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Our Frugal Living Experts

Joanne Heim

Joanne Heim

Author of Living Simply: Choosing Less in a World of More

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Gary Foreman

Gary Foreman

Editor and publisher of The Dollar Stretcher Newsletter

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Melissa Tosetti

Melissa Tosetti

Editor and publisher of Budget Savvy magazine

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Live Frugally (But Enjoy Life Fully)

It’s Good to Be Frugal

As with all changes, the key to frugal living is attitude. When Jason Truman, a New York-based accountant, decided he wanted to live a more frugal life, he approached it like a game. “I’d see how little I could spend at the market and still make good meals,” he says. “I started riding my bike to work and used that time to challenge myself physically. To me, it made saving money less burdensome.”

When Jason was laid off from his job last fall, he had several thousand dollars in savings thanks to living frugally—and only two years earlier, he had about that amount in debt. “I can’t tell you how important it was that I had money I could access at that time,” he says. “Getting laid off is stressful enough, but spending money you don’t have, especially when no money is coming in, can be really rough.”

For Hunt, stories like Jason’s prove that living frugally isn’t about chaining down your spending; it’s about living a freer existence. “You live your life and manage your money in such a way as to be ready to fund your own emergencies and to stay afloat no matter what’s going on around you,” she says. “That’s freedom.”

Posted: 5/16/08

getting coffee at speedway $1.05 vs Starbucks $4.00 and every 5th coffee is free.

  • By mandym
  • on 12/28/09 11:22 PM EST

This article changed my whole thought process on the way i viewed being frugal


great advice


IF you are truly worried about your financial position, start by doing this first.

1: VERY VERY VERY FIRST thing to do. Go throught any piece of paper you have in your house and file all similar pieces together.

2: Sort every piece in EACH pile according to dates

3: Get a Binder and keypole bunch each page and place in Binders.

4: Now that you have everything in order, The pile doesn't look all that dangerous and you are NOW ready to really really thing about what you need, what you most manageable bills are, and Where you owe the most money.

5: Now start paying off the smaller amounts FIRST. The larger ones are too big to tackle first.

6: As those little ones vanish then you can use the money toward you bigger ones and then increase your money to pay off the bigger ones.

Only then are you really in a position to take a breath and know that when you HIT THE BOTTOM, there is only one place. That is UP AND OUT OF THE HOLE we have all dig.


What worked for me was to rate from 1-10 how much satisfaction did spending money on certain things gave me- Anything rating below a 7 I decided to stop spending on that. I also looked at the opportunity cost of doing it myself - for example- if it meant taking precious time away from my daughter and husband- i decided that I would not iron my shirts and would instead by shirts that did not need ironing...it helps to make decisions and not be in automatic


I recently quit the job from hell and while I can now sleep at night, my bills outweigh my income. Learning to live on just my husbands salary til I find a better job has been tough but we've been doing it and using the mindset of frugal, not cheap has definitely helped. I am spending way less on stupid things and by being careful, we are doing okay!


This is a great article...equating frugality with freedom is a powerful thought for me. I want to be able to handle any unexpected expense that might come up without having to ask someone else for help.

  • By kbetta
  • on 7/3/08 3:57 PM EST