7 Frugal Habits Everyone Should Develop

by Guest Contributor · 1,171 comments

frugal habits

One of the most direct ways to change your life? You need to change your attitude.

No one else is responsible for what happens to you but you, so you can either complain about the things you don’t like in your life or you can set about changing them. Not surprisingly, this directly relates to the state of your finances.

If you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck, having your phone regularly cut off, or making excuses to skip dinners with your friends, then you can use these seven habits to take control of your money situation and live a happier and more frugal lifestyle.

Habit One: Be Proactive

The first habit to develop is to take responsibility; if you fail, you have no one to blame but yourself. Regardless of how you were raised or how you were treated at school, you can choose your behavior now. Being proactive means understanding that YOU are in control of your day-to-day interactions, and thereby, the direction your life takes. This is in stark comparison to a reactive person, who is often affected by their environment and will find external sources to blame for their behavior. For example, if the weather is good, they’re in a good mood, but if the weather is bad, it affects them and they blame the weather for their bad mood.

[Here are 6 action steps to take when you feel financially vulnerable.]

What most people forget is that though you can’t control the stimulus, you can control your response. One of your most important choices is your words; the language you use is an effective indication of how you see yourself. If you use proactive language, such as “I can” or “I will,” you’re starting with a more positive attitude than someone who uses language like “I can’t” or “I have to” or “If only.”

How to be proactive for effective frugality:

  • Take the first step. You cannot take control of your finances until you make the commitment to do so; the more you ignore the situation, the worse it will get. Instead, take a long hard look at your finances — your budget, debts, income, and expenses, and try to understand where your money is going and where you can budget better. (To help you out, here are 25 ways to pay off your debt more easily.)
  • Tell people. Using proactive language to vocalize your hope of being more financially responsible not only helps you crystallize your goal, but it can also help you avoid the peer pressure that makes budgeting and frugality hard. If you explain to your friends and family that you’re trying to live a more frugal lifestyle, they’ll be less likely to pressure you into one more round of drinks or another dinner out.
  • Listen. Listen to yourself and to the reasons you give each time you make a purchase outside of your budget or decide not to put spare money into your savings account. Taking the time to stop and listen to the reasons you give yourself for spending more than you earn will give you the opportunity to hear just how shallow many of those reasons are. This can stop you from making purchases that impede your goal of effective frugality.

Habit Two: Begin with the End in Mind

Those who are effective in achieving their goals are able to envisage their desired end result in spite of the obstacles. Effective people adhere to this habit based on the principle that all things are created twice; there is first the mental creation, then the physical creation. The physical creation follows the mental creation the same way that a building follows its blueprints.

If you don’t visualize what you want, then you’re at risk of other people and external circumstances influencing your life — because you’re not influencing it yourself. Instead, begin every day and every task with a clear vision of where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Make that vision a reality with your proactive skills from habit one.

How to visualize effective frugality:

  • Define your goal. There are many ways to live a frugal lifestyle, and you need to decide how frugal you want to be. Do you want to be debt free, build a savings account of a certain value, or live on one income in a two-income household?
  • Decide how you’re going to get there. This will again draw on your budget, but you need to be aware of the obstacles that are standing in your way. These may be literal obstacles, such as credit card debts, or they may be obstacles you’ve identified in your behavior. An example of a behavioral obstacle would be spending $10 every day on junk food on your way home from work, because you’re starving. Instead, you could be packing an inexpensive granola bar to keep you going until dinner. Or, do you find that when you go shopping with your sister, she always helps you justify a frivolous purchase, when you could leave your credit card at home?

MoneyNing Tip: Make sure your goals are SMART!

Habit Three: Put First Things First

Knowing WHY you’re doing something is an incredible motivator in helping you transform a mental creation into an actual physical creation of your goal. Ask yourself what the things are that you find most valuable and worthy to you. When you put these things first, you’ll be organizing and managing your time around your personal priorities to make them a reality.

For many people, it’s hard to say no, but this is exactly the skill you have to learn to keep your goals as your first priority. While we are constantly told we can have it all, in reality, having it all is really about prioritizing what is most important to YOU to have, and then focusing on that.

How to put effective frugality first:

  • Recognize the effects of your finances. You may not dedicate as much time as you should to managing your finances and practicing frugal principles because you feel there’s always something more important to be doing — whether it’s work, taking the kids to soccer practice, or getting ready for dinner with the girls. If your finances aren’t under control, however, and you’re regularly spending more than you earn, then they’re having a negative impact on every other aspect of your life, from your work to your family and friends. You need to recognize that being frugal is your first priority.
  • Just say no. It’s easy to spend more than your budgeted amount each month when you’re worried about missing out on a dinner with friends, feel as though you have to cater a birthday party for your son and 50 of his closest friends, or don’t want to wear the same suit to a work conference two years in a row. If you recognize that you don’t have to take on everything and that it’s okay to say no, then you’ll find you’re more in control of your spending and your budget.

frugal habits

Habit Four: Think Win-Win

Most of us are taught to base our self-worth on comparisons to others and competition against our peers. We think we can only succeed if someone else has failed. We’re also taught that there’s only so much pie to go around, so if you get a big piece, then someone else is missing out. When you think like this, you’re going to feel like nothing is ever fair. As a result, many of us retaliate and take the pie before someone else can take it from us.

Thinking in a win-win mindset allows you to see mutual benefits from all of your interactions. By doing this, you’ll see that the pie tastes even better when it’s shared. If you can approach conflicts and problems with a win-win attitude, you’ll be able to express your ideas and feelings with courage, while still maintaining consideration for the feelings and ideas of others. When you have an abundance mentality, you’re able to see that there is enough for everyone, and that by balancing your confidence with empathy, you can achieve your goals while helping others achieve theirs.

How to create frugal win-win situations:

  • Recognize that you don’t always know the full story. As you aim to implement frugal principles and stick to a budget, you may often find yourself thinking “it’s not fair.” It’s not fair that they get to go out to dinner. It’s not fair that they get a new car. It’s not fair that they get to go on vacation, and I don’t. Take the time to realize, however, that you’re only seeing a small part of the finances of your friends and family who seem to “have it all.” And though it’s hard to watch your best friend take a dream European holiday, or your brother buy the car you covet, you’ll get there, too — if you manage your finances frugally. And the best part? There will still be plenty of holiday destinations and fast cars when that time rolls around.
  • Understand the difference between possessions and net worth. While your friends and family may seem to have a fuller lifestyle because their house is bigger or their car is newer, you need to consider that it could just be a facade covering their mountains of debt. True wealth is not measured in possessions, but in assets. When the value of your assets is greater than the amount you owe on mortgages, car loans, and credit card debts, then you have a strong net worth and are truly wealthy. By trying to live a more effectively frugal lifestyle, you’ll be able to achieve true wealth, rather than just a life full of stuff.

MoneyNing Tip: When building wealth, remember to look at the big picture, too.

