Thank you for joining me here at The New Frugal Mom. I blog about deals, frugal living, and gaining your financial freedom one day at a time.

If you're not already a new frugal mom, get started on your frugal journey today!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Are You a New Frugal Mom?

Who is the New Frugal Mom?

You. Me. Any mom, or any household manager, who wants to save money, stretch their budget, and use their time wisely.

Maybe you were lucky enough to be raised in a frugal household where your family taught you how to re-use instead of throwing away, how to plan and maintain a budget, how to save for your future, and how to make every penny count.

Unfortunately, this isn't the norm any more in American culture. The current sub-prime mortgage mess is testament to the I-Deserve-It-All-NOW attitude, an attitude that leads to a lifestyle that is impossible to upkeep when the house of cards falls down with a whoosh!

But the word is out: frugal is in. Clipping coupons is hip; Freecycling is green and cool. Garage-sale-hopping is the hottest hobby around.

Going Frugal is the new chic!

No matter what the state of your current finances might be, if you're trying hard to better manage your money, to consume less and save more, then you are a New Frugal Mom.

Welcome to the club!

The Frugal Journey

Welcome to The New Frugal Mom! If you're here, you're already on the path of what I like to call The Frugal Journey. Congratulations!

Before I continue, it's important that I tell you that I, too, am on my own Frugal Journey. By no means am I at the finish line! The beauty of the Frugal Journey is that there is no finish line; no matter where you are in your journey, there is always something new to be learned from the experience and the wisdom of others.

I'm an at-home mom to three who recently took the plunge into blogging last year (you can read snippets of my life at my personal blog, Writer-Mommy). While I've considered myself internet-savvy and deal-smart for years, I had no idea just what I'd been missing in the blogosphere. My long-held opinion that mommyblogs were just vehicles for ranting and raving about the frustrations that come with life as a mom quickly changed; the amount of useful information I found on other moms' blogs astounded me, especially money saving tips, ideas, and links to deal-worthy coupons. Truly, mommyblogging has evolved from it's infancy into an instant over-the-back-fence network of moms sharing information. It is exactly what the Internet should be.

My main inspiration for this blog is fellow blogger Crystal Paine. I discovered her blog Money Saving Mom late in 2007 and quickly learned that yes indeed, I could do much better on my budgeting, couponing, and everyday money management. She has inspired many other blogging moms and I do encourage you to visit her blog if you haven't discovered it on your own.

While I have nothing but good things to say about Crystal (she's blessed so many by sharing information and by her willingness to be transparent about her life), I know that some of the choices she and her husband make regarding budgeting and money matters aren't ones that my husband and I would make. And the beauty is this: there's nothing wrong with that. The details of my Frugal Journey will look different than hers, and yours, and everyone else's. We all start the Frugal Journey at different points in our lives, in our marriages, in our families, and in our careers. The key elements we do share are a willingness to work harder at guarding our financial resources and the open-mindedness to learn from others also on the Frugal Journey.

One last note: to those who might be feeling overwhelmed with debt, to those facing negative equity in their homes as the sub-prime mortgage crisis hits full steam, to those families moving from two incomes to one - or losing the one income they do have to downsizing or layoffs - I want to and need to tell you now that I am no financial expert. My husband and I have our own current debts to pay - along with other debts we've zeroed out over the years - debts we've willingly assumed as we moved six times in eleven years (both as a Navy family and as civilians, buying four homes, selling three) in order to finally get to a job that my husband loves and to the one place we wanted our children to know as home. There is no quick fix that I can offer you, as much as I would love to do so. But if you've come to a point where you know you can - you know you must - do better with your money management, I urge you to take one step more down the path that is The Frugal Journey.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!