Frugal Living

How I Decide When to Save or Splurge

posted by Andrea | 02/25/2015 | 26 comments
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Most of you know that I am a very frugal person. When given a choice, I will almost always go with the less expensive item — even if the more expensive item is closer to what I want.

However, I’ve been working hard at “letting” myself splurge on more quality items here and there — and today, I’m sharing what items I’m more willing to splurge on, what items I still prefer to save on, and how I make my choice either way.

9 Reasons We Use Credit Cards to Simplify our Lives

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2015 | 81 comments
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I’ve had a credit card since I was 16 — and Dave and I use credit cards to pay for almost everything we buy.

I definitely don’t think that credit cards are the best financial decision for everyone — and at the same time, I don’t think being restricted to a cash-only budget is the best financial decision for everyone. That said, here are just a few of the ways credit cards majorly simplify and organize my life.

DIY Homemade Hair-Detangling Spray

posted by Andrea | 01/26/2015 | 26 comments
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Although I absolutely adore Nora’s curls, her hair is snarly, hard to comb, and a pain to control. Add in the fact that she doesn’t love any amount of water on her face or head, and you can imagine how difficult it is to wash her hair — let alone use conditioner to control the frizz and snarls!

Enter my free, 20-second, DIY Hair Detangling Spray (a.k.a. “magic spray”) and we’ve almost eliminated the hair brushing battles at our house!

The Difference Between Those Who Meet Their Money-Management Goals and Those Who Don’t

posted by Andrea | 01/9/2015 | 14 comments
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In my experience, there seems to be a very distinct difference between people who rarely ever get ahead financially (no matter how much they make) and people who seem to effortlessly grow their savings account (no matter how little they make).

Today I’m sharing that difference… and my FREE downloadable 2015 Finance-Tracking Workbook — that should help you simplify your money-management goals this year!

Increase Your Saving and Investment Potential With Automatic Deposits

posted by Andrea | 12/10/2014 | 15 comments
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I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it over and over again — automating our savings and our investments has been one of the most important reasons we’ve been able to stick with our lofty savings and investment goals for the past 8+ years.

As we approach another new year with new goals, I’d encourage you to set up a monthly auto-deposit into a specific savings or investment account that you are committed not to touch for a while.

Why I Almost Never Say: “We Can’t Afford That”

posted by Andrea | 10/7/2014 | 61 comments
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About 2 months ago, I shared a post about one of my pet peeves — when people complain about “not having enough time” for various activities.

Today, I’m sharing another pet peeve — saying “We can’t afford that.” I personally try to never say, “we can’t afford that” and I’m sharing why in today’s posts. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

5 Tips to Avoid Impulse Purchases

posted by Andrea | 09/29/2014 | 15 comments
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Impulse purchases can do a number on your budget — not to mention adding excess clutter to your home if you don’t have the space to store your new items.

So as the holiday shopping season approaches, I thought I’d share a few guidelines I follow to avoid impulse purchases. I’d love to know if you have anything to add to my list!

Clutter-Free Gifts for Kids (100 days and counting)

posted by Andrea | 09/16/2014 | 14 comments
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Last week, two different people emailed me asking for advice on clutter-free gifts for kids.

So, in honor of the fact that today marks 100 days until Christmas (yes, you read that right!), and the fact that I’m a huge advocate for completing at least some holiday shopping nice and early, I’m sharing a few of my favorite clutter-free gifts for kids.

6 Ways to Get FREE (or almost free) Clothes

posted by Andrea | 09/9/2014 | 26 comments
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In honor of my week-long clothes clutter series and my ridiculously frugal nature, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about the many ways I’ve managed to get completely free clothing for both me and my kids.

If you’ve ever hesitated to update your wardrobe because you felt it wasn’t in your budget (yes, I can relate), this post is definitely for you!

When We’ve Opted to Pay the Pros

posted by Andrea | 09/3/2014 | 25 comments
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Although Dave and I really love saving a bunch of money on DIY projects, there have been many times over the past 8 years when we’ve eagerly opted to shell out our hard-earned cash to pay a pro to do the dirty work for us.

