August 22, 2010

Inspiring Stories of Debt-Busting and Frugal Living

This post was originally published on September 19, 2009. I hope you find these stories as inspiring as I did (and still do).

We're still busting through our debt here and getting closer to our goal, albeit slowly. But I am always counting our blessings - our family, our health, a home whose value hasn't plummeted, a great job for my hubs, a financial plan for our future that includes investments and life insurance, two vehicles paid off and owned in full, and the frugal living tips and support I've found here in the blogosphere - and reminding myself that while we keep pushing for our future goals, it's important to be fully present in the moment as well.

Living in the moment for me means that some days, I don't open this laptop, I don't make the rounds at the stores for the freebies and cheabies of the week, and I don't write an impossibly long to-do list of tasks that aren't nearly as pressing as they seem once they're written down on paper. Living in the moment for me is all about getting unplugged and spending time in this beautiful real world of mine with my kiddos and hubs and friends.

Learning to enjoy the blessings around you is far more soul-filling than any retail therapy. As I said once (long ago on the first version of this blog), true happiness isn't found at the Dollar Spot at Target.

The motto of this blog - Spend Less :: Do More - isn't just about money, it's about truly living life, not just accumulating all the stuff required for a certain lifestyle.

Living a certain lifestyle (whether you can afford it or not) is what drives so many people deep, deep into debt which is why when I came across these three stories, I wanted to share them with you. They inspired me and I hope that they might inspire one of you as well. It IS possible to pull yourself out of the Lifestyle of the Debt-Cycle and finally own your life.

-->This family paid off $106,000 in unsecured debt in five years. You may have already seen this headline on Yahoo! today; if you haven't read the story yet, I urge you to hop over and read their journey. They perservered and stayed the course even when it seemed overwhelmingly impossible. Go Hildebrandts!!

-->Have you stumbled across Debt Proof Living yet? Not only is this site (and it's blog) a great resource, it's written by someone who pulled herself and her family out of the deep trenches of extreme debt (think $100,000 in 1982); you can read Mary's story here. (Thanks to Erin at $5 Dinners for tuning me into her!)

-->Last, if you've ever wondered about stockpiling food and if it's a wise investment of time, money, and space, you simply must read The Prudent Homemaker's story about how her stockpile has fed her family for nearly two years. It made me think about what more I can do to be ready for lean times if they should happen to us. (Thanks, Jennifer @ Saving and Giving for introducing me to this great site!)

Enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading The New Frugal Mom!


  1. Thank you for the link!

    You're very blessed to live where your home value hasn't plummeted. Our home, like most of the other homes in this city, is worth 60% less than we paid for it 4 years ago. 1 in 17 people is facing foreclosure in my city, and our state now has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

    Just a quick update on our story--we had 9 months of shopping last year, and then I stopped shopping early last December (no buying of ANYTHING--only paying the mortgage and utilities). I was able to buy a little food at the end of February, and I've been able to do a little since then, but $125 a month with a family of 8 and 2 in diapers doesn't get us much, so we've been primarily living from our pantry and garden AGAIN since last December.

    It's a relief to have food to put on the table.

  2. is a great site. It's based on Dave Ramsey and his principles. I love it and have learned a lot since joining the site.

    I just found your blog and will be bookmarking it. I live in Mason so your deals you find are PERFECT.


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