Today, it’s card on the table time as I want to tell you why I’ve been struggling a little bit with blogging about our ‘frugal lifestyle’. Warning: It’s a bit of a waffley post!
Basically, our financial situation is in a much better place than it was 10 (ish) years ago when I started blogging all about our journey to a more frugal lifestyle and as a result, our priorities have changed a little bit. I’ve been going through a bit of a blogging crisis of confidence which for a good few months has stopped me from sharing some of the things I’d usually share with you.
For those of you who don’t know, when the kids were very young, I lost my lovely Mum and Brother within a year of each other which made me change my whole outlook on life. I realised that life was too short and that I wanted to be much more present in my children’s lives which meant (to me anyway) that I no longer wanted to work full time.
To be able to reduce my hours, we had to have a major overhaul of our finances and more importantly, our attitudes towards money. So that’s what we set about changing and that’s one of the reasons that I started this blog – to document our journey.
It wasn’t an easy change for us to make as we do like nice things and neither of us have very much in the way of willpower. Doing without wasn’t something we were really on board with for a long time so it was more about what we called ‘stealth money-saving’ at first. Things like making sure we were on the best deals for everything, using cashback sites, meal planning – basically anything we could do that didn’t necessarily mean doing without something we wanted.
We had a few blips over the years (I’m thinking a new car purchase and a holiday we actually put on a credit card here) but overall we managed to do a reasonably good job of getting ourselves in a better space financially and we’ve continued to build on that over the years.
We’ve moved house, making the decision to buy a smaller house than we the mortgage company said we could afford because we wanted to have more money each month leftover. We’ve had new jobs and promotions which meant that we had more money coming in and being clever with our bills and becoming debt-free reduced our outgoings substantially too.
This means that we now have more disposable income each month but maybe even more importantly, we’re also at a different stage in our lives now with a whole new set of priorities.
The kids are 14 and 17 now so as much as we still spend lots of time together, they no longer need us as much as they once did so we can spend more time together as a couple (or even alone) and going back to the whole ‘life’s too short’ theory, we’re now at the point where we want to be able to relax a little bit about money and enjoy ourselves more.
Take our monthly trips to the Farmers Market near us for example. We both enjoy wandering around the stalls, looking at local produce and treating ourselves to some goodies we could probably buy cheaper at a local supermarket. We choose to spend a little extra here though as I like the idea of supporting more local businesses and getting what’s often a better quality produce. I’m well aware that lots of people don’t have the option to choose to pay that little bit extra so I don’t share that part of my life with you very often.
Travel is another thing I don’t share as much as I’d like to because I know how privileged we are to be able to afford to travel as often as we do. We’ve been able to save for and go on the kind of trips that some people can only dream about but I tend to shy away from sharing in case it looks like showing off.
Don’t get me wrong. we are still a frugal family but these days we’re frugal as much because we want to be than for any other reason. We save money wherever we can and that’s always going to be part of our family’s lifestyle but you know what, every now and again, something not so frugal might sneak in and I’d love to be able to share that with you as I share all of our frugal wins with you.
The things we do that you might look at and think ‘that’s not very frugal’ are generally paid for by the fact that we are frugal in other areas of our lives. Meal planning saves us a fortune each month so is a huge focus for us because the money it saves us means that we feel like we can spend money on treats at the Farmers Market.
Making sure our bills are as low as they can be means that I have more money to put aside each month for our travel budget which right now, is a priority as I want to travel with the kids as much as possible while they still want to travel with us.
I know that was a whole lot of waffle because I went for the ‘putting it all in writing and not editing it’ kind of approach but basically my dilemma for the last year or so has been whether I share more of my life with you so you can see what being frugal can help you achieve or whether I just stick to the frugal side which isn’t a true reflection of me as a whole person.
I decided last night that I wanted to be more ‘me’ on here so as much as I’m going to keep sharing all of our fabulous frugal-ness, I also want to show you some of the extra little bits that being frugal and financially focused has given me the opportunity to be able to afford. In reality, very little is going to change but I just wanted to get it out there that every now and again, I might share something less frugal than usual.
How does that sound?
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address here and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter or BlogLovin and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram. If you’re interested, you can find out more about me here. 😉
Why not save ‘Why I struggle with blogging about frugality sometimes!’ for later?