|Me & my son Walter|
Cheap and frugal friends will not pressure you into spending and they have habits that will help you save! They do things like pack lunches and snacks instead of going out, they use coupons, they enjoy free activities, they love DIY, they delight in thriftiness, and are not afraid to seek out the Goodwill or Salvation Army for a bargain. Thrifty and frugal friends don't have to be poor and typically aren't - because they are saving up!
Here's a bit about my inspirational frugal friends...
In college, I was going into debt (like most college students) and my friend and college roommate Kim helped me grasp financial reality and stop the spending cycle. She is a naturally frugal person but the thing that inspired me the most is that she finds joy in savings! What a concept! Many folks find saving money as a chore or punishment, but when Kim can save a couple dollars, she delights in it! Her excitement over saving made saving not 'the necessary evil' but something that I was doing with my friend....something fun. She loves using Groupons, coupons and finding deals wherever she goes! She also saw long-term financial goals at a time when most college students were thinking about beer money and got me thinking about my financial future. She encourages financial stability and freedom and introduced me to a book called "Automatic Millionaire" that changed my financial future all-together. I highly recommend this book.
|Hanging with Walt, Amy & Kaelyn|
Growing up my Mom was a stay-at-home-mom with me and my sister. My Mom delighted in saving money and taught me and my sister to use coupons, be resourceful and took us to garage sales. I still get excited at the prospect of garage sales, estate sales and thrift stores! I have a lot more to say about my Mom and what she taught us financially, but I'll get to that later.
After moving to DC and trying to find new friends, I found a group of new moms that meet at our local hospital. Many of them are stay-at-home Moms in the DC area which means thriftiness is a must. I have been re-encouraged by this group that has weekly meet-ups at the hospital and spin-off groups at others' homes where we bring 'pot-luck' style lunches and let our kids play for hours together. Other times we meet at shopping malls or parks and pack lunches and snacks to eat. We have also forged bonds by frequenting the local thrift shops and have delighted in finding deals for our kiddos! (A wooden play kitchen for $8, a lot of 33 Fisher-Price Little People for $6, Janie and Jack clothes for .99 cents each, etc) Now hanging with friends and doing cheap activities, Walter and I can go a whole week on less than $20 spending money!
FACT: My husband Jon is a natural with money. You know the line, "Anything you can buy, I can buy cheaper! I can buy anything cheaper than you!" from Annie Get Your Gun??? That is Jon - he can buy anything cheaper than most anyone and I am blessed to be married to someone so responsible with money. He scours the internet for deals, sets price alerts on Amazon items, reads frugal blogs like Fatwallet.com and SlickDeals.com to get the up to date financial advice from others like him on the internet-world. He can negotiate anything and will talk prices down, even at places like BestBuy. He helped me stop spending endlessly and he had us sit down and talk about finances together before we got married. The first year we were married, we got rid of all credit card debt and started working towards paying off student loans and saving for retirement. We approach life with combined accounts and a open financial relationship with goals that we are mutually striving towards.
So, even if you find saving hard or difficult or even painful, having a friend who can encourage your cheapness and frugality (I use these terms positively!) can make a significant difference to your bank account. Seek out those cheap friends who will support your financial goals. After all, who needs to keep up with the Jones's? I'd prefer to run with the Durant's, Zachrich's, Kocek's and Reed's!
It was about time for the revival of my "Fru-Girl" blog! :-) Thanks for reading!