Habit Five: Communication

At its base, communication is the desire to be heard and understood. Most people will listen with the intention to reply to what you’re saying, rather than to understand what you’ve said. To effectively communicate, you need to first understand. If you communicate with the sole intention of being understood, you may ignore what others are saying and miss their meaning entirely. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk; pay attention to what people are trying to tell you.

How listening can help you be effectively frugal:

  • You are not the only person in your life. Chances are you’re married or in a relationship, have friends or children, or all of the above. As a result, you’re not the only person being affected by your decision to live a more frugal lifestyle. To be effective in your goal of frugality, you need to be able to listen to and understand the goals and behaviors of the other people in your life, too. Consider how effective your frugality would be if you were taking packed lunches to work and avoiding the afternoon coffee run, while your partner was going on shopping sprees during their lunch break. Instead of living a more frugal lifestyle, you’d really be saving on one end and spending on the other.
  • Understand the goals and needs of others. While it’s important to explain your desire to live more frugally, it’s also important that you understand the goals and needs of those around you. This way, you can find a way to be more frugal without them having to give up all of the things that are most important to them. You can’t know what those things are unless you listen.

Habit Six: Synergize

Interactions and teamwork are some of the most important ways you can learn new skills and more effective behaviors. Synergizing is the habit of creative cooperation — working as a team to find new solutions to existing problems. Synergy is not something that just happens. It’s a process where you bring all of your personal experience and expertise to the table, enabling more effective results than those you would have been able to achieve individually. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

When you have genuine interactions with people, you’re able to gain new insights and see new approaches to your problems — ones you might not have thought of before.

How to synergize for effective frugality:

  • Look for new ways. In a society that excels at consumerism, you’ve probably already realized that you need to find new ways of doing just about everything to be frugal. It’s easy to buy your lunch every day, but it’s more frugal to pack it. It’s easy to drive to work, but it’s more frugal to take the train. It’s easy to buy a new cocktail dress, but it’s more frugal to make one.
  • Surround yourself with other frugal people. To be successful in your quest for frugality, surround yourself with like-minded people. Find people who are where you want to be by joining online frugal-living forums, striking up a friendship with a fellow coupon-cutter, or starting a sewing club. When you’re around people with the same goals as you, you’ll be able to share ideas and learn from each other.

MoneyNing Tip: Learn to embrace the positive influence of saving money.

Habit Seven: Sharpen the Saw

You’re the greatest asset you have on your journey to achieving the lifestyle you want, so you need to look after yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Taking the time to renew yourself in these areas of your life will give you strength to maintain the previous six habits, which are essential for your success.

How to frugally renew yourself:

  • Physically. By eating better, you’ll feel better. Take it another step further and start your own vegetable patch, which will save you money at the supermarket and be healthier for you. Exercising keeps you fit and healthy, and it doesn’t cost you anything to go for a walk, ride a bike, or skip rope in the backyard. To rest your body, you don’t need to go to a day spa; you can simply relax in the tub at home.
  • Emotionally. Interacting socially with others allows you to make meaningful connections, and it makes you feel good. This can be achieved by chatting with the woman at the coffee shop or by calling your mom once a week.
  • Mentally. Exercising and expanding your mind through learning, reading, writing, and teaching can be done frugally. Visit your local library, or volunteer at a school or retirement home to teach others a skill you may be taking for granted.
  • Spiritually. Spend time close to nature and expand your spiritual self through meditation, music, art, or prayer. Take a quiet moment to center yourself and empty your mind before going to bed. Or, go for a hike and be grateful for the beauty of nature surrounding you.

Frugality doesn’t mean having to give up all the luxuries and things which make you happy. Don’t get burned out by developing habits one through six without taking the time to renew yourself. Frugality is something you want to develop and maintain for the long-term. Follow these seven habits, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a highly frugal person.

Do you consider yourself a highly frugal person? How did you get there? 

This post was originally written by Alban, and a parody of the amazing book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He’s a personal finance writer for Finder.com.au.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Eric says:

    Making good money helps too…seriously, work hard, go to school; etc. I’m 43, but worked for 19 years and outr house is nearly paid off and we paid cash for our 1999 and 2005 vehicles. I’ve been laid off for 7 months so far, but we’re paying our bills on 40% of our prior income (giving you an idea of how much we lived below our eemans and free cash flow we had to save before the layoff).

    Manay of these tips are silly and vague. The “Millionaire Nextdoor” is an interesting read (and amusing to me in that I already do everything in that book).

  • Anne says:

    No need to cook breakfast every morning or rush out the door hungry. Here’s a quick and frugal breakfast meal, ready each morning in mere minutes:

    For a week or more of yummy breakfast meals for one, two (or more);

    In X-large frying pan using your favorite cooking oil, cook together on top of stove, peeled and diced (leave skins if you prefer) approx 1/3rd+ bag of 10#s white potatoes (more potatoes for more meals), one diced med onion, and one diced med green pepper, stirring frequently. For more meals use larger onion and pepper. If you wish to add bacon or sausage, cook separately and set aside to cool while mixture in pan continues to cook until done. Crumble bacon or sausage and add to pan mixture, mixing well. Whip one dozen eggs (18 for more meals) and add to mixture, mixing and stirring frequently until eggs are done. Remove from heat. You’re finished. Breakfast is ready for the next week or longer.

    Go ahead, have some. It’s delicious. Dip individual sizable portions into smaller freezer containers (or larger for two or more) and place in freezer. Each morning, sprinkle shredded cheese (to suit your own taste) on top of your frozen serving and place on defrost in microwave just until soft and thoroughly heated. Within five minutes, there’s nothing left to do but place your bread in toaster and pour your juice. Enjoy.

  • Anne says:

    Mr. Haag;

    Not meaning to intrude on your post with questions to Owl, but will point out a few facts to you. This past Saturday night, there were 48,000 homeless people seeking shelter in New York City. Many were turned away in sub-freezing temperatures due to a new ‘code blue’ rule instigated by Mayor Bloomberg which requires that a homeless person be able to PROVE they are homeless. Huh? How does a homeless person prove they are homeless? Or why the need? If they’re lined up in the freezing cold, they’re homeless!

    However, the point I am making is that this is only ONE city who had a reliable homeless count for ONE night. Multiply this approximate 48,000 by the many many other larger cities in this united states and you might begin to get the picture. Keep in mind, this does NOT account for homeless in smaller cities or those homeless who find some other place to sleep on any given night.

    Setting that aside momentarily, there is no accurate way to entirely count all the homeless in the United States. All homelessness is not related to drugs and alcohol or the many mentally ill. There are many families who have lost their homes due to lost jobs, foreclosure, short sales or other evictions ; many on unemployment or some other small subsidy but which is not enough to pay rent AND eat; ALSO whose credit is ruined, thereby not qualifying for a rental, who are living out of their automobiles and park them wherever they can find an undisturbed spot to park, frequently having to move from spot to spot; some having found someone who will allow them to pitch a tent on their property; some sleeping in state/county parks that charge by the night.

