So, the frugal blogosphere got a list of questions from Fru Blogger asking us to share our hard learned money lessons. I’ve got some lessons for you! Below are his list of questions and my answers. I hope we learned something.
1) What’s your “frugality story?” In other words, how and why did you become frugal?
If you’ve read my first entry then you’ll know that I had a business that went belly up. My parents were kind enough to lend me a good deal of cash to get the business off the ground. When I decided to close the business I knew that there was no way that I would neglect by duties and brush off my mom. I also knew that I was wasting money needlessly and needed a plan on how to get out of debt – including paying back what I owed my mom. If you don’t have a financial GPS or at least a roadmap of where you are going then it is very, very easy to get lost in the process. Plus, living paycheck-to-paycheck is scary.
2) What, if anything, tempts you to overspend, and how do you resist?
I’m not a big spender and I’ve learned to spend even less but have you ever walked into a Walmart?!! You find stuff that you didn’t even know that you needed just because it’s a good deal. I’m a “clearance”, “just reduced” or “50% off” shopper so I just stay at home and keep myself away from the temptations.
3) What personal finance or frugality habits were the hardest for you to adopt and why?
Writing down everything that I spent was the hardest thing to do. Small bills trickle out of your pocket and you don’t realize it but at the end of the week you’ve spent an extra $30 on things that you really didn’t need. That morning newspaper adds up when you buy one 5 days a week, every week, so I subscribed and saved 60% off the newsstand price. Writing down the little things was a hard, but very necessary lesson.
4) Have you ever taken frugality too far? How so?
Yes, I sure have. That’s why my new motto is “not all money is good money”. I did some surveys for the money and I realized that the SPAM and random marketing phone calls as well as the time that it took wasn’t worth the $14 check. No more survey taking for me. You have to draw the line somewhere.
5) What resources (blogs, books, websites) would you recommend to someone who’s newly frugal?
I bet you’re thinking that I’ll say Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It didn’t do anything for me. I needed an action plan! For the beginner I would recommend any of Suze Orman’s books. Suze is a no-nonsense woman with a straight way of speaking that gets right to the heart of the matter. I love that she dumbs things down so that every a girl like me can understand exactly what she is saying…Plus, I love that she gives her books away for a limited time every time she is on Oprah. Why buy the book when you can get it for free? That’s your first step into the land of frugality.