I’m Bringing Frugality Back! Go On and Tell Those Skinny Wallets That!

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My wallet's been through a little upheaval lately. I plan on fattening it up by bringing frugality back. Come join me!

Along with 900+ other people in the financial media space, I recently got back from FinCon15. It’s a financial media conference that I’m sure most of you have read so much about it makes you sick, so I’ll keep my thoughts to the one biggest lesson I learned while I was there.

Everyone’s scared.  Every time you put a piece of your writing out there, a piece of your good writing, you’ve put a little bit of your heart and soul on the line. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started writing, or if you’ve been doing it for years with wild success. Putting yourself out there is intimidating. Those insecurities are something we all feel, but when we push through them we have the potential to do great things.

There were about a million other valuable things I learned, too, but rather than tell you all of them I’ll try to show you all of them by implementing them over the next year.

FinCon was one of the most expensive things I’ve done in a while, though it was well worth it.  Although it hasn’t paid for itself yet, I’m hopeful that it will. Hopes don’t pay my bills, though, so for the time being I’m going to be bringing  frugality back on a serious level to help mitigate the splurge.

I’ve Been Bringing Frugality Back

FinCon isn’t the only reason I need to bring frugality back. I love my day job, but it’s feast and famine. At the beginning of the year, it was a feast. A glorious, financial feast. We saved a large portion of the additional income, and it’s been growing interest in our higher yield savings account among other places.

During that feast, we also found ourselves with a lot less time. My husband works and goes to school full-time. I was blogging and writing for others. I was working my day job in feast mode. And we have kids. It all resulted in a serious time crunch, where we started paying more for convenience than we ever had in the past. Couponing got thrown out the window. We went on a road trip that I didn’t have time to prepare for, and as a result, ending up spending way too much money while we were gone.  We found ourselves eating out more, because we were so beat we couldn’t imagine cooking our own food.

Pretty much, we were ridiculous. While we upped our savings rate in a huge way, we also upped our spending rate. An increase in income isn’t a move up unless you avoid lifestyle inflation like the plague. I shudder to think how much more we could have saved if we had kept to our old, frugal ways.

[Tweet “An increase in income isn’t a move up unless you avoid lifestyle inflation like the plague.”]

Over the summer, work dried up naturally. So we started bringing frugality back to avoid dipping into that savings. We started rolling coins again. I kept an eye out for coupons we’d use on products we already buy. We started cooking more, but have to get back to doing it every single night like we use to.

I thought the Fall would bring a more modest feast, but it’s turned out to be a famine. It also turns out that we’ll be okay since I’ve been building this writing thing, insecurities and all. But should the rain start to fall on the dry fields that are my day job work opportunities, or should I start picking up enough writing clients to get our savings numbers back where they were at the beginning of 2015, you can be sure frugality will still be there.

One of the biggest things I learned at the beginning of our journey was just how little we could get by on, and it seems a waste to earn more if we let our spending creep up.

Today’s post inspired by a play on words from Meghan Trainor’s song. Which was inspired by a Justin Timberlake song.

That Skinny Wallet

My wallet is definitely skinnier lately, after traveling and taking a temporary income cut. But I’m not defeated. I’m always up for a good challenge. With frugality and some tenacity, we’ve totally got this.  My wallet will have its booty back in no time.

How is your wallet looking these days? Want to enter a frugal sojourn with me?

UPDATE: Now you can, by joining The Frugality Challenge!

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30 thoughts on “I’m Bringing Frugality Back! Go On and Tell Those Skinny Wallets That!

  1. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    Great post! Oh man my wallet is barely alive it’s so skinny. 🙁 I’m working a lot right now, but that won’t come in until next month. I’m like yin/yang with my budget. Some months I can be ultra frugal, and other months I’m so bad at it. I was NOT good this month AT. All! I guess we just do what we can to get back on track asap! Great to finally put a name to the face!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Same, Tonya! It was great meeting you! One of the reasons it was worth it. But I hear you on the lack of frugality thing! That one week alone was more spending than I typically do in a month. We’ll get back at it, though.

      Reply
  2. Shannyn @ Frugal Beautiful

    Preach! I love this- “One of the biggest things I learned at the beginning of our journey was just how little we could get by on, and it seems a waste to earn more if we let our spending creep up.” It’s so easy to let lifestyle creep in like that, but having a good handle on frugality makes it easier to get centered again.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Truth! And honestly, it wasn’t even good, value adding lifestyle creep. It was just us overloading ourselves and not giving ourselves the time we needed to be doing the stuff we should have been. He had a pretty aggressive course load at the time, and ended up dropping a class. It helped, but we were still stupid busy, spending on things we never had before, and not really enjoying life too much. Here’s to frugality, and taking the time to make it happen!

