There are times in life where you are forced to get really serious about cutting your budget.  That time was a few years back for me when my company at the time unexpectedly went belly up.   A global firm in 24 countries that I invested many years in went bankrupt in a very short time span, which left every one of us with a week notice and no job.

At the time,  I was in disbelief.    I couldn’t believe this was happening.  I felt a range of emotions about it, knowing that I had 3 young children at home that needed me to have a job and I didn’t have one any longer.    I had a mortgage to pay for and a car payment, plus there needed to be food put on the table.

Now thankfully I started my first day at another company within a fairly short period of time so it could have been much worst, but at the time I thought the world was caving in on me.    I had to make a decision right there and then to either get back up and dust myself off or let life take me down the drain.

So we got real serious about cutting our budget immediately…  Here are some ideas to drastically cut your budget and get serious about becoming financial free.

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Does becoming a minimalist appeal to you?   Maybe you just can’t get yourself to commit fully to it?  Your not the only one, I assure you!    Minimalism comes in many forms and is really not one steadfast set of rules you must follow to become a minimalist, so it’s really about what makes you happy.

I used to accumulate things years ago.   I mean I worked hard for these items and I wanted to make sure I was getting every last dollar of value out of each item that we purchased, so I held on to things that I perceived to still have value.

As the years went on and I realized the amount of stuff we had accumulated, the items turned from items that we enjoyed owning to items that just took up space and ultimately became a job and cost just to manage it all.   So the purge began and still continues to this day.

Check out these stats to help inspire you to really support the “Less is More” movement.[Read More…]

Now I love being frugal as I approach life.   I like to budget, I like to save and I like to invest when we can.   Sometimes I even can take it too far and get caught up in saving money to the detriment of me and other things in my life.   This is when you start to move from being frugal to just being cheap about it.

You will see that having a balance in life of saving maxed well with still having fun in life is the best approach and what I will showcase to you in the 6 signs of when you know your not being frugal, your just being plain old cheap about it.

Here are my 6 tips.

Never Spending the Fun Money

Every year about this time of the year, we start researching where we are going to take our big vacation of the year.   We research areas of the world, means of transportation and what we are going to do when we get there.  I mean we did spend all year saving for this grand event, we might as well live it up and celebrate all that hard work.

None the less, I still have some guilt hanging over my head knowing that I did spend all that time saving and to spend it all in a week or so doesn’t sound too frugal does it?  Well here is the thing that I have to correct myself on every time.   We collectively made a decision in our budget to save the money specifically for spending the money on something fun.[Read More…]

The worst thing that you can do in personal finance is to restrict yourself to such an extent that you life is not fun any more.   You have to celebrate your successes, even if they are not spending loads of money to do so.   You have worked hard to balance the budget and stay frugal, but as you reach goals it’s certainly not a bad thing to go out and treat yourself as well.

You don’t have to break the budget doing so and here is how.

Here are 10 ways to treat yourself without breaking the bank and going broke.

1. Have a movie night and pop yourself some popcorn at home

You already pay the $7.99 a month for a subscription to Netflix.   Take a pause from life and budgeting and go pop yourself some microwaveable popcorn and curl up and watch a movie for the night.   It’s time to set aside all those priorities in life because you have worked hard this week to just enjoy yourself.[Read More…]

It’s took me building a big life with a big house and a big family to realize what’s important in life.   I’m here to tell you that bigger is not better and more doesn’t make you happier.    As they say, money is not everything.   However, you will not hear me say that money is not important.

Money provides food on the table and it puts clothes on your back and a roof over your head.  Money is incredibly important so don’t confuse priorities when you hear people say that money is not everything.  What I hope people mean when they say this is that you shouldn’t prioritize making an extra buck over spending some quality time with an old friend.   Money can’t buy a quality friendship.

I write this article today while I sit in a 3000+ square foot home so mind you we haven’t converted fully to a minimalist lifestyle, but what we continue to do is head in that direction.   It took moving into this house to realize the power you can get in moving toward a minimal lifestyle.   I found that having more and having lots of stuff is stressful.[Read More…]

The Little House – 2002-2011 – 1068 Square Feet

This world has a way of conditioning you to think that you need more and you need bigger, but do you really?   When we first got married we rented for a year because it was the right thing to do.  Let’s get settled into our marriage, our jobs and decide after that where we want to live that makes sense for our jobs and for our future when having kids.   As soon as it was humanly possible to get out of that lease we were on the hunt to find our first home.   Hey why not, we were married, we had our first baby on the way and we needed that permanent place to settle down.

Fast forward a few years and a few kids later and we are busting at the seams in what seemed to be plenty of the room at the time, so what do we do like most Americans?   It’s time to trade in that first home for the second much larger home and here is how we justified it!   Over a period of 10 years in that first home, we grew out of it into not 1 but 2 10 x 10 storage units where we housed a bunch of our “stuff” that we clearly didn’t need.   This was costing us approximately $70 per month for each storage unit, so ultimately $140 a month to store stuff that we could not physically fit into our first tiny home.   200 square feet of space stacked floor to ceiling sat our stuff, covered in dust.[Read More…]