Frugal Tips: Does Money Give You a Headache?

Dirt of the DayGirl Power

The word FRUGAL is a label that has been stitched to me since I can remember.

My mother (first generation Vietnamese) has engrained in my brain the art of bargain

shopping and the motto as long as you owe money-you don’t have money. You pay

rent you can pay mortgage. It’s extremely black and white. Don’t spend what you don’t


Does Money Give You a Headache?

Having money, saving money and spending money seem to be very difficult for many

people. Being financially responsible definitely takes some discipline. You have to

constantly ask yourself:






We aren’t lacking resources by any means and it’s not brain surgery. We have Suze

Orman, Jean Chatzky, Alan Greenspan and segments every morning on The Today

show. If we just followed their guidelines we wouldn’t be in the emotional money pit we

are in every pay period, but again, it’s a discipline and not an easy one to master.


I was recently asked to help out a friend who couldn’t figure out where her money was

going. I was already aware of her crazy spending habits and went into this with no

judgment. My bank account is equally important to me as is her $2560 Prada bag that

she’s making payments on. Did I mention the leased Lexus, lavish apartment on the top

floor, love/hate relationship with major designers and a really big dog that eats more

than a small dog and requires double costs for boarding?


This is what we found


Extra cell phone features

WHAT SHE COULD SAVE: $32.81 a month after going through xtras she didn’t need.

HOW TO SAVE: Call your cell phone provider and ask for a less expensive plan. Most

providers have plans/features that aren’t advertised. You have to ask!



$52.00 per visit + tip 2x a month = $124

WHAT SHE COULD SAVE: $74 a month

HOW TO SAVE: Start going to an Asian salon or just invest in a file and some top of line

base coat and top coat.


The daily coffee run x 7

WHAT SHE COULD SAVE: $24.50 per week/$98 a month

HOW TO SAVE: Invest in a good coffee pot and make coffee from home.  Spend the

money on a really cute stainless steel insulated travel mug. I just bought a Kuerig B40 on

Craigslist for $42.00. DEAL!!!!

We just skimmed the surface of her spending habits. With those three examples she

could potential save $2129.62 a year.



Grocery stores have certain days they double up the value of coupons.


Instead of spending $65.00 to take a family of four to the movies go to a nearby red box

and get a few movies for $1.00 each, make dinner and spend a night in. For every

activity that requires spending money there is an alternative activity that takes less



Just remember to ask yourself:





In Jean Chatsky’s latest book…PAY IT DOWN she devises a plan on how to become

debt free in three years by stashing away $10 a day-THAT’S $3650 a year!!!!

It’s cool to be frugal!!!!


Written by Kimlai Yingling, creator of 
Known as frugal, the dime diva, coupon cutter & bargain hunter


Kimlai Yingling
Kimlai is the creator of and RoKi Productions. EatinAsian has fierce recipes, restaurant reviews, quirky "how to" videos & insight into a culture that is often misunderstood.

Before EatinAsian Kimlai wrote, produced and hosted weekly video webcasts based on entrepreneurial topics for Entrepreneur Magazine and targeting the x and y generations. She also co-wrote and hosted two video training courses; How to write an effective business plan and How to use PR to promote your business.

Her passion is cooking. "My mom and I have been cooking in the kitchen together for years. I’ve always had an interest in the cuisine and culture of Vietnam but it became a full-fledged obsession when my mom felt it was a good idea for me to learn how to create her food in the event that, if she were not around, I would know how to make her healthy & yummy cuisine. Otherwise I would never eat Vietnamese food again, except for rice paper (rice paper is to Asians what a tortilla is to Latinos) unless I went to a restaurant. Cooking your own food is all about being self sufficient and everyone knows no ones cooking is better than mom’s home cooking, no matter what nationality you are. I’m finding that the more knowledgeable I become with ingredients and cooking styles the higher my expectations are when I go out to eat at other restaurants and when I’m cooking for family and friends. My palate has definitely become more sophisticated". My passion is what created My love for writing, producing and hosting is what created RoKi Productions.

Kimlai has a bachelor degree in Communications with a minor in Psychology from Washington State University. She is registered with the California Special Olympics organization and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
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  1. Kara says:

    YES! I am nowhere near $10 a day (and having just “blown” $100 on clothes I didn’t ‘need” – besides a few three quarter length shirts for fall/winter and a new pair of work pants), but I have been saving for a little over a year now. I’ll admit, I’ve spent some, too. I’ve also paid off one credit card and another will soon be paid off come tax time. You’ve inspired me to look into this book – Pay It Down, and increase my savings, reduce my spending. I WILL say it DOES feel good to purchase things with money I actually HAVE (even if there is debt I still owe), rather than charging it on cards – which I haven’t done in over 5 years!

    My goal is to essentially be debt-free (with the exception of a mortgage someday and “new” ie. 5-7 year old used car payment) in my 30s. I want to own a home.

    Thanks for the tips. 🙂

  2. Yes, a little tongue and cheek humor here to soften the financial blow of it all.

    Some ways I like to gain money when I need it.

    1. Invade a country full of oil in the name of democracy.

    2. Set up a congressional slush fund.

    3. Start a pyramid scam.

    4. Become a man-ho.

    5. Get a lemonade stand put liquified crack-cocaine in the lemonade.

    6. Start a crime spree in a wealthy area to devalue the property, buy it up real cheap and then flip it and sell it.

    7. Sell a kidney.

    8. Get your own super PAC.

    9. Knock over a liquor store.

    10. Claim you are too big to fail and get a government bail out.

  3. Ecclesiastes says:

    As one who deals with Viets – I sell commercial fishing supplies on the Gulf coast – I can testify that the author has rendered her heritage precisely for the readers. They are tough business men and women.

    I admire them for it.

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