Frugal living is essentially about only a few things, it is amazing how we can take those few points and expand on them though for years and years of blog posts because each new day presents new challenges.

Step 1) “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do” 
This saying was from WW2 days that pushed people to use what they have and leave more for the war effort. It is about using up what we have before buying more, wearing out clothing before we replace it and making what we already have work for us even longer. It is the thrifty persons mantra and the first step to being frugal for life.

Step 2) “Don’t be afraid” 
This means that you don’t want to be afraid of what others think or say. You don’t have to be afraid that you will end up penniless. You have been reading all this information in books and online and now you can put it into practice and know it has value. Don’t be afraid, jump right in and do it!

Step 3) “Less waste, more money”
Specifically the less you waste in energy/utilities, the more money you have at the end of the month. There are the easy things like turning out lights and turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth to more complicated issues of replacing old appliances or sealing up leaks around the house. Less waste brings more money in your pocket!

Step 4) “Do it yourself”
This includes cooking your own food, fixing something around the house or changing the oil. A step beyond cooking for yourself is to raise the food yourself as well. Sometimes the best satisfaction comes from doing it yourself no matter how long it may take.

Step 5) “Live on Less”
You can make 20,000 a year or 20 million a year but all these can be summed up by living on less. Less than what you make in money, less than what you think you need, less than what others think you need. Ultimately, saving that extra bit will help you in the future for the unexpected or as my dad commonly said, "It builds character." I do have to agree and say I that I've turned into quite the character!

Frugal living is not:
Living a life you dread waking up to
Thinking that money controls you
Feeling like you are carrying around a ball and chain

Frugal living is:
Knowing that you control the money
Seeing treasure in items and people around you
Using your mind to think creativity
Most people have it all wrong about wealth in America. Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income each year and spend it all you are not getting wealthier. You are just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend.
– from The Millionaire Next Door


  1. Holly // Saturday, March 06, 2010 2:44:00 AM  

    Well said!

  2. Christina // Saturday, March 06, 2010 7:26:00 PM  

    Love it...being frugal doesn't really mean you have to deprive just a higher goal in life, like buying a house, a car, education, what have you...naturally you try to save as much as you could..not unless you're depriving yourself of spending because you're afraid to lose money, now that's a different thing - that's when money controls you.

  3. Dawn // Sunday, March 07, 2010 11:52:00 AM  

    Thank you

    Having goals definitely helps me look beyond the day in and day out and hope for something better

  4. Brandi @ Frugal Farmhouse // Sunday, March 07, 2010 3:41:00 PM  

    great article. thank you for the links! I really like your blog, great information.

  5. JD // Tuesday, March 09, 2010 6:28:00 PM  

    I was raised by parents who grew up in the Great Depression and they lived this lifestyle, instilled it in their kids.

  6. Anonymous // Friday, July 16, 2010 9:51:00 AM  

    Living frugally has actually meant we have far more "fun money" or discretionary income. Rather than feeling deprived, we actually have a lot more fun. By consciously eliminating things we don't value, we have far more left for the things our family does enjoy. We haven't had cable in over 20yrs, we buy used vehicles with cash, virtually never eat in restaurants, but we are taking month long holidays with our kids every other year. If we nickel and dimed ourselves with all the other stuff we don't actually value we certainly wouldn't be able to afford the great trips.

    My daughter's first gondola ride in Venice was far more memorable to her than an assembly line meal in a restaurant, or another pair of jeans she didn't actually need.