Frugal Living

Reader Question: How Do You Handle Kids and Money?

posted by Andrea | 03/15/2018 | 34 comments

Kids + money has been a hot topic in the Dekker house these past few weeks, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share a recent Reader Question I got regarding how we handle kids and money!

Since our children are still so young, I definitely don’t feel like I have all the answers — so I’d love it if those of you with more experience in this area of parenting would enlighten us all in the comments!

My Crazy ‘Should I Buy This?’ Decision Process

posted by Andrea | 03/13/2018 | 10 comments

As many of you know, I try to be mindful about what I bring into my home — thankfully, I’m not a big shopper, so it’s relatively easy for me to resist impulse purchases!

However, when I DO purchase something, I mentally think through several questions before bringing the item home. Today I’m sharing those questions, and how they help me resist extra clutter in my home!

How We Recently Saved Almost $100 on Insurance in About 5 Minutes

posted by Andrea | 03/9/2018 | 13 comments

Two years ago, I shared 9 tips to save on insurance (home, auto, medical, dental, life, etc.) and I believe those tips are all still very relevant today. 

However, after a recent email conversation with our home/auto insurance company, I thought it was worth reiterating how ridiculously easy it can be to save money on insurance… simply by asking a few questions every now and then. 

You’ll Never Guess Our Largest Monthly Expense!

posted by Andrea | 02/12/2018 | 39 comments

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been overly aware of how much we’re spending in what categories over the past 6 months (I blame it on baby #4 arriving 5 months ago!)

However, curiosity got the best of me last month, so I quickly opened our Finance Tracking Workbooks for the last several years… and I was totally shocked at what I found! 

9 Reasons We Use Credit Cards to Simplify our Lives

posted by Andrea | 01/25/2018 | 116 comments

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 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.

How I Clean our Secondhand Treasures

posted by Andrea | 01/22/2018 | 17 comments

It’s no secret that we LOVE buying used and secondhand items whenever we can. Of course, buying used items means I will need to thoroughly wash everything before we use it!

If you’re new to buying thrift store items or if you’re interested in how exactly I clean our thrift store finds, I will hopefully cover most items in this post!

Because 40% Off Is Still 60% More Than Not Buying It In The First Place!

posted by Andrea | 01/15/2018 | 11 comments

Although I generally dislike shopping, I often find it difficult to pass up a bargain — especially at thrift stores , online, or if I get freebie coupons.

Today I’m sharing a couple recent stories about how I (almost) got sucked into using a coupon just because it was a great deal… tell me I’m not the only one with this problem 🙂

How to Clean Up Battery Corrosion

posted by Andrea | 12/19/2017 | 16 comments

I can’t even begin to add up how much money I’ve saved buying used toys, electronics, games, and other battery-powered items over the years — especially once I learned how to quickly clean up battery corrosion!

If you use batteries, you’ll want to read today’s post!!  

Increase Your Saving and Investment Potential With Automatic Deposits

posted by Andrea | 12/13/2017 | 24 comments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — automating our savings and investments has been one of the most important reasons we’ve been able to stick with our lofty financial goals for the past 11+ 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. Then commit to leaving that money untouched for as long as you possibly can!!

How I Organize and Keep Track of My Digital Receipts

posted by Andrea | 12/4/2017 | 21 comments

If you do the majority of your shopping online like I do, you probably get what feels like 10 million emails regarding your various online purchases — when the orders are places, when they are processed, when the products are shipped, when the orders are delivered, etc. etc. etc. 

It can feel overwhelming if you don’t have a system. Thankfully, you do NOT need a fancy system to track your digital receipts — I’m sharing my super simple system today!

The Saving Power of Waiting 24 Hours

posted by Andrea | 11/16/2017 | 32 comments

We’re quickly approaching the time of year when there are so many sales and “great deals” that it’s often easy to make quick decisions and impulse purchases we might later regret.

If you’re hoping to avoid extra impulse purchases this year, today’s tip might help you do just that!

Clara’s Birth Announcements

posted by Andrea | 11/9/2017 | 17 comments

In the age of social media, I definitely don’t think it’s necessary to send out an official birth announcement — however, I personally like sending them out and I know some of our non-techy relatives enjoy getting them in the mail!

Today, I’m sharing Clara’s birth announcement — as well as how I made them myself for a bargain!

My Super Simple, Super Frugal, Quick Fix for Faulty Technology

posted by Andrea | 11/8/2017 | 26 comments

Over the years, I have learned one super simple, super frugal, quick fix for faulty technology that has worked over and over and over again for me…

It might not work for every tech issue you encounter — but considering it’s completely free, super easy to do, and only takes a few seconds, it’s probably worth a shot the next time you experience an issue with your technology!

My Favorite Dollar Store Buys

posted by Andrea | 08/28/2017 | 30 comments

Not everything at the dollar store is necessarily a great bargain, but there are definitely some amazing deals if you’re willing to browse!

Since we love our local dollar store so much, I thought it might be fun to share some of OUR favorite items to buy on our monthly walks to the dollar store. 

Save Big on Back-To-School (+ a $200 Giveaway!)

posted by Andrea | 08/3/2017 | 13 comments

When I was growing up, back-to-school shopping meant scouring the ads, clipping coupons, and driving from store to store in search of $0.10 note pads, $1.00 markers, and my favorite… Trapper Keepers!

Now days, back-to-school shopping is SO much simpler and easier because you can do almost everything online! And speaking of shopping online, I have a $200 Visa gift card to help one lucky reader stretch their back-to-school shopping budget just that much farther!

Why We DON’T Budget for House Projects

posted by Andrea | 07/21/2017 | 27 comments

Over the last 6.5 years, Dave and I have spent a considerable amount of money fixing up, renovating, remodeling, and decorating our home… and since I share the renovations on my blog, I’m regularly asked how we budget and plan for all our home projects.

I’m guessing many of you would be shocked to know that Dave and I actually DON’T budget for house projects… that’s what I’m talking about today!

How We Enjoy the Fruits of Our Frugalness

posted by Andrea | 05/30/2017 | 35 comments

I have always been good at making the most of our MONETARY resources. However, in many ways, this has caused me to squander my resources of time and energy. Also, we weren’t really enjoying any tangible benefits from all my frugal habits.

Today I’m sharing how our family has introduced a little more MODERATION into our savings and spending over the past 4-5 years, and how we are now regularly enjoying the “fruits” of our frugalness!

Save More: Buy What You Need Versus What You Can Afford

posted by Andrea | 04/7/2017 | 22 comments

We wouldn’t have very full lives if we ONLY allowed ourselves to buy exactly what we needed to survive and nothing more. It’s fun to splurge a little every now and then and it can be a special treat to do or buy something we might not normally do or buy.

But I do think we (myself included) could all save a lot of money if we simply stopped to ask “Do I NEED this?” versus “Can I AFFORD this?”