Does becoming more financially secure top your New Year’s resolution list? You’re not alone. I haven’t blogged about it until now, but if I’m not up late reading about wood and DIY I’m reading about finance. I’m a self-proclaimed cheapskate, real estate investor, stock holder, financial planner and shamelessly frugal… and I learned most of my money-ways from my family. I grew up with seven sisters. Yep, eight girls. Just let that sink in for a bit… EIGHT DAUGHTERS. All girls, no boys. Still reeling? I think my parents are too. We were army brats who drank powdered milk, entertained each other, and lived frugally. Now we’re all adults with families of our own and each of my sisters live smart money lives.
I asked each sister to give one suggestion on frugal living and here you go…
8 FRUGAL TIPS from the 8 of us for the new year:
- Cook at home and for crying out loud eat the left-overs. Double every meal and freeze one or cook all of it to be used for lunches and other meals throughout the week. If you have to eat out fast food is a rip-off so get take out, avoid the tip and time of sitting in a restaurant. Stacy, the oldest and wisest of the bunch is the queen of frugal even though she doesn’t have to be. She with her husband Jason, the bravest bro who joined the family first, are my go-to reference for sound financial advice.
- Budget, budget, budget. Then budget some more! Be realistic about what you spend and where. Then live within the limits, it gives freedom and a great nights’ sleep. Carey holds a masters degree in accounting and this girl works every dollar.
- Live on 50% of your income, like all your stay-alive-expenses should fit within 50% of your gross income. The other 50% goes to tax, charitable giving, savings, travel, and everything else. Natalie’s has six kids and- hold on to your phone- they have been to over 30 countries together! This family shoots for the stars.
- Don’t go into debt for anything but a house! And always spend less than you make. Always. Lisa is a sucessful small business owner with her husband, hard-worker, and a fantastic mom to three boys.
- Of course I’m going to say DIY-it! Build it, paint it, create it yourself. And if you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. You just don’t need more stuff, you really, really don’t! Sarah aka hardware truly.
- Thou shalt not covet. Oh man, does our society need to follow this commandment. Know what your priority is and be okay with it. If you love houses, work to buy something you love and don’t moan and groan when your neighbor buys a killer convertible. If you love education and travel, go places and invest in learning, but don’t get all crazy when your bestie mortgages her life away for a huge house. Be comfortable with who you are, your personal goals and go for it. You can’t have everything and more importantly, you don’t need everything! Emily is a hard-working single mother of two and makes sound frugal financial decisions everyday for her family. And p.s. I am typing this post wearing a t-shirt I bought in college, which was like a billion years ago, so I hear you sista!
- Track your spending. You have to know what you’re spending and where to effectively budget. Shop with a list. Stores are marketing geniuses and we all fall prey to clever placement and enticing items. I am proud to say my younger sister Andrea is completely out of debt and is hardcore when it comes to finances.
- If something breaks don’t assume you need a new one. Try to fix it, download a YouTube video or read the owners manual. Take a minute and figure it out before you rush to the store to buy a new one or call a repair person. Some things are not complicated and it’s worth a go on your own. You might be surprised how much money you will save. Zub, well okay her name is Elizabeth, but we all call her Zub. She has wisdom beyond her age, and even though she’s the youngest we all look up to her financial savvy-ness.
Are you already doing any of these suggestions? Do you have some awesome suggestions about frugal living? Comment below!