Some Confessions & Reasons for this Blog

This past month we’ve been very frugal.  Almost penny-pinching, I’d say.  We’ve had a high percentage of zero-dollar-days, and we’ve been very organized around meals and lunches.  I think we deserve a pat on the back!

I should go back a little and explain why the crackdown.  In early May, my daughter and I went to Scotland.  Yup–International Travel!  And no, we didn’t go on points or get some amazing deal on our trip; we just went.  We did have a free place to stay and free meals apart from lunches out, and without that our trip would have been impossible, but it broke the bank, totally.

And to make matters worse, my dear husband, who was left home alone while I was galavanting in the Scottish midlands, consoled himself by going out for dinner and drinks nearly every single night!  I kindof understand why; I would need a little cheering up too if my husband went away on some fun vacation while I minded the fort back home . . . but it still made difficult matters even worse.

Of course I have reasons for going on this improperly budgeted-for trip.  I’m pregnant, and have a 2-year old, and I have a good friend whose family lives just outside Edinburgh.  She’s been inviting me to come visit for years, and this time, when she had to go back for a wedding I thought, “Well, if it’s not now, it might well be never!”  I can’t imagine either doing this with two little ones, or even leaving one behind.  Also my mom really wanted to go, and the timing just seemed right.

We were very good with our Pounds while we were there, and didn’t go crazy with souveniers or anything, but still, I managed to use a fair bit of spending money.

So, I get back and see that our bank account has been bleeding while I was away, and this on top of our line of credit, and our credit card balance . . . we needed to react swiftly and strongly.  Hence the blog.  Hence the intense frugality.  Hence the search for every little way I can find to save money, at least until we can pay our bills and get rid of a couple of our debts & headaches.

People might read this blog and think “I should be more frugal.  I should be better with my money.” But really, I think, if you don’t need to be because of some crisis, don’t beat yourself up about it.  If you’ve got your head above water, if you’re in the black, you deserve to relax about money.  I’m not saying go crazy, but if you don’t have to spend every day asking, “Did we spend zero dollars today?” then don’t worry too much about it.

There are better things to do with your life than think about money all the time.

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6 thoughts on “Some Confessions & Reasons for this Blog

  1. I really appreciate your blog! We’re in a recession (with no real signs of escape), the job market is shaky at best, and I think that a lot of people forgot how to be smart with money. I know that I did!

    However, recession or no recession, I think that things like baking your own bread, making cheap and healthy meals for your family, and living in the present moment are wonderful (and healthy…and smart) things indeed!

  2. Thanks D! I’m so glad you’re reading 🙂

    I completely agree that living frugal is smart at any time, and especially during a recession. And many of the things I’ve been blogging about are things that I would continue doing even if I had a million dollars in the bank!

    But sometimes it feels a bit too all-consuming (or non-consuming!). When we can relax a bit, my goal will be to figure out how to go easy on myself without going out of control. Sometimes it seems like it has to be one extreme or the other . . .

    I just don’t want to feel guilty if I end up buying a loaf of bread because I didn’t get around to making some!!!

  3. We all just do our best. And you are doing a great job being frugal, even if you aren’t frugal everyday. And I am enjoying reading about it.

  4. Congrats on starting the blog, chronicalling your path towards making your life healthier / happier through living within your means. Your goal of sharing knowledge and the process with the world is appreciated.

    I think your Ottawa Price Book concept is great, like http://ottawagasprices.com/ but for food. I’ll do my best to add some info when I go shopping next.

    One thing you might want to do is put up a page about how to contact you. I have some ideas you might be interested in both in regards to WordPress (which I develop with regularily) and the frugal factor.

    Happy trails!
    Jamie

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