My name is Dara and I am a Frugal Frannie.
In real life, reckless is not an adjective anyone would use to describe me at all when it comes to personal finance. For the past four years, I’ve been slightly preoccupied with money management, learning best practices, pitfalls, and carving out my personal finance (PF) philosophy. I’ve got budgets out the wazoo! (Seriously, if you need a budget sheet, inbox me. I’m all for Project #GetDebtFree.)
My husband has been in graduate school for most of our marriage. This has provided me with an awesome opportunity for sacrifice, as I LOVE sacrificing for the greater good. (No sarcasm intended). We’ve sacrificed cable. We sacrificed travel. We sacrificed shopping sprees and random dinner outings. At first, this was more out of necessity. We needed to clip expenses to stay afloat when he first began his program.
By God’s grace, we have been able to pay off all our debt except our mortgage. We worked really hard to do that. We can breathe a little easier now. But I think, in the way of many Frugal Frannies like me, sacrificing has become so second nature that I have a hard time spending money. I am what the PF community calls ‘a saver.’ Money looks better in the bank to me than anywhere else. Even when the difficult decision to Spend Money has been made, like most married couples, my husband and I debate about iPads vs. draperies, Bose sound systems or luggage sets, Toyota vs. Mercedes.
I recently polled a few friends of mine about when to enjoy the fruit of your labor…when to stop scrimping and scrounging and relax? My friend MJ gave me this nugget: “I make smoothies every chance I get with the fruits of my labor…” So, I’ve made a conscious effort to do the things that we enjoy, like visiting Atlanta’s many festivals, spending time with friends, or taking our Miniature Schnauzer, Kingston, for jaunts in the park.
Those, clearly, don’t cost much, but I am a work in progress! I will gradually get to the point where I can make frugal ‘fruit-of-my-labor’ smoothies…mixing sensible savings with spending on fun items that we can afford. Tasting the milk and honey of the land, sweetened with liberal amounts of laughter. Not because I deserve it, but because I earned it.