    They drop their kids off at school and pick them up. They use someone elses address for registration, etc. Their only source of communication is a cheap $5 X 250 mins Obama cell phone. They purchase small amounts of food and eat in their auto, and seek meals wherever they can find them; you can even see their autos loaded down going thru cheap fast food drive thrus. You can see them lined up on any morning or afternoon as they drop off and pick up their kids from school, with every belonging they own piled into their auto. No one has an accurate count of these many families who are too ashamed to tell, not even school officials. Nor is there a count for the many who are temporarily allowed to sleep at a friend or relatives’ home or are pitching a tent. Or the many women’s abuse shelters that are packed with homeless women and their children. Did you know, there are even college students who are homeless!

    But may I suggest, that if you want a more accurate count of our (no doubt many millions) of homeless in this country, Google or contact The Salvation Army who are the most generous of all the missions, as more than likely most of the homeless will turn up there sooner or later for a coat or shoes, etc., as many homeless cannot afford The Goodwill. Likely no other homeless mission will be able to give you anything even close to the true count.

    Other questions you might want to Google for the surprising truth: Shocker!: “How many U. S. jobs and industries have been outsourced to China?” (and India) Does China boast about their wealth earned off the backs of “The West”…. that being US, while they condemn us, priding themselves how they’re getting richer while we’re getting poorer; now leaving many Americans homeless and hungry? Shocker!: “China’s child labor” compounds and child slaves, including houses of child prostitution. Shocker!: “Wealthy Chinas’ poor and homeless live in cages”. See the videos of these pathetic people.

    With a little research on Google I think you’ll find all the authentic answers you seek, Mr.Haag.

  • Ron Haag says:

    On the issue of homelessness “Owl”, I believe that’s his moniker, ought to cite
    the particular publication containing “the reliable article…” about millions of
    homeless in the U.S. Was this article in an American publication or in a Chinese
    or some other country? “Owl” really needs to cite the source of such an article as
    it’s figure of thirty million homeless in my country is news to me! One can debate the official estimates that there’s only 635,000 persons without a roof over their heads as was done in subsequent commentary; but the figure Owl mentions, in an unspecified article, strikes me as anti-U.S. propaganda from an
    unnamed source. If government statistics included illegal migrant workers in shanty hovels no doubt this number would be higher; also, the mortgage-debt
    crisis that began to plague too many mortgaged homeowners must have signifi-
    cantly increased homelessness well above ,say, at least a million maybe two mil-
    lion? Maybe more?
    The ultimate permanent solution to reducing homelessness in any country
    is a reduction in not only the growth rate of human populations but any growth
    at all in human numbers! This would strike many Americans as a draconian
    over reaction but with a national population of over 300 millions & counting can
    anyone believe that homelessness will be reduced let alone eliminated with an increasing number of human beings? Can anyone believe that the deterioration
    of the natural environment, of which all life depends on, will cease or can even
    be abated with an increasing human population?
    Though the so-called “Peoples Republic of China” is reprehensible, corrupt &
    unnecessarilly oppresive it’s leaders did get one thing right. They instituted a national policy of no more than one-child per couple with exceptions for some
    rural families or the death of an only child. The leaders of China, though doctri-
    naire Marxists, were pragmatic enough to realize that a revolutionary ideology
    that championed the collective redistribution of wealth would only redistribute
    poverty equally as an increasing population has to divide their stagnant economic “pie” in ever narrower slices. This holds true for the land that we must live on & the natural resources we must depend on. As humorist Will Rogers stated, “The one good thing about real estate – they’re not making any more of it.” As human numbers continue to increase, if not at an accelerating growth rate then at increasing increments when compared with earlier generations, we will be compelled to live with less & less space for each & every human. Can anyone in any country think this is a desirable economic goal? I also point out the widespread concern among climatologists that global warming of the earth’s
    arctic, antarctic, glaciers & Greenland ice will reduce the present size of our continents.

    Yours sincerely,
    Ron R. Haag

  • Anne says:

    Good news folks… Yah! I noticed yesterday that Mr. Ning has cleaned up this site and deleted most of those posts that were not pertinent to the subject of frugality and retained those selected by him at his discretion. Must have been quite a job, going all the way back into 2011. Thank you, David Ning!

    Further good news….! I saw the Seven Steps listed on the New York Daily Times yesterday as selective recommended reading. Maybe NOW we can get back to the subject matter; might even draw in new posters who could broaden our scope with additional ways to assist in our continuing search for frugality.

    What a lovely Sunday morning! All is good, and blessed. Have a nice day….

    • Loan Arranger says:

      Hooray! Thank you Mr. Ning for saving this site for those of us who are interested in ways of making our money go further. I almost gave up on the site, but now will be watching closely. Thanks again!

  • kay dana says:

    I am a frugal saver, and am very successful at it. I use another motivation. I hang photos of the two greediest people on earth. They both have ear to ear grins! Yes, like vipers in a snake pit their goal is take take ALL of our money. My goal: These two and their ilk aren’t going to touch a penny of mine. That’s enough motivation to help me SAVE money (NEVER IN A BANK) and to not NOT SPEND. Good morning Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. I am no longer a GS “muppet” or a JPM “sucker”. All investors are not stupid.

    • Anne says:

      Kay; Who is Jamie Dimon and Loyd Blankfein. Maybe I missed something? Also, what is a GS muppet and a JPM sucker?

      I tell ya what always worked for me, Kay, and helped me to become successful during those years that I was at the top: I never paid the slightest bit of attention to what the other fella was doing and focused entirely on my own career path. It never mattered to me in the least who else was successful or what they were doing, or not doing. I never cared about anyones’ trips to the bank but my own. And still don’t.

      Ha… On certain occasions I’ve also used your method of not putting my money in a bank, instead deposited it into my atty’s trust account. No immediate IRS audit. I’ve also stashed large sums of mattress money under the gravel in my greenhouse, buried some under a large thorny rose bush, hid some under a random patio stone. The problem with this is that you have to tell someone where the money is just in case you barrel headlong down a flight of stairs, slip into a coma or pass away. Not good.

      Assuming you are in the US; may I suggest that you open an account at a privately owned bank? Yes, the IRS can look into your account and audit you, same as any governmental agency (such as social security) can snoop in at the click of a finger; however, privately owned banks are far more private and not so easy to access your personal information. Not like National banks. (Do a little research as to the full name of your bank). Anytime you see an N/A behind the name of a bank, remember that your privacy is limited and very easy to access by many and numerous entities. Not so with privately owned banks who are also FDIC insured. Just a suggestion in case you didn’t know.

  • NeverTooLate says:

    Unfortunately it took the end of my marriage to regain control of my financial life. $45,000 dollars of paid off debt plus son’s college education later, giving up the car, no home etc. I finally feel freedom and peace. Now I can start saving for retirement.

