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
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:
•DO I NEED IT?
•DO I WANT IT?
•WILL I DIE IF I DON’T HAVE IT?
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.
MORE FRUGAL TIPS:
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:
DO I NEED IT?
DO I WANT IT?
DO I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE IT?
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 EatinAsian.com Known as frugal, the dime diva, coupon cutter & bargain hunter