1. “Additionally, I don’t feel the need to have things simply because that’s how it’s supposed to be. ” What a powerful sentence! I think that’s the most important outcome of any spending or lifestyle change. ‘Did it change my mindset?’ should be question number 1.

    I don’t consider myself a frugal person, but I’ve been trying to make much more mindful spending decisions this year. Really taking the time to think through the necessity of a purchase, whether it’s something at the grocery store or a house item, has made a big difference for me.

    P.s. totally love the pb & s image. Nailed it.

    • Nailed it, indeed? Strawberries? On a cracker toast bread wafer? I’m the best blogger, Britt.

      You are right. Mindset is such an important consideration!

  2. In the last couple of years, I stopped buying chocolate biscuits as standard. It seems OTT and so minute in the grand scheme of things, but treating the 50p difference like a lot of money stopped me from mindlessly (since that what it often can be) spending 50p here, £1 there, £5 here, £10 there. Sure, I like biscuits with chocolate on more than those without, but I don’t think we need the best of everything every day. We just don’t. Being a bit of a scrimper meant we could still travel whilst overpaying aggressively. There are few specific chocolate biscuits, coffees, pair of shoes, bottles of wine, etc that I can remember. But those holidays, each one gave us a tonne of memories that are worth far more than the money we saved for them and spent on them.

    Also, being frugal means I can treat my nieces to new books and snuggle up on the sofa reading with them. That’s pretty priceless! Is there a greater luxury than a new book? 🙂

  3. RLL

    I pack a thermos of coffee to fuel my mornings plus my lunch everyday. I have a 30 minute break where I work, so efficiency is key. It’s paid off in several ways – #1 Eating lunch on our buildings’ roof gives me a break from the work environment. #2 Saves money #3 I’ve started losing weight by adding walking laps around the roof & taking the stairs everyday. #4 Is what I like to call the unintended benefit. My coworkers became curious as to where I was going and what I was up do. They frequently ask what’s in my lunchbox. So, it’s opened up a whole new dialog of how I’m taking steps to improve in a few areas bit by bit. Now others are starting to take the stairs to our floor & walk laps….plus sharing whats in their lunches. It’s also made for renewed interest for training topics to include retirement savings, deferred compensation and the basics (for younger folks) on how money actually works. Plus trading lunchbox item ideas/recipes. Crazy cool… all of it stemming from wanting to get outside and catch a breathe of fresh air while not breaking the bank.

  4. Outside of my very first month of work (and the occasional day or two per year I go out to lunch with coworkers) I’ve always brought a deli or Pb&j sandwich for lunch. It just so simple and easy (and cheap) and I enjoy it, so why change?

    I think the inherent nature of frugality in everyday life is that it gives you so many options on how to spend both your money and your time. As the space between your natural spending and income gets bigger, it leaves you with confidence that you can make things work, regardless if you splurge a little, because it’s just s temporary thing.

    Also, nice use of abstemious, vocab word of the day! ?

  5. Yaaaas girl yaaaas! I was hoping you’d write about the PB&J. 🙂 I salute you for eating simply. Hubs and I are absurdly Picky about food and it’s such a chore to eat around here. I’m very jealous!

    And so much yes to this. Even though you might say no to a few things, it gives you the ability to say ‘yes’ to much more. Case in point: our student loans will be paid off at the end of the month (!!!). Once those are gone, I get to say ‘goodbye’ to my employer and freelance full time. None of that would have been possible without making drastic changes to how we eat, live, and have fun. It’s been a hard journey with a learning curve, but holy moly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    You eat those sammiches and enjoy that fat bank account. 🙂

  6. I’ve gotten way more out of being frugal than what I’ve given up. I’ve given up all the stress that comes with bills I can’t pay, and that alone is worth it! I’ve also gained a sense of freedom, but also security. No matter what happens in life, we will financially be ok, because we’ve paid down debts and learned how to live on less.

    I actually really enjoy being frugal. I’ve referred to it in past as a bit of a hobby, and I get a rush when I do something that saves some serious cash!

    We have many ‘give ups’ in common, but you’ve given me a few new things to appreciate on the ‘get’ side. Thanks!

    • I agree, Clare. I enjoy frugality far more than I ever imagined. And I think part of that comes from realizing that I’m not just being frugal for the heck of it. It is serving a real purpose!

  7. I think the biggest thing I get is a better sense of financial security overall. And yes, the ability to spend without (or with a minimum of) financial fretting because I know the money is there and earmarked for that particular purpose. Even if that’s just drinks out with friends.

    • The peace of mind is incredible. Even when I know things are getting a little rocky, it’s nice to know that I’m not working against myself…finally!

  8. Penny, this was wonderful.

    You really embody the principles in Your Money or Your Life. One of my favorite books of all time, so this was a really good read!

    I’m really happy that frugality has worked out so well for you. It certainly takes some time to adjust to, but it definitely pays off. I love that you get so much more than you give. Frugality has worked out well for me too. It took a few years of adjustments, but I can say that I’m infinitely happier and more fulfilled now. 🙂

  9. When I first started at my current job, I knew about the cafeteria that they had and they served complementary breakfast and lunch for us but I didn’t take advantage of it because I wasn’t really font of cafeteria food and opt to go out for lunch. But after a few years, I realized how much I spent on lunch and felt that I needed to take advantage of the free food at work. And so I did and realized that the food isn’t that bad. Now I’m embraced so much that I take some food to go for dinner. It has really helped on saving from going out for lunch all the time.

  10. I remember eating peanut butter (no jelly!) sandwiches for lunch every day and having someone who made much less than me look at me with pity. I almost burst out laughing because I LOVE PB sandwiches and it’s just a bonus that they’re frugal.

    END CAPS OMG. They are *dangerous*. Triply so at Target. I’m pretty sure that shopping online only so I can’t see them has saved us quite a lot of angst and wasted money.

    I never had a strong spending habit to break simply because I was so so SO broke for so long but PiC definitely had a spender mentality akin to yours. I’m very grateful for those frugal habit building years because we learned together to find our happy medium so when we eventually started making real money, we didn’t have an expensive learning period. Timing FTW!

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