  • Tim says:

    As everyone said, save first !! I always had money put into my 401-K first, then some for company stock. When I got raises ( not very often ) 1/2 went to savings and 1/2 was for me to blow ( an extra $15 a week doesn’t go far, but at least the bills are already paid ) My vacations were small. Visiting historic places, a couple of ball games, some movies (matinees ) and a little theater. We would eat out 2 times a month. Used cars are much more affordable. We were once told that we could easily afford a $250,000 home. We settled for one that was $135,000. It was close to my work and I walked sometimes. I now drive an 12 year old truck and my wife drives a 6 year old car. Both are completely paid off.

    I also made some mistakes along the way. My biggest was not getting my house mortgage paid off. I was forced to move due to losing a job. And each time the housing market was poor. I am retired now (layoff plus too old ) and the mortgage payment isn’t bad and will be paid off in another 10 years. That will give us another $850 a month to spend. Right now we bring in about $70,000 a year so retirement isn’t too bad. I still am tight with the money, but we do splurge at times.

    Good luck to all
    Remember – Before spending money, ask how many hours you will need to work to pay for the item. If it isn’t worth the 30 or 40 hours it will take to pay for it, maybe you really don’t need it !!!!!!!!

  • Chris says:

    Here I am hanging upside down in the southern hemisphere on New Year’s Day. I have read the majority of posts looking for other practical ways to live frugally.
    Briefly my background is farm boy, naturally frugal, turned airline pilot and now retired. Before you think an airline pilot wouldn’t need to live frugally with their salary they do when their ex-wife leave with a 7 figure sum equal to 15 yrs salary just prior to retirement.
    All is not lost as that early education on the farm and airline training in discipline and efficiency taught me my life skills which serve me well except finding like minded wives.

    Flying an aircraft with an operating cost of more than $20,000/hr with 400 lives down back teaches frugality and not taking unnecessary risks.

    The rules I’ve learnt are:-

    1. Keep healthy………..you cant earn an income or enjoy life from a sick bed, save $$$$ on medicines and doctor visits.
    Smoking and drinking excessively will cost more than their initial outlay of $5/day or potentially $20,000 over 10 yrs.

    2. Make a habit of not spending more than income except in emergency. (An aircraft has limited fuel with a small emergency reserve……….you can’t fill up with a credit card crossing the Pacific Ocean)

    3. Do not buy to impress others……….the guy with the new car may not own it.
    Only buy what you need and not to satisfy a temporary urge, wait a day, do you still crave it?.
    It took me 60 yrs to realize I don’t need 90% of the things I now have to clean, maintain and insure.

    4. Look at your consumption of staple items over a year then buy in quantity when they are on special. eg. I’ve paid less than 50% of regular price for my canned bean store and average savings on all items of 30% ( Ferrying fuel from a cheaper supply saves $$ on a short flight as well as quick turnarounds saving more $$)

    5. Minimize depreciation. Auction sales, op shops etc If a secondhand item will do the job it will probably save $$$ particularly clothing and nearly new cars.
    (Cars are my hobby and I’ve learned to do ALL repair work myself. A full workshop manual at $60 or online for free is better than $120/hr in a dealership.)

    6. Learn to DIY it takes time but worth $$$

    7. Be debt free. If you have cash a discount is often available if you ask.

    8. Only take a loan if there are NO other options.
    Repay any loans as quickly as possible….its worth the sacrifices.

    9. Invest any money saved wisely for a future income and dividend paying investments.

    If they don’t work for you at least look again at No.2.
    Final point, remember freedom both personal and financial are priceless.

    • Anne says:

      I agree with all Chris. Excellent advice! Could add a few more practicalities, but only as they pertain to some banking matters and day-to-day living which most of us already practice since we each live our individual lifestyles.

      For instance, as it applies to DIY, I used to make nearly all my own clothes back before we had thrift shops and discount stores; copied them from pictures in designer magazines, with no pattern, looked sharp, and you’d never know the difference; only me, knowing the mistakes I had made and hidden.

      Also, when I was buying, remodeling and reselling investment/fix-up homes, I did all the wall-papering myself, and became one of the best wall-paper hangers I ever met. I probably papered enough walls to go from here to Miami Beach and back and saved a mini-fortune doing it. I also read blue-prints and would lay out floor plans and modifications myself, drawing them right on the floors and walls so subs couldn’t make mistakes, acted as my own general contractor and saved much money there also. I laid out the new landscaping too on these resells, just didn’t do the digging. All said and done, there are many ways one can DIY!

      So sorry your ex pulled out taking the piggy bank of years of hard labor with her. Man, that’s a crock! And right at an age where you were looking towards retiring. I’m so sorry, and no, while you will never be able to replace what you lost (neither will I); you WILL find ways compesentate, even as hard as it is. I wish you the best. God speed.

      • Chris says:

        Happy new Year Anne
        It looks like you have worked hard and wisely and can be proud of your achievements. The property renovating , a great example to others.
        Making clothing was not uncommon in my younger days. Now many throw money around on fashion and designer labels which are of a great benefit to me and like minded “shoppers” at op shops. I am proud to have high quality clothing for cents in the dollar. My introduction to Op shopping was at a little place, Eagle River, not far from Anchorage.
        I came across it on my $2.75/day bus pass exploration of the area. Another bargain, see the area and chat with friendly knowledgeable locals.
        Many other cities have great deals on local all day bus passes if you ask.
        I was looking for secondhand books which I would read and leave at the hotels when read. Three or four books were cheaper than a newspaper. I had previously never checked the racks of clothing and found TOP quality clothing as this town appears to be above average standard of living (nearby military bases) with limited buyers.
        Material cost alone would have far exceeded prices asked.
        Downtown prices were generally double.
        At the same op shop I bought a perfectly serviceable bike for $5 and did more touring for peanuts. Anchorage buses have free bike racks on them so you can take your bike to the end of the line and continue on.
        Worry not for me, I planned ahead, I was wise enough to retain several properties while ex-wife preferred cash and an apartment…………..she has subsequently lost both within two years through extravagance and bad investment despite my warnings. She had never previously having had to earn or save.
        My properties are meanwhile returning an income while awaiting site redevelopment in great locations.
        Only those things which generate an net income or potential inflation adjusted profit can be considered an asset.
        I’m sure you understand that rule but others reading the posts may not. Have a good day.

  • TheOwl says:

    Hey Anne and everyone,it’s 2013 here. Happy New Year! It’s 2.25am 1.1.2013 as I write this.

    Anne,I would stand up for anybody who has been wrongly accused. When a person is injured in an accident,do we ask, Are you a Christian before giving help? If he is not should we leave him to die on the road? Do we help people bcs they are Christians,Muslims or Buddhists? We simply must help those who need help.
    Let’s celebrate life and leave judgemental people alone. I say, Live and let live. To each his own.

    Anne,I had English tea yesterday afternoon and had a Vietnamese dinner with my family. What an enjoyable day. We celebrated new year’s eve but we left for home because the crowd was huge. They wanted to watch the fireworks. Here we welcome special days with fireworks and firecrackers.

    • Anne says:

      Greetings Owl, and Happy New Year! It is now 6:45 pm, Jan 1, 2013 here in south Florida, USA; guess you’re, what? Approx a day and a half ahead of us so it would be later in the day or evening Jan 2nd where you are?

