Work Smarter NOT Harder!


fru·gal: (adj):

1.economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing;not wasteful: Synonyms: thrifty,chary, provident, careful, prudent, penny-wise, scrimping;miserly, Scotch, penny-pinching.

I like to say we are frugal people. Now if you knew us a few years ago, everyone would beg to differ. After, wasting many looong hours in bars, on vacations, and on frivolous things we (as single people) blew through hundreds of thousands of dollars, and no not together, single handedly. In other words, it was all about the benjamins, baby!! I won’t go into full detail, but once Adam and I met, got married, and have been starting an amazing life together we have learned, through our hardships, that being frugal is GENIUS.

For instance I have a few little life hacks that I would like to share for those that are trying to pinch pennies and save for their future (all of which are based on the bible & Dave Ramsey’s methods)

1. Pay off your lowest credit card debt.

“why not the largest debt first,” you ask?

-Think in terms of planning a party, it’s for 20 people and 50 people show up, you’re overwhelmed, stressed and you certainly don’t have enough food prepared. You totally feel defeated, because you’ve worked so hard. That’s no different than trying to pay off that huge debt and never ever feeling satisfied. Start small and work big, just like the title says “work smarter NOT harder!”

2. Groceries- Look at the unit price per item of all the different brands, DON’T PAY MORE because it’s a brand you recognize, especially for certain items. Now if you’re going with a specialty item I understand, but if you’re on a major budget, what you doing buying Madagascar Vanilla Beans anyway crazy pants?… DEBT DOES NOT DISAPPEAR DOROTHY, red shoes will not save you.

Stores we shop:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Aldi
  • Kroger

We LOVE to cook, and we make most everything from scratch, as in Pesto’s, simple syrups, hummus, cheese, and occasionally beer, etc. (no we aren’t hipsters).

Insider Trading Tip: Sometimes we will even barter with Kroger on fruits and veggies (because we juice A LOT). Sadly, half of these groceries stores throw out 100’s of pounds of produce that’s still legit, just not consumer grade. Also, frozen veggies are the way to go (and there are plenty of ways to cook them so they’re not mushy, if you were concerned like I was).
3. Laundry Detergent- To get the most bang for your daddy warbucks…

  1. Grab a knife and pop the pourer out, usually there’s about another load left chilling in the bottle.
  2. Also, if you’re to the point where you’re sitting on coal praying it turns into diamonds, dilute the detergent with some water when it’s half full.
  3. You won’t notice one bit. Remember there is nothing wrong, cheap, or sad about being broke, in debt, or trying to save, I think it’s exhilarating because you’re moving closer to your goal!! Go YOU!

4. Emergency Fund-

  • Add up your living expenses, things you absolutely need in order to survive. I’m not talking about the football channel, things such as rent, water, electricity, etc.
  • Then times that number by 3 or 6 (this is in terms of months)
  •  This is the amount you should save for in case you get canned or injured (depending on your line of work).

5. Envelope System-Since you’ve already added up your living expenses now add up what you typically spend on groceries, gas, and other items. Dining out… Needs to get cut, learn to cook, it’s not as hard as you think.

  • Label your envelopes or file folder
  • Put the amount (in cash) that you are alloting for each of these categories
  • This way when you go to spend your hard earned CASH it will be a lot harder, because swiping a piece of plastic doesn’t fire off anything in your brain, you put a $5 dollar bill in your hard and I dare you to measure the difference.

6.  DO NOT LIVE BEYOND YOUR MEANS- Just to let you know it’s not cool. People are not impressed, and if they are it’s fleeting. Be smart, save your money, and stop handing it away for free to debt collectors. Think of it this way you are only as selfish as you realize and if you’re not already thinking into the future you probably won’t even get this far into the blog.

7. Like it is written…

Proverbs 13:11

“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”

Ecclesiastes 5:10

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
P.S I will be praying for all of you, that you receive peace of mind, and look to your creator for help! This is powerful material, take it in good measure and live a prosperous and fulfilling life! Also, you have to make the movements God won’t just do all the work for you, if you’re the type complaining “God hasn’t EVER helped me!” Well, are you lining up your ducks or just sitting back waiting for someone else to come along? The way you live your life is totally your choice.
           Love Always,
                  Katie G.
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