My Frugal Journey: TNFM

Posted by Marianne Thomas | 3/13/2009 11:02:00 AM | | 3 comments »

My Frugal Journey is a new feature here at The New Frugal Mom; I'll share bits and pieces of where I am on my own Frugal Journey and I would love (LOVE!) to have you, my fabulous readers share your Frugal Journey as well.

If you're interested in guest posting here for this (hopefully) weekly feature, please email me; I'll send you my guidelines (don't worry, they're pretty simple!).

This week, I'll share some of my Frugal Journey with you.

I've always considered myself to be pretty money-savvy; my hubs of almost fourteen years and I have had a steady financial plan (investments + life insurance) for our future that we've contributed to since our mid-twenties. As our kiddos came along, we expanded our planning to include them as well.

But I'm no financial expert; in fact, I keep thinking that I need to update my site with a Disclosure statement that says, "I'm no financial expert, just someone who enjoys making my pennies squeal for mercy."

I think it's important to be honest about that with all of you; I write this blog because it helps me stay on top of my own deals and savings plus it gives me the chance to share knowledge with newbies and with people who in the current economic climate truly - truly - need help reducing their expenses. We were all newbies to this couponing gig once and I've benefited so much from what I've learned in the blogosphere that I want to pass it on.

While we're on a Kick Debt Out Of Town plan here at our house, we're not debt-free...yet. I did pay off my van this week (WOOT!!) but we still have consumer debt to clear off the books. Why the debt? Well, it's not from jetting off to Disney once a year or from shopping sprees at the mall; both hubs and a I are savers, not spenders. But in the course of our marriage, we moved across country six times (military + corporate moves) and our last two moves resulted in us taking back-to-back losses on our homes. We're steadily paying those losses off and looking forward to crossing them off the list.

Just a side note - while I don't like debt and can't wait to have ours G-O-N-E, I don't think that being in debt means you're dumb or can't manage your money. Nor do I think that all indebtedness is inherently sinful; I myself would mortgage the remaining days of my life if it meant saving my children's lives.

I honestly believe that man plans and God laughs. Everyday, bad things happen to good people with no seeming explanation. And investing in your future through student loans or by being open to making life-altering changes that come with risk/cost happens as well.

My point?

I know many of you out there may disagree with me and that's ok; there's always room in a good conversation for a little civil disagreement. Differing points of view, respectfully spoken, are always welcome here. I just want you, my fabulous readers, to know I'm walking this Frugal Journey with a judge not lest ye be judged kind of attitude.

And I'm glad I get to share my Frugal Journey with you as well; as scary as it can be to make yourself vulnerable to the wide world of the blogosphere, people are for the most part genuinely kind and good and supportive. I hope you feel that way when you visit this blog.

So there you have it, a bit about me and where I am on my Frugal Journey. As I've said before in many real life conversations and posts, I'm soooo not perfect. I've got size 8 feet of clay and I'm happy to admit it because it means I can ask for help and learn from you and from others.

Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing some of your precious time with me here today. I know how busy you are - it means much to me that you drop in for a visit.

**I'll post my Double Duty Dinners later tonight to help you get a jump start on dinner next week; come back and check it out!**

Have a great weekend!


  1. Anonymous // March 14, 2009 5:28 AM  

    While I enjoyed your article on frugality, it also struck a nerve. We go to Disney each year, but with us it's a little bit different. All through the year, the amounts saved being frugal are put together from parents and children alike. The excess toys and clothes are sold. The annual garage sale is held. Just as you saved and penny pinched for something you wanted - we do too! The more amazing thing is the amount we have left fits the budget just perfectly for community donations. Do I feel judged? Yes. Please feel more than free to delete.

  2. Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net // March 14, 2009 6:33 AM  

    Mare, I personally loved this post! I don't think it sounded judgemental at all either.

    I think the point you and I have spoken on is that some people look at debt as someone being stupid and without thought. Some of that may be the case, but other times it's incurred because of a job or a surgery. Hello, God IS the only one who can predict those things and while we can prepare as we might, it's sometimes hard to be completely ready.

  3. Marianne Thomas // March 14, 2009 9:14 AM  

    Anon: I'm sorry if you felt this post was judgemental; I used Disney as an example only because it's an icon in our culture, a very expensive one at that.

    I applaud you for using your frugal ways to save for your yearly trip -- many people don't (or won't) live frugally to achieve their goals, hence our current economic mess.

    My point was that some debt is just a result of a pervasive I Want It All Now attitude in our culture and some debt is truly incurred from dire circumstances.

    I'm not going to delete your comment -- you're an example of what being frugal is all about: setting goals, making sacrifices, and ultimately reaping rewards for yourself and your family.

    Thanks for sharing your story and I genuinely hope you don't feel offended!