      See how ridiculous that the Mayans could ever project that the world would end on Dec 21, 2012? Where, what country, following whose calendar, time and date schedule? Technically, if one wants to go by the end of the calendar Before Christ (BC), and begin a new calendar using After Divinity (AD), then it would be the year 2015, just turned 2016 right now as somehow three years were lost in the transposing of the new calendar, so tehinically it is not 2013, it is now 2016, which would mean we should have all perished on Dec 21st three years ago, huh? But according to WHOSE time/date frame; yours, mine, or at the north pole?

      Sounds like you had a marvelous New Years Eve with family and good food. As it turned out, I was somewhat under the weather and wound up staying home and going to bed early, went to sleep and didn’t even hear the fireworks going on all around me, then missed the big ball drop and celebrations at midnight on Times Square.

      We too have big celebrations, with New York and Miami on the beach having the biggest celebrations, (athey have them all the time) but other cities have them too all over the US. On the East and West Coasts, we have long boat parades with yachts and cruisers decorated for the holidays, parading for miles along the coast. Really a beautiful sight to see. I’ve had dinner many times at seaside outdoor retuarants and watched them slowly go by. They put on quite a show. This year I missed all that. Oh well, no biggie!

      • TheOwl says:

        Hi Anne the Verbose,

        Greetings from the other side of the globe. I am in south-east Asia,exactly 13 hours ahead of you. LOL I always hear about Miami but did not know it’s in Florida until I checked real time! No wonder it’s always sunny.

        Here it is always sunny,hot and humid. You sweat and your skin feels clammy but if it rains you feel cooler. During the monsoon months we have tropical thunderstorms almost every evening. I escape to the cool highlands every month.

        Now 3 states located in the east coast of the peninsula are flooded because of the north-east monsoon (november-march) so schools could not reopen yesterday (1Jan after the year-end long holiday. Yes,these are Muslim states and they start school/work on Sunday which they close on Friday. We have 14 states and 5 are considered Muslim states) brought by winds originating in Siberia,the same winds that affect the Philippines too.

        We are divided into two parts, separated by the South China Sea. The other part of the country is in the huge island of Borneo. I’m flying to Borneo Sarawak for about a week of holiday in early March. We are tropical so we don’t have deserts like in the Arab states where it is hot and dry. Here it is hot and wet.

        I had a nice new year with the family but January 1st is not important to us. The Lunar New Year which is also called Chinese New Year is very important to us. It falls on 10 Feb this year. Every child is expected to come home to the parents’ house and then to their ancestral house. 2013 will be the year of the water snake and the water dragon makes its exit at 11.59pm 9 Feb (this is of course a simplistic approach. The feng shui masters will be able to give you the exact time and date for the entrance of the snake year which really begins a few days into the lunar new year bcs spring does not arrive at exactly 12.00am day 1 of the spring/lunar new year).

        There are 12 animals in one cycle (of the 5 elements of water,earth,wood,fire and metal), beginning with the rat and ending with the pig. Chinese philosophy is too complicating for me to explain and I myself do not understand so many aspects of it. Every 60 years you get one golden animal e.g.1984 was the year of the golden rat and 1990 was the year of the golden horse (2 golden animals in that particular cycle. Many cycles have no golden animal at all) so if you want a child to be born a golden horse he/she must be born in 1990/2050. You must wait for 90 years before you can get a golden dragon so if you happen to be born in the year of the golden dragon you’ll be considered to be born so very lucky.

        In my country,many babies were born in 2012 (the last dragon baby will be born on 9 Feb 2013 at 11.59pm) as it was the year of the water dragon which occurs once every 60 years (the last one was in 1952). When these kids start primary 1 in 2019 the schools will be over-flowing with dragon kids LOL, especially at the Chinese-type primary schools where Mandarin Chinese is part of the school curriculum. Those born in the year 2000 the year of the golden dragon went to Secondary 1 today (2Jan) or grade 7 and all the papers,especially the vernacular papers,reported that the enrolment was huge huge huge. Classes were overflowing with dragon kids bcs every kid was a dragon (of every race hahaha). Dragon boys are considered more auspicious than dragon girls LMAO, a result of feudalism and the teachings of the chauvinistic Confucius. The word for female in Mandarin Chinese looks like a person in a kneeling position (Chinese writing is after all pictorial).

        In ancient China every time Confucianism was favoured (especially in the reign of first Emperor Qin Shi who built the Great Wall as he was a dictator so laws were terribly harsh) women were suppressed. Notice that some Chinese artists paint women with no mouth?

        • Chris says:

          I’ve lived in your part of the world, both East and WestM and love both but prefer EM, very friendly people. Just love those Durian and Rabatan, when in season are a bargain in Kuching. Airfares so cheap.
          You are being frugal by living there and I have seriously considered the 10yr retiree visa.

          • TheOwl says:

            If you’re in Oz you should know us pretty well. Kuching is cheaper than KK,is safer and more peaceful too. KK is full of Filipino immigrants. Living in Kuching is definitely cheaper than in the peninsula but we need to fly over the South China Sea every time we want to have family gatherings in Penang,the famous island off the north-west coast of the peninsula. Flights to Kuching are indeed cheaper,esp from OZ. People in Borneo Sarawak live closer to nature. There are like 27 ethnic groups in Sarawak. We are a small country but full of diversity.

            I was in Bali in early December. It was so hot I did not enjoy the trip but almost every white person there was an Aussie. They worship the sun. AUS$ is so strong now so it’s time you travel,Chris. From KL to Bali already takes me 2.45 hours but it takes only 3 hours from Perth. Some of them fly to Bali every fortnight or every month. If you’re in Perth South-east Asia should be a song to you.

          • Chris says:

            I know your area well Owl. I was employed by MAS in 80s for several years. Have lived KK, frequent overnights KCH and love Sibu like frontier town back then.
            Bali, too many drunk Australians letting us down. Prefer a sober life with nature while squeezing that dollar.
            Heading for ROC and several places in between in a couple of months.
            We are lucky to live in this part of the world, great people no wars and bargain luxury hotels if avoiding tourist centers.

  • Anne says:

    True, Loan Arranger, true. Sometimes we are off subject a little here, I suppose me being the chief offender. However, haven’t you noticed that I find ways to bring a lot of my posts into being frugal?

    But look again. I see the moderator/arthor DOES delete posts, so don’t you suppose if he had a problem with my posts he would delete them; in fact, has deleted one or two as well as several others?

    So you see Loan Arranger; it is also not about YOUR philosophy… or your right to chastise me or any of us. But do, have a wonderful New Year!

    • Loan Arranger says:

      Anne: Point taken, and I will try to remember that. Truth is, I often don’t read every word when the post is many paragraphs long, and the post seems to be totally off-track. Mea culpa. Happy New Year, wherever you live, from here in the U.S.

