Saturday, January 13, 2007

How I Became Frugal

My experience with frugality began when I was living in NYC. I was a poor graduate student with family loans, educational loans, and sky high rent. In my prior life, I was a pampered college student that could meet all of my needs and most of my wants, courtesy of my parents.

Living on my own with no income was an eye opening experience. I remember passing up the jazz club with friends since the cover was $15. I wanted to go, but I remember thinking that I needed to make my money last as long as possible. With rent at $1,000 a month and less than $10,000 in the bank, I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through the year.

This was an important time in my life. Had I transitioned from parental supported college immediately to the working world, I may not have gained as much appreciation for the difficulty of managing money and making money. At this time, I found the dollar stretcher, a website that has been an invaluable resource in helping me find ways to save and stretch my money.

Of course, I can't say I'm the epitome of frugality. I think it's all about the choices and tradeoffs that we make. My husband and I are planning on spending an extravagant amount of money on a vacation later this year. We are doing out best to minimize waste in our everyday lives - both for our wallets and the environment. We want to consciously spend our money on items that will bring us happiness rather than let it slip away.