* How do I start my frugal journey ?
* Is it worth all the fuss and hard work ?
In this post I'll answer the second question and leave the first question for another time.
Of course I'm going to say YES it's worth all the hard work but you probably want to know why ? For my family there are many reasons why we live the frugal life.
Money - We like money, we wish we could get our hands on more, we like spending and saving it too. But the reality is we don't earn very much. Our income is lower than what the government calls a low income. Far lower. Our low income is not from lack of work either. Darren works so hard to provide for us. Unfortunately the hospitality industry doesn't pay a lot and hours are cut when it's not busy I clean a couple of homes each week. Yes that pays well but I can't do cleaning work full time. I don't have the energy for such hard work. Living the frugal life gives me the chance to make the dollars we earn go a long way.
I don't have to work full time - Infact, I've never had to work full time. Being frugal gives me choices about my life. I chose to stay home to raise our daughters. I also chose quality time with my family feeding them home cooked food. Both Darren and I chose the smaller house, local holidays, keeping our cars for a long time, restaurants and movies as a rare treat and growing our own food. This lifestyle might not be for everyone but Darren and I didn't want to work long hours to support a lifestyle we didn't have time for.
Time - It doesn't take too much time to do the frugal tasks I do each week. For example
* Making Miracle Spray takes 5 minute from start to finish, costs about $1 - $1.50 for two litres of cleaning product. I make it a few times a year and it saves me well over $100. I don't need to buy toilet cleaner, stain remover, spray and wipe, carpet cleaner, shower cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, fridge cleaner, sugar soap, dishwasher cleaner or floor cleaner.
* Making laundry powder takes 5 - 10 minutes to do a quadruple batch. It saves me another $100 ( or far more if I used those pods at 50 cents a wash ).
* Baking a batch of muffins takes 15 minutes and costs about $2 for 24 muffins. Supermarket muffins cost about $1 - $1.50 each. so I'm saving $22 - $34 each time I bake them.
Debt - Being frugal can fast track debt elimination. Making our dollars stretch allowed us to put extra money on our mortgage. With our frugal lifestyle and low income we were able to be completely debt free just after I turned 40.
Food - I'd much rather spend my time cooking a meal my family will love, saving us money and our health. The alternative is mass produced, calorie laden, salt and sugar rich, preservative drenched rubbish food. It really is a no brainer.
Savings in the bank - A frugal lifestyle reduces waste ( of all kinds ) and allows our savings to grow.