proper balance between what we earn, save and invest. investing too much money without much need may make us end up having a financial crisis tomorrow. Financial trauma becomes crucial phase of a lifetime. I myself have gone through the same so I value money’s worth.

  5. I love FPU. It really helped us fine-tune our Total Money Makeover, and we’re reaping a lot of benefits because of the teachings of Dave Ramsey. Stay frugal and make a lot of money too – you know what Dave says about your income . . . .

  6. Thanks for keeping a blog! I’ve found all the coupon policies and what not to be very helpful. When I was a kid my mom was always the coupon queen, before coupon queens really existed. She went through the same thing, when things got financially better and I finished college she stopped being a supersaver. It’s hard to stay motivated, and sometimes eating out for convenience is just the easier route to take. As an adult until recently I’ve always had a great financial situation, but now I’m pregnant and my husband is unemployed, and yes, the pregnancy started before the unemployment. I’m currently thankful for all that I learned growing up on pinching pennies. My husband has no clue on how to really make our money stretch, and it was a valuable life skill that I learned growing up. Be thankful that you have already developed the skills, and that you will pass them on to your children, take a deep breathe and do better next month!

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