December 27, 2010

Thrifty Tips- Becoming a Cheapskate

Truth time: Early on in our lives, we cultivated a nasty little habit of living beyond our means. Dinners out, bucket loads of shopping and a taste for high-end electronics ate through gobs and gobs of cash. Thankfully, we grew up and realized that the only way we can hope to live a happy and fulfilling life is to eliminate the spending.

Easier said than done, for sure. I still get that urge to pop into Target or Homegoods "just to browse" and end up walking out with a bag of stuff. So...our challenge to ourselves is to break the spending habit. How? Here is what we are thinking for 2011:

1) Write down all of your financial goals and post them everywhere. By the computer, so you think twice about online shopping, in your wallet, etc. If you see the goals in black and white, you'll be reminded to think twice before whipping out the Visa.

2)  Make a list and stick to it. No shopping unless we need it, its budgeted for and we cannot live without it.

3) Give things away/sell things. I think that once we get the ball rolling on this we will feel rewarded by the act of minimizing and decluttering.

4)  Cultivate a roster of cheap but delicious dinners to save cash! Dinners out are a weakness and if we don't have something on the menu, we tend to slip back into our old ways.

5) Budget and stick to it. Hold ourselves accountable for our spending. Its way too easy to let ourselves slip and overspend, so we need to figure out a way to stay on track. Hmmm.

Now it's your turn! How do you guys save cash?? We're always looking for new ways to become even thriftier!


  1. E tracks all of our spending online using Mint. (We've used Quicken too, but ended up back at Mint.) We do have a budget that we set up, but we're not huge sticklers to sticking with it - mostly because the giant investment of a house has been paid and the emergency fund is well-stocked. That being said, we don't go out to eat very often, we only shop sales for clothing, we earmark certain funds for "fun" (camp salary), shop only at Market Basket... We're pretty frugal, but not to the point where it hinders us in any way.

  2. We're wickedly frugal over here. Well, maybe that's not entirely true. Compared to our city counterparts, we're wickedly frugal. We rarely go out to eat, stick to a budget (we use Quicken software, I was uncomfortable with all my personal finance stuff in a free online tracking like Mint - though I hear it's awesome!), keep a beefy savings, and don't carry any debt beyond our house and car. We are really frugal when shopping for furniture, starting DIY projects - we've decided to count the value in our own labor higher than the value of purchasing a lot of things ready made. But it's hard being frugal, sometimes!

  3. Gotta love Market Basket! I'm SHOCKED at how cheap our grocery bills have become since we discovered the wonders and joys of the MB.

  4. It IS hard being frugal, but we're embracing it. We're doing what you're doing- but I love the idea of calculating ready made vs. DIY labor values. We are always looking to save a few bucks, but sometimes it ends up costing us $$$ in time/energy. By the way- SO JEALOUS of the Ryobi table saw. So is Mr. Tiny Wallet Style ;)


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