I Heart Frugalwoods

Hello! Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020, and the start of self-improvement projects!

I have been reading a blog called “Frugalwoods” for a little over a year now.

It was recommended to me by a friend whose advice I appreciate, and whose stance on life, raising kids, etc. I greatly admire.

January is one of two months each year when Mrs. Frugalwoods (the blog’s author) challenges her readers to an “Uber-Frugal Month Challenge.”

I’ve half-heartedly attempted this challenge in the past, but never fully committed (I’ve done the readings, but never answered the questions).

We’ve entered the new year (HAPPY NEW YEAR!) and a fresh start to committing to personal growth and improvement.

This is not only a place to log my efforts, trials, and perhaps a failure or two, but is hopefully also a good spot to stay accountable.

If you would like to follow along and join the challenge too, you can find all the information you will need right here:

https://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/12/19/uber-frugal-month-the-ultimate-guide-to-saving-more-money-than-you-ever-thought-possible/

Uber Frugal Month Challenge – Day 1: Everything in life that is worth doing takes effort. 
The first assignment in the Uber Frugal Month Challenge to answer 5 questions establishing goals for why you would want to be frugal in the first place. 
  1. Why Participate in the Challenge? I just bought a house, which means that my entire life savings is no longer liquid – it is, in fact, very solid. My husband is in law school, which means that he is actively taking on debt for the next three years. There is nothing like thousands of dollars in loans that makes you want to save every penny. I would love to feel like there was wiggle room in my budget to pursue personal artistic passions, take classes, gain knowledge, etc. Right now, those things feel selfish and unnecessary and I want them to feel good and fulfilling.
  2. What do you hope to achieve? I’d like to be able to grow my savings again, even if it’s just a little bit every month, to feel like I am saving for the future and to have a little cushion in case of any bumps in the road along the way.
  3. What are your longterm life goals? I’d like to have an artistic practice that I can commit time and money towards. I want to be able to invest in high-quality things that I know will last rather than low quality, short-lived items that are more “affordable” in the short-term. Last, but certainly not least, I want kids. I have known that I want to be a mom for as long as I can remember. I don’t think everyone has this feeling, but I definitely do. Kids are expensive, and I want to save for them, their futures, their dreams, their messes, all of it.
  4. Where do you want to be in ten years? At the risk of sounding incredibly boring, I want to have a house, one (maybe two) kids, a dog, two cats, and [REDACTED] – obviously.  I want to have leisurely mornings when I wake up early and make myself a hot cup of tea, take the dog to the dog park, take the kids to a museum, and have time to cook – maybe not all in one day, but spread those things out over a week, and that sounds great. I want to have passion projects, a strong community, and lots of laughter.
  5. What about your current lifestyle might prevent those goals from coming to fruition and what can you do about it? Frankly, I think [REDACTED] and I are pretty good about keeping tabs on our spending. The things that trip me up most are 1) thrift stores – I love searching for treasures in racks on racks of clothes at dirt cheap prices. It sounds frugal, but it isn’t if you are me and would be more than happy to go out hunting for finds every weekend. 2) food waste – for some reason, [REDACTED] and I can’t seem to go through one of those tubs of lettuce you can get at the grocery store for $5 before it goes bad. We just can’t do it. For us, and for the environment, I would really like to be better about not wasting the food we buy.3) home improvement projects – some of them are definitely more “necessary” than others, but in general, I think we’ve gotten on a kick of home improvement projects that aren’t always the best for our bank account. In the coming years, I am hoping to find balance in saving up for specific projects and working our way through home improvement at a “slow(er) and steady pace.”
Step one – done! That wasn’t so hard. Step 2 and 3 are more dollars-and-cents centered. Step 2 is to review last month’s spending, and Step 3 is to categorize your expenses. 
This isn’t a financial blog – so I will spare you those details, but I will come back (when I’m done) with Step 4: What can I eliminate entirely!?
  

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