on being frugal and budgeting

I sometimes feel weird writing about these topics, but then why should I? Both of these concepts have made positive differences in my life, my bank accounts, and my psychology.

I admit that my recent effort of budgeting (starting last June) was motivated by fear. The fear that I would not able to manage home-ownership without getting into debt. It is fueled by a large sum of expenses made to repair my roof, which started to leak at multiple places immediately after I bought it. I possibly have a foundation problem too, which I have been “watching” since last year – when it reaches an actionable level, I will have to spend thousands of dollars to have it fixed. With one salary, this is difficult on me, even though my salary is good and I am very grateful for it. Plus, since I started saving/investing for my retirement late in life, understandably I was stressed.

This stress helped me to look at my spending habits with a fearful yet careful eye. I decided to control my expenses in an attempt to increase my savings and to have a peace of mind. It was difficult at the beginning, I still time to time get frustrated with my spending, but each day it only becomes better; I kicked out unnecessary and significant expenses out of my life, I am able to spend and waste less, and save more for future expenses. The fellow bloggers here also helped a lot with their posts as well as their support. Overall, I feel pretty good about this experience.

While I am more frugal, I do not feel deprived. In contrast, I am more abundant than before. I have some funds I allocate for miscellaneous (i.e. not must have) expenses, such as my weekend breakfast (cost less than $20/week). I make sure to buy things that will make me feel good (such as scented hand creams that I like). These for sure makes me feel like I am not restricted or deprived. That was one smart thing to do and I am glad I have kept it so far. Additionally, my purchasing power is increased somehow (e.g. by following the sales, price comparison between the two stores that are close to my house, etc. For some reason, I am not into couponing or apps…). I did not change the quality of the items I purchase; I still use the same brand of hair dye, toilet paper, toothpaste, food, or stationary items and others. They just cost less now as the value of my money is maximized. And finally, I have developed a better appreciation for what I have and for having limited waste (food to clothes or anything else). All of these help me to feel more abundant than before.

My saving has increased a lot as a result of budgeting and applying frugal strategies and it feels awesome to see the difference.

I can say that the enormous level of fear I felt last year is now giving me abundance, a higher level of gratitude, and hope for my future. I am also proud of myself. So many positive feelings here….I am surprised as well why I could feel this way while my spending is much less compared to before. See; as the habits change so does the mindset. I hope you also see the positives out of this experience if you are going thru a tough time financially and are budgeting or reducing spending.

cheers 🙂

20 thoughts on “on being frugal and budgeting

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  1. You are really right about this! Having a budget and saving money really does make me appreciate the things I have much more. It also makes me think harder about the purchases I make, and in the end I am always happier to have made a careful decision, rather than buying things on rash impulse. And it sounds like you are really doing stellar with saving for your home and other expenses. That’s awesome and I’m hoping to be saying something similar to what you are saying by this time next year! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. thanks a lot Cat 🙂 I am really trying and even though I slip back time to time or there are unexpected expenses here or there, eventually it is better than before. I am very grateful for what I can do and I feel that you have what it takes to achieve your own financial objectives. So all the best and be excited about your progress whether it is tomorrow or next year 🙂


  2. I don’t use apps or coupons either! I made a whole $1 in interest with my never never touch bank account. Cant wait to see what happens to it in a few years (i randomly add 20-$30 every month)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hah ha! it is good that I do not have a saving account then! I know they do give some yield if the amount is large; otherwise many people are frustrated with them. You are doing good adding up your savings – it must feel good 🙂 and I have no idea why I could not warm myself to coupons; looks like they can be really helpful. sigh … 🙂


      1. that would be awesome! only that I am in Canada and we do not have IRA accounts. we have other investment tools, like RRSP, that I do maximize each year. I hope my investments will do good but with the current situation with the markets it is kind of depressing. nevertheless, i am doing what I do best; saving, investing, and then hoping they will not sink 🙂 thanks for dropping by and the recommendation. best.