      • Anne says:

        Thank you Loan Arranger. My apologies that my posts do tend to get a little wordy. I’ll try to do better from here on. Mea culpa and New Years’ Greetings to you too, from the West Coast of South Florida; and may we all have a better year in 2013 than many of us had during 2012. I wonder tho, if the number 13 is considered such an unlucky number, why do we have the 13th calendar years when elevators don’t stop on a 13th floor in high rise buildings? Ever think about that? Just kidding!

  • Loan Arranger says:

    As someone once said, “Can we all just please get along?” There are hundreds, if not thousands, of viewpoints, religions, and opinions representing hundreds of people/races on this website. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOUR PHILOSOPHY! We are getting way too far off subject here.

  • Anne says:

    This is NOT your best shot Turner, when you have God to turn too, wherein lies all truth and understanding. He has forewarned us about the mystics, seers and psychics. Now run like the devil is after you because he really is.

  • TheOwl says:

    I say man Sonja,what moralising! You have such an “I am holier than thou attitude” You MUST be a Christian and goody two-shoes? Who do you think you are,telling people they are not Christians. I am not a Christian. Does that make me vile and disgusting? Does it make you holier by putting others down? Every time we want to bitch on others,take a look in the mirror! We’re discussing frugality. Everybody has his/her own style of expression. That doesn’t make people vile or evil! I expect you to turn on me next. Come on.
    I also wanna tell Javita that nobody is bitching anybody here.

    • Anne says:

      Ain’t THAT the truth Owl!!? WOW. Just wow. You see; my point spoken very well by you. Sonja does not know you, and what a lovely person you are, which has nothing to do with whether you are a christian or not! Yet she comes on with her holier than thou evil spirit (straight from the devil, BTW), finding something to point the accusing finger at anyone who uses the name of Jesus, (as in “CHRIST”ian), in this case ME; which to HER makes anyone a false christian if they state an opinion that is not exactly in line with hers, or some such mucky-t-muck tangled up confusion of a dysfunctional troubled mind, when she obviously has done no research on the matter.

      Now she finds out that you are not a christian and does not proclaim to be one, yet you would stand up for one; ME. Did you know, God will honor and bless you for that? Well, he will. God honors many people in the Bible who stand up for his own and who honor his precious only begotten Son Jesus. Those who persecute and make us “pay” for proclaiming that sweet Name? They will pay for it, I wish no evil on them. I do not worry about it for one split second. He ALWAYS sends to my rescue in His own way.

      Thank you, my friend! You are special. Really. You are.

      As to Javita; ( male or female?) tsh tsh tsh…. Has her own set of problems bringing in the bitch insult, when there is NO bitch-slapping going on here, other than one she is trying to create. Sheeeesh! This is not a troll board, this is a thread on learning ways to practice frugality.

      Have a VERY lovely and happy New Year’s Eve! ME? Going out for dinner and house party at the home of a canadian friend whose two adult children have come down for the holidays. We have never even discussed christianity, yet we have become closerthanthis. She actually lives overnight elsewhere with her boyfriend, but is a nurse in a cancer clinic, works full time, keeps up a home, feeds all the birds and animals in the neighborhood who come to her, plus her cats (sent by God to look after his little ones who are hungry and cannot feed themselves); she might not know this, but I do.

      PLUS drops off wonderful dinners for me sometimes five nights a week, that being because the nurses in this clinic have their lunches/dinners delivered gratis daily from very nice restuarants by the pharmachuetical (sp) reps whose medications they supply. Loads of food. From this she says, “HEY, I’m taking some of this to my friend Anne”! I tell ya, it is a VERY nice treat. See how good God is? Always looking out for us. To her, I gave for Christmas a Waterford Crystal Finger Bowl, now on display in her home; awww…. but she deserves SO much more. I know this, God himself will recompense her in ways I never could.

      Have a good one Owl, and everyone; happy happy, and a better year for all of us in 2013!!

  • Anne says:

    Owl, ref your last post on 12/27, you threw a good one out there: You state you are not a christian (I already knew that and like you anyway!); and, “What do people think about the end of the world?”

    That is a tough one to answer, mainly because the author/moderator will delete my post if I go into much ‘christian’ detail, WHICH I can understand since this is a thread about frugality and not christian values; and when I don’t believe like many of them do anyway, which includes many christians.

    I will state simply: Jesus said, “no man knowesth the day or the hour your Lord doth appear, not even the angels which are in heaven.” “If you hear he is here, or he is there, go not there, look not upon them” “Follow me, I am the truth, the light and the way; take heed that you follow no man”. “No man cometh to the father but by me. He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear” and many more such Scriptures.

    I believe in the Bible as the everlasting and authoratative Word of God, the teachings of Jesus ALONE and the warnings from God. I do not follow any televangelist or any preacher per ‘se, I suspect so many (most) of them are nothing more than big money scams and thieves. I can clearly read The Book for myself, have, and comprehend what I am reading. I don’t need anyone to twist anything around that I may have a better understanding of than they do.

    Some wanted to believe the “sundial” calendar ending on Dec 21, 2012, not realizing that there is a three year mistake in our own calendar, so what about theirs; was there also a mistake in their calendar and this is what our own calendar initially was derived from? So exactly how DID that three year mistake occur and no one has ever bothered to correct it? “After Divinity”actually began three years earlier than our calendar shows it to have begun.

    There is also a 99.99% possibility that Jesus was not born on Dec 25th, as shepherds do not tend their flocks outdoors in Jeruselum (sp?) in December, they bring them in and house them by the end of Sept. If they were guarding their sheep, then they had to be guarding them indoors, NOT outside, but that would also eliminate the shepherds trudging them thru the icy cold baren land in Dec. That is not to say that the story about Jesus’ birth is not true as I believe it is, but there certainly would appear to be a mistake in “when” he was born, which almost HAD to be before the end of Sept.

    We could research the Aztecs too, what does it say in their calendar as to the end of time? Or Cacyee what’s-his-name, or Nostradomis, or any other soothsayer or self-proclaimed prophet, but God has already forewarned us. Actually, God could strike us all down any minute without ANY warning, and that’s just the way it is. As for us depleting all the oxygen, no I don’t believe that. I believe that God alone is reponsible for our oxygen and should something like this happen, it will be of God’s determination and and not any of us, unless we should let lose a fearsome gas upon ourselves. Now THAT actually could happen. Hope I’ve answered your question as to my beliefs.

  • Anne says:

    Mornin’ Owl. Anywayz, it’s morning here; Saturday, 7:12 AM on the West Coast of Florida, USA. , and (hopefully) my last post concerning Miranda the fraud/hoax/troll; which I am convinced is what he/she is. If you take a serious look at her/his one post, this HAS to be a hoax/troll.

    For this person to say they earn $900 per month and their rent is $600, which does NOT include any utilites, FOOD, transportation, OTC and emergency medicals, not even a pair of shoes, or anything else, and $300 is all they have left to live on, then wonder how they can save money, is just a stupid nut case, so stupid they wouldn’t even be able to hold down a job paying the $900 per month salary and be able to function as is.

