Naturally Frugal Lifestyle - We All Do It

First things first:  Happy New Year!!

I am dubbing 2020 as the year of visions realized. Perfect vision is considered 20/20, after all, right? More about that later...

In the meantime, I wanted to share an experience I had last month (with tips at the end). I had an awesome opportunity to join KSL NewsRadio's Dave and Dujanovic show segment titled "Right On the Money" a few times near the end of 2019. They started a $1,000 emergency savings challenge, based on the statistic they had found showing that over 50% of Americans DON'T have at least $1,000 in an emergency savings fund. 

I love a good financial challenge, and any excuse to motivate me to up my game is something I want in on, so I joined in. I reached the $1,000 in just a few months, and then life happened, as it does, so I had to start back from almost $0. In the end, I was able to make it happen, and during the Christmas show they had me on to talk for just a few minutes about how I did it.

With the co-host.

I mentioned only a couple of things: I got in touch with my employer's HR rep and began having a certain portion of money deposited directly into a separate savings account. I got rid of Netflix. I also worked the side hustle game, adding another (extremely) part-time job and selling things on eBay here and there. 

After the show, my family and I listened to the recording for fun. My daughter asked me why in the world I didn't share any of the other many things I did. I told her, "I couldn't think of anything else!" She then proceeded to tick off a dozen or more things that we do as a family to live frugally. 

I realized that I hadn't thought of any of those things because they're things we're already doing...simply as a part of our lifestyle!  Made my day to realize that I'm already super frugal, and just don't even think about it because it's just how I am. 

Five years ago I would have mentioned every sacrifice we've made. It wasn't a habit back then. We all have things like that, right? Ways that we're living frugally that have just become a part of our routine. 

Well, today I want you to celebrate the wins you've already achieved in your own frugal lifestyle! What things are you already doing that you barely think about anymore? What things are you hoping to add? When you look back at your past accomplishments it sure becomes easier and more motivating to start adding more. So tell me: what financial wins have you had over the years? I don't care how big or how small they are...look at them, write them down, share them! Be proud of them and recognize your worth and efforts made. 

Are you looking for more ways to save as a part of the new year? (I know I am!) Take a look at the list of things I've found myself doing naturally below. Maybe you're already doing these yourself. Maybe there are one or two items you haven't done and would like to start. Maybe you'll think I'm crazy. :) It's all good either way! Then please feel free to share your new goals for the year - financial or otherwise. 

Here's some of what we've incorporated into our lives. I'll go into more detail on each in a separate post:

  • 90% of the clothing our household buys is used. For me personally, it's more like 98%. 
  • Our dishwasher broke, but I'm not buying a new one until we're out of debt. We wash dishes by hand.
  • We have never cut cable because we've never had cable. We did cut Netflix this year. 
  • We've not skipped salon visits, because we don't go to the salon. 
  • We go out to eat once a month.
  • For meat, we generally eat chicken or pork since it tends to be much cheaper. I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts in bulk when they are on sale for $0.99 per pound.  
  • We will occasionally buy a nicer cut of meat from Smith's when they mark the price down.
  • We go to the movies 2-3 times a year. 
  • We use the library for any book reading, CD listening to, and occasional movies.
  • Once a year at the end of the year my local libraries hold a clearance sale. It's "Fill a Bag for $1" and I will usually fill a bag with cookbooks, self-help, gardening, etc style books to keep. 
  • We grow an heirloom garden and save the seeds from year to year to help cut down costs.
  • When gardening, we generally buy seeds to save money. 
  • With our garden, we can our own salsa, spaghetti sauce, and grape juice. We haven't bought salsa in years. 
  • In the winter I keep the heat down really low while the kids are at school. 
  • I use a zero-based budgeting app to budget every penny. 
  • I use a cash/envelope system for groceries, auto, and more.
  • Lights are turned off unless needed.
  • We've got electronics on power cords. Those are turned off when not in use. 
  • We base our grocery purchases on what's on sale.
  • We menu plan based on what we have at home in the pantry.
  • We involve the kids in the finances when appropriate.
  • We shop around for car insurance every couple of years to ensure we're getting the best deal we can.
  • We automate savings, as I mentioned above.

This is just the start of some of what we do. I'll add more as I think of them, haha! I often can't remember because it really truly is a habit at this point. 

What about you? What do you do to save money? What's become completely ingrained in your living?


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