New-to-me Chaco sandals

The water shoes dilemma: frugality, practicality and the unforeseen.

This is the story of how the unforeseen led to a collision between my practicality and my frugality. And the need to rebalance those two principles. Last weekend I drove down to beautiful Virginia for a kayaking day trip with my family. I brought some beat up leather flip-flops thinking I wouldn’t care if they were lost to the river gods. I pictured kicking them off in the boat and dangling my bare feet in…

winter trees

Choosing NOT to blog like an expert

Hello world! I’ve missed you. For anyone not looking at publication dates, it’s been most of a year since I last posted. I took a “quick break” when I could feel myself getting burnt out on blogging last summer, then extended that break for another 10 months or so. This wasn’t an accident. The self-check-in win When I started this blog I spent a great deal of time reading posts by successful bloggers about how…

Why you need to keep a Purchase List

Are you struggling to cut your spending? This insanely simple tool has saved me from countless impulse purchases. There’s no sign up, no software, no hoops to jump through. It’s literally just a list, but it’s one of the most useful lists you’ll make on this journey. What am I talking about? My Purchase List. It’s a list I keep of all the things I’d like to buy, and it’s saved my butt many times.…

Leading my brothers through a fountain.

Lead by example.

Why you shouldn’t be discouraged if you’re not changing minds on day one If you’re like me, learning to be frugal can be isolating and discouraging. You try to share with your friends and family, but you mostly get funny looks. When people don’t understand what you’re doing, the best you can hope for is a “good for you!” Don’t get discouraged! I completely reshaped my finances, spending, and lifestyle without losing friends or infuriating…

My Toolbox: How I paid off my credit card debt in 6 months.

Debt Repayment Toolbox: Balance Transfer

How exactly was I able to pay off $5,000 in credit card debt in 6 months? I’ve already discussed how I set my priorities and made dramatic cuts in my spending, as well as my anti-budget hacks to make and meet goals. My last trick? I used a balance transfer card to stop paying interest on my debt. Zero Interest. None. Not shelling out hundreds of dollars a month in interest certainly makes your money…