This post was written by Denise.
I am thrilled to be joining the Prairie EcoThrifter family. It is a perfect fit for me, as frugality is my hobby and passion, but I also find myself very attracted to the “go green” movement. The fact that the Prairie EcoThrifter focuses heavily on both topics – frugality and green living – really appealed to me.
Allow me to briefly introduce myself. My name is Denise, from The Single Saver. The Single Saver is a website dedicated to helping singles and small families save money with easy to implement money saving tips. Outside of my blogging life, I work full time as a magazine editor/designer for a large national company and I also teach part-time at a local University. And for fun, I study new ways to save money in my life (yeah, seriously, I find that fun… ), garden, and spend time with my wonderful pets. I am a beach bum who, by accident of birth, does not live at the beach. And I have some of the best friends and family anyone could ask for. Oh yeah, and I am a huge Neil Diamond fan (just had to throw that out there)! That’s me, in a nutshell.
As this is the start of my blogging adventure here at Prairie EcoThrifter, I thought it might be beneficial to let you all know what makes me tick… what makes me be able to be successful at leading a frugal life. And so, I’ve compiled a short list of some of the traits I have adopted that have helped me live life on the cheap, easily and painlessly. Hopefully you can relate to many of these points.
I Am A Homebody
For the most part, I am perfectly happy being at home. While I enjoy a night on the town now and then, it is by no means something I crave on a regular basis. In fact, by limiting how often I go out, I feel I actually enjoy the times I do go out for a special occasion all the more. It becomes a special treat instead of an ordinary occurrence. While this philosophy may not be the best boost for my social life, it is a great boost for my savings account! Going out is expensive. Once you factor in a meal, drinks, tips, tickets or entry fees, cab or gas money, and “the right outfit” (after all, you have to look your best!), it can get pretty pricy to paint the town red! On the other hand, it is pretty economical to stay home, cook a nice meal, enjoy a bottle of wine, and watch a movie from the comfort of your own home. If you are looking to save money one of the easiest ways is to cut back on how often go out for dinner and/or entertainment.
I Like Having Nice Things
Think that is counter-productive to my frugal lifestyle? Think again! In order to have nice things I need to have enough money to buy them. I don’t allow myself to have credit card debt, so I have to have the cash to back up all my purchases. If I spent all my money mindlessly, without thinking, I’d have nothing left when I saw something nice that I really wanted to invest in. I learned this philosophy from my parents, who taught me nearly from birth that saving money was important. I like being surrounded by nice, quality things. Often I have to take the time to save for these purchases, and that extra time helps me avoid impulse buys that can be so detrimental to any budget. Taking the time to think over any purchase can help you from spending your money impulsively.
I Have Frugal Hobbies
The type of activates you enjoy certainly impact how frugal you can be. For instance, someone who has a hobby of flying remote control airplanes is going to be spending much more money than I do with my hobby of vegetable gardening. Some hobbies, like mine, can actually help you live more frugally! That’s right… my primary hobbies (vegetable gardening and learning all I can about saving money) actually pay for themselves! I’ll be expanding more on this concept in upcoming articles. Having fun is very important in life, but choose how you have fun wisely if your goal is to live frugally.
We all have traits that help us meet our goals. For me, saving money is easier due to my having thrifty hobbies, enjoying having a few nice things instead of many mediocre ones, and being a homebody at heart.
What traits do you have that help you with your money-saving goals?
Excellent point regarding “nice things”. Understanding that “nice” things do not automatically correlate to “expensive” things is important. But when something is nice and expensive a buyer should be able to objectively determine the overall value of the purchase.
@ Justin. Absolutely. I think that price doesn’t matter as much as the value and how much you will use the item. It is ok to spend on good quality if it is something that will add value to your life.
I agree Justin. Nice does not always equal expensive. Though often better quality items do cost more… the upside is that (in theory at least) better quality items should also last longer.
I like your point about having nice things — my tastes, over the past few years, have started creeping upward, and I’ve noticed that has increased my desire to earn more/save more so that I can afford more.
Paula, I am sort of in the same boat. I sort of have to laugh when I think back 10 years ago I was making half what I do now and yet I survived just fine. My life has gotten more expensive over the years. I am trying to scale that back some, while still enjoying the finer things that I truly value.
I am extremely disciplined and goal oriented! I love to accomplish my goals. I managed to achieve success and still enjoy many of the pleasures without sacrificing the goals.
Krantcents, have I ever told you that you are my hero? 🙂 Seriously, your goals are keeping you motivated and that is contributing to your success… good for us all to learn from!
I volunteer at the Denver Botanic Gardens. I do teacher’s assistant for some of their classes which allows me to attend for free. Plus it’s lots of fun.
Sarah, that sounds like lots of fun! What exactly is involved with being a teacher’s assistant there?
I have never thought of trying to save money as a hobby, but you’re right, it is one! I definitely enjoy this hobby, and I just recently got started with vegetable gardening, so we both have similar hobbies! 🙂
Good luck with the gardening! It is a lot of fun. If I could give any tips, it is to start small and grow over time. It is more fun when you don’t get overwhelmed with weeding, watering, and the like.
I like traveling but the rest of the points is spot on for me as well. Just like nice things, I also like to travel nicely, so my travel fund is 10x larger than my shopping fund. Having a zero based budget helps too. If I have to make an impulse purchase that money comes from another pot, like my travel or down payment. This helps me to evaluate what I want more, the bag or my dream house. Most of the time that decides it for me. Great post, Denise!
Hi Suba! And thanks! I love traveling, too. So I save up for it. My favorite destinations are anywhere with a beach, especially the NC coast, so except for hotels (I like nicer hotels) I can vacation relatively cheaply with a little pre-planning. Not having kids helps keep my travel budget down, too! LOL!