  3. I think you are doing a pretty good job from what I have read so far :). I use coupons every now and then-not extreme mind you!. The coupons I use are what the store sends me in the mail or the digital ones they have on their website (if I remember to load them onto my card). I would only buy if it is a really good sale and just enough for me and the kids if they need it. Most times I may use a couple coupons or none at all. I think for the past two years, I have used 7 at one time. I do try to be frugal also. I hardly buy items that are not on sale unless I really need to. I’ve seen others get carried away by the “couponing” that it becomes an obsession to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. come to think about it I did use a couple of coupons in the past; they were either stuck to the package or were posted on the shelf. I thought I should be silly not to use them. I am not against couponing and I recognize that many people in fact rely on coupons to feed and take care of their family. And I will use them if they are closeby, without too much of a hassle (I am lazy 🙂 ) I am pretty amazed myself by saving considerably by following the sales and comparing the prices on different stores. Whatever works for anyone – that is good. being frugal feels good 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think this subject makes some people squirm a little bit in their seats. Me and my husband got one the Debt free plan through Dave Ramsey and since then my family have been more distant with us. Because we are not spending a lot of our money on things and more on getting out of debt. We are changing our legacy! I am glad to see this post and think more people should talk about money. Its like a HUGE thing to talk about and I am not sure why. I also do not use coupons or apps. I think they are a waste of time for the most part. Living on a budget and making sure you have money for life things are important. Keep up your hard work and I cannot wait to read more about your budgeting journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hannah 🙂 your comment made me think: you are right; talking about money is a taboo for many. I only speak about it with my family and one or two close friends. I also frequently brag about it on my blog. But come to think about it; if I had used my name on this blog, I do not think I could be so comfortable talking about money or how much I have saved by doing this or that or my feelings about money… it is weird; really weird… so thanks for your comment again. and all the best with your savings and paying down the debt! that should feel awesome! well done and keep going 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this! I had noticed the greater feelings of abundance and gratitude as well. I had upped my savings at the beginning of the year for some work that needs to be done to the car thereby decreasing my misc. spending. I was surprised that I’m not feeling the crunch. In fact, I’m feeling like i’m doing even more as I’m not spending money on lots of little things but on big, meaningful things. I have the opportunity to put that money back into my spending budget but I think I’ll keep it in my savings for now and see how well I can live on less.
    Also I love your posts on frugal living and budgeting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are so kind 🙂 I am glad that you are experiencing a similar thing. How interesting it is that we associate budgeting and frugality with deprivation. There are so many opportunities out there (like coupons, sales, price comparisons, and loyalty cards etc.) that are given to all of us, yet only a portion of the population takes advantage of them. When such opportunities arise, I feel silly not to utilize them. And as you also said, removing unnecessary expenses from our lives is a must. In my case, they cost me more than $100/week. This is more than $5K in a year.. I am so happy that they are finally gone 🙂 You seem to be doing really well and that must be exciting. I too love your posts – keep up the great work! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Being frugal is not about depriving yourself of what you need or like. All we need is some self-control. I have started to clear the clutter, but it seems that every time i get rid of an unneeded/unwanted item another one shows up. Try to keep up with your posts. I sometimes see my point from a different angle,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad we share a common opinion, re; being frugal is not about depriving one. I time to time write about my frugal encounters; it is one topic that I really like and benefit from. And yes, decluttering takes time; I do it time to time, and boy, there is always more and more to get rid of. But it ALWAYS feels good – so keep going 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is amazing just how freeing frugality really is once you begin to court it like its meant to be done. Most people think that frugality would lead to increased stress and worry, but it’s just the opposite! Having that extra money at the end of the month (because you put in the hard work at the beginning with your budgeting) allows you to feel safe, secure, confident, and let’s you really pursue the enjoyable things that you want to (since you now can).

    Thank you for your work! I loved the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks a lot 🙂 I had forgotten this post, which thanks to you I re-read 🙂 I meant every word of this post as they are true to my story. fear leading to struggling leading to budgeting leading to empowerment, savings, and appreciation. I still feel the same way and as you also said more confident, safe, and secure. This has been an amazing journey and although I fall off the tracks time to time, I always go back to frugality and savings. One thing that I will always be grateful for 🙂 thanks for stopping my and writing this comment 🙂


  8. Frugality is the easiest way to save money, but many people think it is the same as being cheap. Buying a driffrent brand of laundry detergent because it is on sale is frugal, while buying the cheapest that is mostly water and lasts half as long is n ot frugal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fully agreed. I am focused rather on maximizing the value of my money (by following sales and occasionally using coupons), limiting waste, and not buying things unless i really need them. There have been times that I tried cheap stuff that were not useful and thus left me with spending more (like the example you have given) and feeling frustrated 🙂 it is good that I have go my lesson right at the beginning 🙂


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