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Flexing my frugality muscles

Friday, January 17, 2014

Although I'm still on a good log in streak here, I've been working on a different kind of strength the past few weeks. I'm building my frugality muscles!

I grew up pretty poor, and as an ecologist, I'm always mindful of things like wasting water and electricity, which happens to be frugal, too. However, I've been reading the Mr. Money Mustache blog and forums the past few weeks, going over my finances and making some changes, and really reflecting on what money buys. Over the years, I've made some financial blunders - nothing serious, just the types of things that separate many of us from financial freedom and keep us on the monthly payment treadmill.

Maybe most notably, I signed up with Mint.com and put their app on my phone. Since doing that, I've been able to stick to my food budget with no problems. I've spent zero on clothes, and made up a tidy little list of the things may need to buy this year (running shoes!). I've also been working Craigslist, Ebay and Amazon to sell off stuff I no longer need or want, and I'm stashing that money in a jar until I have enough to get a rowing machine to go along with my Craigslist weight set in the basement. Bunches of stuff went to the thrift store right after Christmas, which should help us get a nice tax return this year. As a big bonus, the house is nearly free of clutter, and it just makes life run more efficiently. When my auto insurance policy is up in June, I'll be switching to save about $300 per year, I've dumped Verizon for Republic wireless for a savings of over $40 per month, and will be cancelling my gym membership shortly. By the end of 2014, I will be free of credit card debt, have an investment account other than my retirement fund, and be paying my car loan down aggressively.

Just wanted to share this here, because it's very reminiscent of when I got serious about losing weight almost three years ago. Only now, I'm that much stronger and knowledgeable about my capabilities, so I'm not afraid to set some bigger goals at the outset. Looking forward to this voyage, and will hopefully be fitter in every sense of the word at the end of this year!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CHANGINGHORSES
    Awesome! I just got another quote for my car insurance and I can't believe how much I can save with a reputable company and better coverage. We must never stop shopping and comparing prices. I feel stupid for letting this go unnoticed for 4 years but hey, I notice now.

    2538 days ago
  • KELMOM23
    emoticon We also use Mint and love it. And, over Christmas, got connected with Republicwireless, too! nice. :) Also, thanks for the comment on my blog - very encouraging!
    2553 days ago
  • GYPSYGOTH
    emoticon
    I have also been using Mint. It helps!
    2558 days ago
  • MOM_VICKI
    Following your blogs is a great motivator to me:) Just before Christmas, I sold my first item on ebay and now I've got the Ebay bug to sell! Thank goodness it's not the Ebay bug to buy emoticon

    Good luck this year with your financial goals.
    2558 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11712373
    I'm excited for you! Good luck. emoticon
    2558 days ago
  • HISTORYRUNNER
    Like you say, you're practicing the focus and discipline you need for physical and emotional well-being in the financial realm. This looks great - rational, systematic, purposeful. And the great thing is that as you eliminate debt, and clutter, life becomes clearer and flows more freely. Wishing you well on your path to liberation!
    2559 days ago
  • TIMOTHY53
    Pinching pennies ... that's what the frugality muscle is best for.
    2559 days ago
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