So when have we opted to pay the pros? Keep reading to find out!

Enjoyment or Entitlement? The questions I’ve struggled with lately.

posted by Andrea | 08/29/2014 | 55 comments
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Over the past two years, I’ve had somewhat of an internal struggle when it comes to splurging on anything that isn’t a necessity.

On one hand, I feel that we can ENJOY a small splurge every once in a while. But on the other hand, I know that one small splurge can lead to feeling ENTITLED to something we might not be able to afford.

Come Grocery Shopping With Me: 4 Years and 2 Kids Later

posted by Andrea | 08/13/2014 | 44 comments
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When I first started blogging (about 4 years ago) it was rare that I spent more than $25 per week on groceries. Now, 4 years and 2 kids later… our grocery bill has TRIPLED!

Come read why our grocery budget has gone up — as well as a few ways I’m still managing to save money with little to no extra effort!

9 Ways to Shop At Costco Without a Membership

posted by Andrea | 06/25/2014 | 28 comments
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Have you ever wondered if a Costco membership (or other wholesale store membership) was right for you?

Today, I’m sharing 9 different ways you can shop (and save) at Costco without a membership — which might give you the opportunity you need to test the waters and see if a membership is worth the price.

DIY Laundry Detergent That Actually Works

posted by Andrea | 06/23/2014 | 83 comments
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Over the past 3+ years, I’ve shared a number of DIY cleaning products here on the blog; however, I’ve never shared a recipe for DIY laundry detergent because I couldn’t find a recipe I actually liked.

That all changed a couple months ago — so today, I’m sharing my new favorite DIY laundry detergent. It works fabulously, it’s really easy to make, it’s quite frugal, and it makes a huge batch!

Craigslist 101: Are You Asking The Right Questions?

posted by Andrea | 06/9/2014 | 6 comments
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As a very experienced Craigslist buyer, I’ve had my fair share of “are you kidding me?” reactions after arriving to buy what I THOUGHT was going to be a great bargain. Thankfully, those experiences are getting fewer and farther between as I’ve learned a lot about asking the right questions.

Today, I’m sharing a list of questions you can ask to hopefully save yourself some time and gas money when shopping on Craigslist.

Craigslist 101: 4 Tips to Set Your Price

posted by Andrea | 05/9/2014 | 10 comments
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Spring is one of the best times of the year for yard sales, garage sales, church sales, 2nd-hand sales, etc. And probably not surprisingly, it’s also prime time for selling stuff on Craigslist (at least where we live).

Today I’m sharing 4 tips for setting appropriate selling prices (and making sure you don’t over-pay as a buyer)

Do Automatic Payments Increase Spending?

posted by Andrea | 04/30/2014 | 18 comments
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As I’ve shared our paperless and automatic way of running our finances over the years, I’m often asked if I think automating things makes it easier to inadvertently increase our spending (even if it’s just a little bit).

My “short answer” is YES — and today, I’m sharing more about why we’re still automating our finances.

How I Save a BUNCH By Creating My Own Stationery

posted by Andrea | 04/18/2014 | 11 comments
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I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy sending out Christmas cards each year — well, I also get way too excited about sending thank-you cards and birth announcements. The only thing I don’t love about them is the price.

However, I have a really simple way to print totally customized stationery for ridiculous low prices!

Why We Don’t Have College Funds for our Kids

posted by Andrea | 03/31/2014 | 41 comments
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Almost immediately after Nora was born, I started getting asked if Dave and I would or would not set up a college fund for her and for future children.

The short answer is “no, probably not” — and today, I’m explaining more about that decision.

My Top 10 Favorite Frugal-Living Posts

posted by Andrea | 03/20/2014 | 3 comments
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As I planned ahead for the arrival of baby Simon, I thought it might be fun to resurrect some of MY favorite posts from the past 3.5 years of blogging.

Today, I’m sharing some of MY favorite frugal-living posts — all about saving, spending, budgeting… and of course, Craigslist!