    There is NO WAY anyone could survive without additional income,; paying out $600 in rent which does NOT include (costly!) utilities, and expect to pay all these other costs, PLUS EAT on the remaining $300 month to month, not unless they have additional income; THEN doesn’t come back to listen up to our solutions. Pure and simple; all a big joke, trying to throw out to us a situation that they already KNOW is impossible as stated in that one post, and I’m not giving it another minute of my time. IMO, we need to ignore this kinda crap.

  • Javita says:

    Thank you, all. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve really enjoyed the speed with which a discussion about frugality has descended into a complete and utter bitch fest.
    Oh, Anne: that lady, Miranda says in her post that she lives in the UK, and she uses ‘£’ as a currency symbol. Call me crazy, but I’d bet €10 that she lives in the UK.
    Keep doing what you’re doing, people. You crack me up.

  • David says:

    I think it is about the ability to delay pleasure. To say, “I’ll have a good one later, when I can afford it, there is no rush” rather than “I’ll have a crap one now on credit because I cannot wait another second”.

    See the TED talk titled “Joachim de Posada: Don’t eat the marshmallow!”.

    • Anne says:

      You are so right David; a lot of it IS about the ability to delay AND ignore pleasures, even sometimes delaying actual necessities for one more day, and then another day, and another, wherever/whenever we can. I figure that every day I don’t move my car off the driveway or use my ATM debit card I have just saved money!

      And NO internet charges off my debit card either, no matter how persuasive the commercials may be. By the time one adds expensive shipping charges there are no savings anyhow, and frequently costs MORE than you can purchase the same item for locally, or either you just plain didn’t need it in the first place.

      The costly pleasures I didn’t really need, since I am perfectly happy right here at home…. my favorite place! THEN when I do mosey out of here, I have a list and do it all in one trip. Course, this also eliminates a lot of your entertainment/social life, but do I really need it anyhow? Nope, actually I don’t, certainly not with any frequency; tho I must admit that sometimes I miss the things I used to do, especially my business when it was thriving, which also produced many social contacts/outlets and more expenses, but so what? I could afford it then, but not so much now.

      But ALSO, I don’t have the big charge card roulette game either. Dumped them all! I live strictly on cash now. Can’t afford it? Don’t do it! Again you are right; buy cheap, but only those items you MUST have now, no charges. There will always be better days when then you can buy better. If not, cheer up. Life is good! I will look up the article you posted. Thanks!

  • TheOwl says:

    Hi Anne,

    Happy New Year. Miranda could be a hoax or she could be real. Why should she be a hoax? She can’t scam anyone for money. I too wonder what she has left for food if only 100 Br.pounds are left for food,the phone,the newspapers,the bus… I think people should go for cheaper housing if they cannot afford better and also disconnect the telephone,cable TV,newspaper and magazine subscriptions and see how much they can save if they cut out all the non-essentials.

    Yeah,I agree about a partner or spouse who leaves us for another. No need to waste money or tears on such scumbags. No need to be stupid. Enjoy your life and one day when the scumbag comes crawling back just give the bitch/bastard a good kick in the face LOL. All these spellcaster nonsense are just money-making scams. There are tons of people in this world who will not do honest work bcs they can’t get rich that way.

    • Anne says:

      Owl, I submit that Miranda’s post may be a hoax simply because she/he presents an impossible situation as stated, expecting to get a solution, when he/she does not give enough detail for anyone to provide a reasonable solution to the problem as stated. You know, there are trolls who roam around on the threads making ridiculous posts for no good reason other than their own warped enjoyment. They like to get deep into nonsensical situations and sit back laughing at the responses. That’s one reason I suggest this may be a hoax and not necesarily that this person is looking to scam money from us.

      But you and I both know, as does the poster above who suggested she get a part time job, that there ARE solutions to her problem, same as you suggested a few practical eliminations she could make in her budget right now. Considering that you and I have both been in these tight situations, as have many others, she certainly could improve her financial status if her problem is for real and she really wants too. Once years ago, I had a full time job and two part time jobs, no car and a small child to raise by myself . At one point we had to live in a boarding house where meals were provided, in one room, at a time when I had no job at all. Those years presented some hard times and huge challenges, but we made it and eventually I succeeded quite successfully in a good career.

      There are many ways Miranda can live much cheaper than she presently is until she can do better, even if she has a child, and regardless as to what kind of work she does, (that we don’t know either) IFF she’s willing to compromise; if not, then she can only expect her hole to get deeper.

      • TheOwl says:


        Miranda doesn’t expect anybody to solve her situation for her. Let the trolls be. Just take care of yourself. Have a wonderful new year. I will.

        • Anne says:

          Thank you Owl. The thing is, Miranda’s bad financial situation (if for real), really is solvable.

          You too, and ALL, have a bright and marvelous New Year and much happiness. Hope you had a nice Boxing Day too, although I really must confess, I don’t quite know what that is!

          • TheOwl says:

            Haha Anne. Same here. I’m not a Christian but i do join in the Xmas joy. I used to think people do a bout of boxing on that day. Then I found out it’s the day after Xmas when people open their boxes of gifts. Hehe misleading word.

            Toowhit! Toowhoo! TheOwl sings… the world did not end. Onward,brave new world. I bet the end will come one day when the human race has depleted the oxygen supply and slowly they will all drop dead like flies,gasping for air! What do you people think about the end of the world?

  • Anne says:

    Thank you Owl! For cryin’ out loud, who needs spell casters or other scammers on this thread when none of us would take back a disgusting cheater in the first place unless it’s a matter of our financial success at stake, and even then you’d have to be smart enough to take control of the checkbook yourself!!! Idiots.

    Sheeesh…! Don’t they realize that nobody but a fool would call on a spell caster when all they have to do is call on God and WAIT, and if HE doesn’t work out the problem then it wasn’t worth working out in the first place, you’ve just saved yourself a LOTTA heartache, when HE has a better plan for your life and that’s NOT with some disgusting cheater who makes your life a living hell. NOBODY is worth tolerating this kind of mental (AND financial) abuse for. Some people are just so stupid.

    • Anne says:

      As it concerns Miranda, I’m not so sure her (?) post wasn’t a hoax, are you? We don’t know if this really is a woman; could just as easily be a man giving false information and leaving out pertinent details. I see she/he didn’t answer any of our posts so this leads me to believe the entire post as stated is all a lie and a hoax, made up to throw an impossible situation at us that this person KNOWS is insurmountable with the limited amount of info presented. In fact, this person’s situation IS solvable but not as stated and the hoaxer knows this. Just my opinion….

    • Deanna Clark says:

      I believe money is part of our whole inner life. I’m 65 and have always noticed that when I’m kind and also smart, money is fine. But when I’m anxious about myself, I waste. I’ve learned that when I’m worried about my clothes and want to buy more…really, I want to give some away I don’t need. No kidding…it’s a mystery.

      George Carlin used to say “God is this all-wise. all-powerful Being, but He just can’t handle His money.” (Churches never know the meaning of enough).
      That’s hilarious…but I believe God really will handle our money if we think of giving even in tips and little ways. Bread on the waters.

