I’ve been taking a lot of much needed time off. Partly for vacation, but then we all got the flu. It’s still hanging with some of us, but our daughter is almost happy and healthy. I’ll take it! Hopefully my husband will be well again soon enough. During this time off I started thinking about Frugal Day, why I started it, and where I want things to go.
Why I started Frugal Day
Two very short years ago, my husband was offered a great job that would require an hour commute each way. With a new baby at home, we knew this was going to be very hard on all of us. Each day he would leave at 7am and get home around 7pm. He was basically missing out on seeing our daughter at all. Plus, I was living the life of a single parent. This wasn’t the lifestyle that either of us had hoped for. However, we bought our house at the peak of the market in 2008. As soon as we signed the papers, the mortgage crisis hit, the housing marked dropped, and we instantly lost 20% of the value of our home. We didn’t even have 20% in our home, so we were clearly under water.
We had two choices to make. We could stay in our house and wait out the market, deal with the commute, and try to enjoy what little time we had together. Or we could try to sell the house and move closer to my husband’s job. Walking away from the house wasn’t an option for us. So we tried to sell our house. We knew the market was bad but we really had no idea how bad it was. We took a 25% loss on our house, and sold off everything we had to get out of the mortgage. We sold all of our stock, 401k’s, miscellaneous investment and savings accounts, everything we had.
I think we were actually pretty lucky. We lived a debt-free lifestyle so we didn’t have any credit card debt. We just had a huge mortgage. After we sold the house, the reality of where we were financially started to settle in. Starting over from zero, with no rainy day fund, we panicked. We had to find ways to cut back our spending very quickly.
After one hard year, we finally got to a better place. We created a budget and tried very hard to stick to it. One of the first, and easiest, ways of reducing our spending was groceries. It felt great to see such a huge savings just by learning how to shop and be smarter about how I shopped. Menu planning helped us save money by eating at home rather than eating out several times a week. We were able to cut a lot of unnecessary spending just by knowing where our money was going.
Where Frugal Day is headed
I started this blog because I wanted to be able to help others who were struggling as well. Or just anyone who wanted to find additional ways to save. I recently took a look back at this year, and feel like I haven’t done what I intended to do. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been posting a lot fewer items each day. I want to be able to provide quality tips and tricks on how to save, offers I think are awesome, and the occasional frugal deal you don’t want to miss.
So here we are. Welcoming yet another year. We are in a much better place than we were two years ago. Thank you for listening to me this last year and making Frugal Day what it is today. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us!