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The Never-Ending Quest for Frugality

In my forties I’ve come to a realization that I frankly wish I’d come to many years sooner: it’s really stupid for me to give away any more of my money than I have to. And I’m not doing it anymore. How did I get here? The hard way. Here’s what I learned, how I learned it, and what’s coming next on Putting Something By.

frugal luxuryMy Mis-Spent Youth

There was a time when I loved going to the mall, trying on clothes in store after store, and coming home with tons of bags from interesting and beautiful places. It was exciting! But ultimately, I ended up with more stuff than money and a very cluttered home.

I planned meals…sort of…and I shopped every week for groceries. But more often than not, I found myself at restaurants, not even thinking about the food I’d already bought that was going bad in the refrigerator at home.

And go bad, it did. I used to throw things away so casually, never thinking about the fact that I was actually throwing away money the entire time.

The Meltdown

Then the recession happened. My business really struggled during that time. I’m proud that I kept the doors open through the hardest of times, but it was a very painful financial time for me, and I had to make some difficult decisions as a result.

I learned a lot during that time, and the lessons continue every day, even though we haven’t had those financial challenges for a long time now.

Lessons Learned

The most important lessons I learned during those really difficult times are:

  • Dining out is highly overrated, especially if you know how to cook well.
    • Also, dining out makes losing weight really hard.
    • They give you way more food at restaurants than you need, and that means you can either share a dish or take some home, cutting your per-meal expenditure by half.
    • I think about per-meal expenditures now.
  • Once I’m home, whether I’ve bought food, shoes, or clothes, where I bought the item makes absolutely no difference at all. So I’d much rather buy things in stores where I know the items will cost less. For example, why would I buy something at Nordstrom, when I can buy the same thing at Nordstrom Rack a couple of months later at a fraction of the cost? Why would I buy food at Whole Foods when I can buy the exact same organics at Trader Joe, Aldi, or Costco for far less money?
  • Patience goes a long, long way.

What’s next…

In the coming months, I’m going to start sharing some of my secret tips for what I call “frugal luxury.” Because make no mistake about it…I still love living a really nice life. My husband and I travel the world and enjoy extraordinary, amazing food and wines. We wear nice clothes and live in a beautiful home. We are unbelievably fortunate and we literally want for nothing. 

My life is just as luxurious now as it was back when I was spending a fortune to maintain that lifestyle. The only difference is that now I’m “Putting Something By” for the future…so that I can keep living this life for a very, very long time.

So stay tuned. I’ll be philosophizing about frugal luxury and sharing how I do it in my quiet little blog, including recipes, lifestyle tips, moneysaving fun, and more.

A note of caution: don’t expect much regularity. More than anything else, this blog serves as a bookmarking engine for me to keep track of my experiments and recipes. And if it happens to help you, too, then that’s awesome.

 

 

Susan Baroncini-Moe

Susan Baroncini-Moe is a Guinness World Records® titleholder, author of Business In Blue Jeans: How To Have A Successful Business On Your Own Terms, In Your Own Style , and a business & marketing coach and consultant. When she's not counseling her clients on how to market their businesses, she's making jams, jellies, crafty things, and booze or hanging out with her husband and their delightfully wicked guinea pig, Ginger.

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