Personal Finance

Frugality Challenge Results

“A whole month of extreme frugality!?”

(I can hear my girlfriend laughing at me from the other room.)

“C’mon, it won’t be so bad!  We’ll just – ”

She cuts me off, “I mean, I’ll do it.  I just don’t understand why you want to cut even more money out.  It’s not like we’re big spenders.”

“Well, the point isn’t really to stop spending money entirely, just to get a feel for where we are.  You, know, just kind of measure things.”

That’s how it began.  I little resistance, sure, but she came around!  And now, the results are in.  So, just how did we do with our extreme frugality challenge?

Drumroll please…..

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2016 Review

I surprised myself with 2016 – happy to report it was a really successful year!

In my 2015 Review post, I went through some of the highlights of that year, as well as some goals for 2016.  I want to take some time and review 2016 now!  Like I said, it was a great year for me, my travelling, the blog, and I’m really looking forward to 2017!

Let’s take a look!

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January Extreme Frugality Challenge!

Happy new year everyone!  I hope 2016 was successful for you, however you define that in our own life.

A lot of folks start off the new year with a “new me” approach.  Some resolutions, a new gym membership, that sort of thing.  While I’m not a formal resolution type of guy, I do have plenty of goals for 2017.  Among them are my current yearly goals.  Every year, my list includes seeing a new country, visiting family, reading more, and volunteering.  In 2016, I didn’t quite hit my volunteering goal, but everything else worked out great!

One of the things on my list for 2017 is to cut back a bit on my spending.  I’m relatively frugal already, but it’s one of those things in my life that’s important to me, so I want to keep getting better.  Every so often, I find myself getting stuck in a consumer whirlpool, and my quality of life decreases directly with the amount of junk I have.  Time for a check up!

If you’re not familiar with the Frugalwoods, they’re very much in the same genre as Mr. Money Mustache, whom I mention from time to time here on the Financial Hippie.  I’ve added their site to the Resources page, so be sure to check them out more often!

They’ve put together a great little challenge, called the UBER FRUGAL MONTH!

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“But, how do you stay out of debt?”

I get plenty of questions from my friends about my credit card habits.  “Why do you have so many?”    “Aren’t credit cards annoying?”  “Can’t you just use a debit card?”  “How do you stay out of debt?”

That last one, or variations thereof, is usually the most common.  We’ve come to learn that ‘credit card’ is synonymous with debt.  You know what?  For a lot of people, that’s true.

But it doesn’t have to be!  I follow just a few rules to make sure I make money (or miles!) off of credit card companies, not the other way around.

Here are my three cardinal rules of credit cards.

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