      Reply
  3. Hannah

    So the wallet needs a little more booty (which is funny because booty is another way of saying money)? I can relate. We are very rigorous budgeters, but now that I’ve noticed that we’ve been pretty generous in our splurge and miscellaneous budget categories lately. Of course, much of it is intentional (we really are happy to spend on our remodel, and we decided to do some traveling), but the spending mindset is easy to adopt and difficult to shed. Something to think about.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Value based spending is a little different in my book. Planned expenses that enrich your life can be budgeted for; what we were doing was impulse spending for convenience. Kudos to you for spending with a plan!

      Haha and yes! I’m so glad someone got it! Huge fan of puns and mixed metaphor, probably too my own detriment. Was lovely meeting you!

      Reply
  4. Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden

    Oh I have weeks like this also and was just considering rolling my coins today or tomorrow! I think we just get exhausted and something has to give. It’s been busy here so I’ve let things I used to do also to save money slide. I haven’t had time to make my own yogurt or put clothes on the line but I just pick and choose what I can do. This week I couponed like crazy -those digital ones are great! Don’t get discouraged and keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Maybe the key to frugality is barking sure we don’t get so busy we don’t have time to do the things we want to be doing. Or maybe even just the key to life. I’ve got to work on this obviously. 🙂

      Reply
  5. our next life

    I just registered for FinCon16, which I’m super excited about — and excited that it’s much closer to us, which should make it not too crazy expensive. (The rates at the host hotel, though — ouch!)

    We’re definitely in a much more frugal mode, ever since the market started its current correction. It snapped into focus for us that, while we can’t control the markets, we can control how much we save. And since we’re committed to quitting at the end of 2017 no matter what, we want to put ourselves in the best possible financial position. So every purchase is getting reconsidered, recurring bills are getting optimized… it’s the new frugal age. 🙂

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      With that date looming I can only imagine how closely you’re watching everything! And the rate is a bit expensive. Have you seen the group rate? A lot better. Still not cheap though! Proximity is why I got out to Charlotte this year… I’d be lying if I said the fact that it’s in California for 2016 didn’t scare me a little bit!

      Reply
  6. Jana @ Jana Says

    My wallet is at that in-between stage right now. Not too fat (definitely not too fat). Probably leaning on the skinny side (honestly, though, can my wallet and my pants size trade places? I’d like that). We took a beating this summer so we’re in recovery mode from that and fortunately the fall is our most abundant time, financially. But we do need to keep up the frugal practices from the summer in order to make that recovery so I totally feel where you’re coming from.

    Also, FINCON16!!!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Haha if you get the science behind that to make it happen let me know! I’ll implement it, too! Fall is typically when we see an upswing, but between my work and state grants being held up in state budget disputes, things are not going as we planned.

      And yes! 2016! Know it will be here before we know it!

      Reply
  7. RAnn

    I’m making so much more money than I was when I got married 25 years ago. We didn’t consider ourselves poor then and we don’t consider ourselves rich now. If I look at it logically, I can see where the money has gone, but one day I want to be rich!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Those darn emotions! They seem so important in the moment, but in retrospect we obsess on them logically.

      Reply
  8. Mel

    I feel you! I’ve just gone through the skinniest time I can remember. I was actually estimating how much I made/will make for 2015 and I think it’s the lowest it’s been since I was in school… but on the flip side, it’s some of the happiest I’ve been too – so a lot of the PF lessons I’ve learned have been paying off.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Isn’t that funny? Some of the funnest periods of my life have been when I’ve been bootstrapping it, too. Balance is such a hard thing to work at… Being good financially vs enjoying life. We’ve almost been at the meeting place in the middle before. Hopefully we’ll both find it again without sacrificing the fun!

      Reply
  9. Gary @ Super Saving Tips

    It was so nice to meet you at FinCon, and I agree that while I learned so much there, the biggest lesson was not to let your insecurities take over when you’re putting your ideas out into the world. While the conference was well worth it, it put a dent in our budget too, so we are definitely back on the frugality program.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      It was great meeting you and your wife, too, Gary! We can overcome those insecurities, and let’s implement everything we got out of last week to get those budgets back on track. 🙂

      Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Was great meeting you, too!!! I’m thinking we need to turn this post into something bigger. Frugality movement 15!

      Reply
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