Over the past six months or so I’ve taken many steps towards living a more frugal life. During that time, I’ve learned a lot of valuable information from many people — information that I will carry with me forever.
Though I’ve learned a lot over the past six months, I know there’s still a lot more to learn, so when an opportunity arises to read a book on living frugally, I take it.
Shortly before Christmas, I was in Ocean State with my mom when I came across Suddenly Frugal by Leah Ingram for $2.99. For that price, there was NO WAY I was passing it up since I knew at Amazon, B&N, etc. it would be way more. And what better way to practice frugality than by not buying books at full -price, which I admit, I’ve always done. Bad, bad me!
When I first started reading Suddenly Frugal, I was excited but a bit skeptical. The front of the book clearly states that you could potentially save your family up to $25,000 a year! Yes, that’s right, $25,000 a year. That’s a substantial amount. Is it really possible?
While I was skeptical, I knew there were many areas in my life that could use significant cutbacks, so I was willing to give her book a chance.
Throughout Suddenly Frugal, Ms. Ingram offers up a bevy of helpful frugal living tips on home repairs, car repairs, family entertainment, grocery shopping and more. She left no stone unturned, which I loved. I’m a stickler for details, so the more information given to me, the better. And this book was most definitely filled with it.
Another aspect of Ms. Ingram’s book that I loved was the Total Savings section at the end of each chapter. It was astounding to see how much we could save every year by following her advice. By the end of the book, it totaled $25,000 in savings. So to answer my earlier question, yes, it’s possible to save that amount. And I for one know it would help my family if we could save even half of that.
When I finally finished Suddenly Frugal, I was upset because I wanted to keep reading what Ms. Ingram had to say. Her writing style is easy to follow and not condescending in any way. I detest reading books that make you feel stupid. If anything, Ms. Ingram’s book builds you up and shows you that no matter what lifestyle you’re accustomed to, you can live a more frugal life with a little time and effort.
So if you’re looking for a great read on living frugally, Suddenly Frugal is a wonderful choice.
If you’re interested in learning more about Leah Ingram and her frugal living tips, make sure to stop by her Suddenly Frugal Blog. And don’t forget to bookmark it.
*If you are interested in having me review your book, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
As each year ends and a new one begins there’s always a feeling of hope in the air that the coming year will be better than the last — that all the things you wish for and dream of happening will actually come into fruitation.
I’m just like many others who make lists of resolutions and dreams that they would like to achieve before the end of each year. I, too, dream.
So here are my goals for the coming year. Some are definitely attainable while others are going to take a lot of work if I want to stand a chance at seeing them realized. But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past couple of years is that dreaming is a good thing because when you least expect it, that’s when your dream(s) come true.
1- Live a healthier lifestyle – One of my most important goals for this year is to live a healthier lifestyle. One way that I hope to achieve this is by exercising more and by eating a healthier diet. It’s very easy to slack on exercising and turn to comfort foods (foods that aren’t the best for you) when you’re stressed or feeling down. While I won’t deprive myself of my favorite foods and will treat myself once in awhile, I’m going to make better choices and think more about the types of food I put into my body. Besides, the healthier I am, the better my chances of living a long and healthy life. And the longer I can be here for my kids.
2- Finish my NaNoWriMo novel – Back in November I participated in NaNoWriMo for the third time. As the saying goes, “third times a charm”. This year I actually met the 50,000 word goal and then some. I was very proud of myself. I didn’t finish my novel, but the word count was met and that’s what matters. There are still parts of my novel that need to be written and it still needs a whole lot of editing, but I know it has the potential of being a book that inspires others, so it’s worth all the work it needs.
3- Start and finish my first ebook – Recently I began outlining an idea for an ebook. What started out as an idea for a niche website has evolved into something more, and I’m truly excited to see what the outcome will be. I truly believe that it’s a book that will be useful to my fellow Maine residents, so I can’t wait to finish it and set it forth in the world to see if it can make an impact.
4- Live a more frugal life – We live in a time where we want instant gratification. If we want something, we buy it. We don’t stop and ask ourselves if we really need an item. We just buy it on an impulse only to find out later that it’s not an item we love or truly need.
In addition, money is tight for most people, including myself. There are months when it’s a struggle to pay all of the bills. I hate when that happens, so I want to continue to cutdown/cutback on bills where I can.
I also want to focus on learning to coupon more. I’ve met some of the most amazing ladies who are truly couponing Queens. The amounts they save is astounding and inspiring, and I want to learn more from them.
5- Find a publisher for my children’s story – Several years ago I wrote a story about my daughter’s imaginary friend. It’s a story that our entire family looks at fondly. I think it’s important to parents to realize that imaginary friends are normal. I don’t think the story is quite what it could be, so I plan to revisit it over the coming months and perfect it. From there, the sky is the limit.
6- Be kinder to myself – I’m like most moms. I criticize myself a lot for not getting enough done each day — for not having a perfect house, a perfect house, perfect anything. If I don’t do something perfectly, I instantly degrade myself, which is wrong. Not everything in life needs to be perfect, including myself, so I need to stop the negative talks to myself, and start telling myself that I’m doing my best and it’s okay to have an imperfect life. By allowing myself to be more accepting, it’ll mean a happier and less stressed out me. And wouldn’t that be nice!
7- Finish decluttering my house – Last year I started following the FlyLady site. At first I laughed at the things she said, thinking they wouldn’t have such a profound affect on my life. But guess what? They have. I have noticed a change in the way I view housework and that is a great feeling. She has helped me to realize that anything is possible if done in babysteps, so slowly but surely I’ve been decluttering my house, getting rid of the things that I don’t need or love.
FlyLady and the rest of the site members have helped me to realize that I’m important too and that it’s okay to pamper myself everyday, whether it be taking a bubblebath or reading a book. Fiftten minutes a day is all it takes. (So thank you FlyLady and everyone else for giving me the hope and realization that I don’t need to live in CHAOS anymore.)
8- Focus on rev share articles – I’ve seen some impressive rev share amounts in recent amounts from fellow freelancers. The amounts range anywhere from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars. Seeing those kinds of numbers is inspiring, so my goal is to write several rev share articles a week.
To achieve the most success, I’m going to focus on article topics that I love to write about and interest me, that way they don’t feel like such a chore and that I already know a lot about.
As you can see, some of my goals will be easier to achieve than others. Some are going to require great amounts of work if I actually want to see them achieved. And that’s okay, because I love the challenge. Now wish me luck and feel free to share some of your goals and resolutions for 2011. And as you work towards each of them, keep telling yourself that you can do it. Don’t make excuses. Reach high and work hard and you’ll be amazed at what you achieve.
– Photo courtesy of sreecmcm.