Return To Frugal Me.

I wouldn’t say that I’d gone off the rails, too too much. I think I would more categorize myself as simply enjoying the added income. Now, however, with the reality that DH has to delay his own retirement to a more realistic future date in time, the two of us had to rein in our spending habits, get back to our basics and start saving that income rather than spend it. I’ll admit that it took me a few weeks to adjust but I am happy to report, the old girl is back in the frugal saddle and I couldn’t be happier.

What can be better in this world than saving money?

The first thing I did was clear out the clutter in our food category. I cleared out our pantry and our fridge of foods we over bought and never will eat. There’s only room now for necessities. I also threw away outdated and expired foods. Bounty that I had purchased but never got around to actually eating it! Once I streamlined our food supply, I was able to shave off $25 a month from our $500 a month food bill.  August’s bill was $476.28. September was $469.81 and October looks well on its way of staying under budget. We’re back to eating mindfully, healthfully and more meaningfully. Funny how that works out, isn’t it?

The second thing I did was clear out our clothes of unnecessary clutter. Whatever we were no longer using or needing went straight to Goodwill. Cleaning out the closets opened up a new path to newer, more needed clothing. I made sure DH and I both had new shoes for the upcoming winter, at least one pair of new jeans, a few warm tops, much-needed newer sleep ware and sweats to wear around the house to keep us warm.

The third thing I did was streamline our interior furnishings; made sure there was no clutter or redundancy. We also streamlined our garage and shed, making sure our equipment (riding mower, generator, snow blower etc) was in tip-top shape, completing any needed repair or maintenance upkeep as a way to properly prepare for the winter.

money.jpgI looked over our monthly guaranteed financials and made sure our expenses matched our income. Our key here is NOT to touch our liquid cash supply above the alloted, calculated, annual withdrawals (geared strictly towards annual property taxes and travel) If we can adhere to that policy, we’ll be alright and our retirement will stay secured.

There’s not much we can do, other than move, to keep our property taxes low. We’re scheduled for our next increase in 2020 when the town does its second full evaluation. We had one in 2010 and another in 2019. As we all know, property values are going up almost everywhere. We’re no exception. I have no idea what the future will bring us. It’s more of a ‘wait and see’.

The last thing I did to get us back into our frugal mode was to substantially change and alter our travel agenda. We are going to continue to use our RV at least 3 to 4 times a year AND we have accumulated enough airline miles to score at least one travel vacation by plane annually (this year is Las Vegas. Next year we are going to Bermuda). The biggest reduction we made is under our RV travel. Instead of staying at private, expensive, commercial RV parks, we are going to either stay at State/National parks or learn to boondock. DH and I had been putting it off for years but now realize the error in our previous thinking. State and National Parks have come a long, long way from those creepy, crawly, icky parks of yesteryear. Many of them have been updated with level, shaded sites, have water and 20/30/50 amp electrical service and are situated on thousands of prime real estate, some with ocean/river/lake views. Many parks have scheduled activities, playgrounds, biking and hiking trails, canoe/kayack rentals, concession stands, fishing piers, horseback riding and many other activities, all under the guidance of park rangers. Many parks have updated their restroom facilities and showers. Some even have laundry services AND air conditioning!

Who knew?

The winters will be spent in Florida, hopefully at a spot along the ocean. Summers will be at nearby beaches (Maine, Connecticut) and fall will be spent up in the Catskill Mountains or the Adirondacks. I enjoy planning out our vacation time because it makes me look forward to so many adventures throughout the year. It also makes me realize that a frugal lifestyle can be an enjoyable and exciting one.

Money isn’t everything. But frugality is.

You can have it all, if you go small.

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8 comments

  1. Wow Cindi, I never thought of purging food or decluttering as frugality. I try to be creative and concentrate on using up my pantry and stretch it to make more meals when I am
    In frugal mode. I will use a pork chop or chicken breast to make a Chinese stirfry that I can have twice with the final serving made into Loméin, soup, or fried rice to add variety. I just cleared my fridge and freezer too by using all my frozen individual servings of soup, meals, and meats. I was proud to only have to throw out two items that were old from The freezer. I then took the time to plan a months worth of meals using the grocery ads for the best meat bargains. Shop rite had a deal through Saturday a whole boneless pork loin for .99 lb. with a$10 purchase.Easy to fulfill with Galbani mozzarella and ricotta and tuturossa tomatoe products on sale. Their ad has so many great bargains in basics -5 lb.potatoes and 3 lb onions 99 cents and Perdue oven stuffer .99 lb beating Aldi price.
    I draw the line in the sand on new lifestyle choices that I won’t give up. Frugal be da____ . I am not going to cut my grass or snow shoveling . And soon I will have a housekeeper.
    And I use to segregate a portion of savings as an Inflation account and I would use this to offset increases in necessities. A friend suggested using some of my savings to take advantage of bonus offers from banks in the area to get this. The retired IBM exec got me hooked on 8% to 14% dividends . Making so much more money. Opening myself up to new possibilities and advice from others has made a world of difference in my passive income. Teaching this old dog new tricks. Sincerely, Lara

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Lara. I had a bunch of stuff in my pantry that expired. I cleared it out to make room for better products. Plus I like less clutter. I also had a bunch of bread ends and other unusable stuff in my freezer. When we downsized I bought smaller appliances. I’ve got a smaller fridge and freezer now. No room for clutter.
      Almost all of my financial mishaps came from me listening to others advice. As for me, no one knows better how to handle my financial life than me. I read current events and financial topics from the moment I get up in the morning till I go to bed. Sometimes with my head spinning.
      I’d give anything for a housekeeper. Lucky lucky you. Right now I could use a good massage. Or a chiropractor. Lol! My back and neck are killing me. From housecleaning!!! Ugh!!
      Thanks for your comments.

      Like

  2. TI read a lot of financial stuff too and formulate written plans and notes. But Imalso listen to others suggestions and investigate them thoroughly. The combination works for me. I will always be a lifetime learner. You have given me ideas in all of the years I have been reading that I have incorporated into new actions.Sincerely, Lara

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lara, that’s very nice news too hear! I like to look at a person’s life and how they are living. In the past, I have taken the advice from very rich multi-millionaires and THAT advice has never failed me. The trick is getting them to divulge their secrets. LOL!
      Thanks again, for your comment.

      Like

  3. Busy busy Saturday grandkids sporting events this morning going to Shoprite and library now after stopping back home for lunch. It’s raining heavy here once again and my one wiper blade shredded so also have to go to Autuzone.

    Liked by 1 person

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