  • TheOwl says:


    I can’t argue with your argument and logic. Indeed,we are all living on borrowed time. We all live the live we choose.

    It’s Xmas day for you so Merry Xmas and a great year ahead. It’s Boxing Day here,26/12. Time is 1.40am as I write this. Xmas is over for us. Looking ahead to the new year.

  • TheOwl says:

    Wow Miranda, that’s a tough situation. You’ll need a miracle! However, miracles do come true. Look at Susan Boyle. Have a dream but you must work hard to realize it. Susan Boyle did not just sit on her fat ass (no pun intended). She kept on polishing her art and now she’s fantastic, if not the best. Her voice sounds heavenly. She helps me dare to dream. If you wanna be an artist, keep on painting. If you wanna be a singer, keep on singing. If you wanna be a published writer keep on writing. She started with a small audience. The whole world listens to her now.

  • Miranda Donaldson-Lancaster says:

    I work full time with an income of around £900 per month. My rent is £600 (which is cheapish for the UK!), I don’t drive because I can’t afford a car. My house is heated by electricity and my electricity bill is £200 month (budget), I also have phone, food, etc. PLEASE tell ME ?? HOW CAN I LIVE FRUGAL AND SAVE MONEY WITH MY EARNING!?

    • linda says:

      Hi Miranda,
      I´m wondering if you´ve enquired about whether or not you´d be able to claim housing benefit ? I understand that it´s available for people who work as well as those out of work. I´d go to your local Citizen´s Advice and tell them that once your rent is paid, you´ve hardly anything left to live on. It might be worth finding out if you can get any help.
      Best wishes

    • Anne says:

      Miranda, you have presented a real dilemma with presently little way out of the situation you are in. Owl offers wonderful encouragement when talking about precious Susan Boyle! Oh how she touches my heart! I had tears the first time I heard her sing; never, EVER has there been a voice like hers. Some good, very good, yes; but none like Miss Susan Boyle.

      Even with her limited mental abilities due to her deprivation of oxygen at her birth, LOOK what she can do; initially coached and encouraged by her mother who taught her never to give up!! All she has accomplished was done to honor her dear departed mother. Sweet Susan should be a lesson for all of us. I might add, all those who have critisized her have been publically shunned, rebuked and have subsequently fallen by the wayside.

      Miranda, there may be a temporary partial solution for you. I will tell you how I dealt with my own situation earlier on in my life, when I too was struggling much the same as you are now; but first I need to know, are you married, single, do you have children that live with you, how many, are you male or female, what country are you in? There is so much you didn’t say about your circumstances that it would not be logical to offer any monetary advice without knowing more about you. God bless.

    • Mary Carpenter says:

      I live in the U.S. Here we have had a bad time of it financially all over the country for the past 5 years. Most people here would solve your financial problem with adding a part-time job to their full-time job. Even single moms realize they have to feed their children and do this; a lot of men do this to be able to meet their bills. Some people supplement their incomes here by selling things like Avon cosmetics or Pampered Chef housewares. You do what you have to do to survive. I just would see working more at maybe 2 jobs as the best solution to your problems.

      • TheOwl says:

        Yes, Mary. If people can weather the storm and ride it out it’s considered a triumph. I’ve gone through such a challenging situation at least twice in my life and the key words should be patience and perseverance.

        I’ve been traveling all over South-east Asia and as it’s nearer to home and cheaper compared to traveling in Europe now. I used to meet many Americans in the 80’s and 90’s, even in the early 2000’s. Now, most tourists are Aussies and Asians like mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, South Koreans and Indians. The wheel of fortune now smiles on Asia and one day it will move to Africa so the Africans can stop their scamming business and start legit ones.

    • Anne says:

      Not buying your story, Miranda!

  • TheOwl says:


    I’m sure Anne isn’t poor and can afford to burn her money. Let her enjoy her life. Let her burn her money if she so chooses. Everybody burns his money,one way or another. Why save all your money? Enjoy the fruit of our labour. I say,to each his own. It’s the season for celebrations – Xmas,New Year,then the Lunar New Year which the Chinese celebrate. Here in my country we have lots of celebrations. Let’s have fun and enjoy it while we can. The world is supposed to end today so make the most of it while you still have the time since we’re all living on borrowed time. Cheers!

    • Anne says:

      Owl, I left posts just above for both you and Lars. Hope you both, and ALL, have a wonderful day and a very Merry Christmas to you and your families!!!

      • TheOwl says:

        Hi Anne, thanks. I replied, starting with ‘I can’t argue with your argument and logic. Indeed…” Have a good holiday.

        I do empathize with Miranda. She’s in a very tight spot. Susan Boyle lives in a local council house. She doesn’t need that house any more yet she’s still living there though she has a grand house now. Miranda is in the UK. Perhaps she could apply for such housing too. For 600 Br pounds you could rent a grand house in my country. In the suburbs. Even in prime areas you could get a very good detached house.

        Wherever you are, if there’s a will there’s a way.

  • TheOwl says:


    Of course Lars meant well. His advice has all been wholesome,none was malicious in any way. Just scroll back this page and read for yourself.

    Many things in life are beyond our control but we must try to be in control of the most important aspects of our lives. Read the famous novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe,an African writer. The title comes from a line in a poem by the Irish poet,William Butler Yeats titled The Second Coming. When the protagonist starts to lose control over things in his life the situation in the end escalates into murder etc. I think Lars is talking about damage control. What the doctor told you is not 100% true. You can always salvage your health by stopping but then you’ve decided that you won’t stop. Everything is in your hands but again life is not that clear-cut.

    All I can say is take our best bet,do our best for ourselves and our loved ones, enjoy whatever life we have left and GO FOR IT come what may. My philosophy is to make the best of whatever circumstances life has dished out for us bcs not everything will turn out as planned. The shooting in Connecticut is one very good example. All those kids and people did not smoke or drink yet they died just like that! We can only do our best and hope for the best but early planning about how we’re going to live our life helps.

    Relax,take it easy,enjoy your old age and life will take care of itself. It’s the holiday season so be happy. Choose happiness,Anne.

    • Lars says:

      Yeah, about the health benefits of stopping smoking. Stopping won’t make the cancers smoking has already caused go away, but many or most of the other health problems caused by smoking are improved immediately by stopping smoking at any age, according to what I’ve been reading from the medical community. That goes for whether you’re 15 or 115. But that’s more for the health boards, not the frugality boards. Ya want frugality? Don’t burn your money.

      • Anne says:

        This is true Lars. ALL true. I admire your ability to speak out on a very nasty habit, which is ALSO counter-productive to ones finances as well as to their health, also affecting ones finances. Just one thing; I think my adult lifetime of smoking has cost me WAY more than $100K in the long run. IMO, that is a conservative figure that has gone up in smoke. No kidding.

  • Anne says:

    THANK YOU OWL FOR A WONDERFUL POST!! Yes, I am a happy person, relaxed, peaceful, not too many hassles & hackles to deal with at this point in my life, just living more of a refined, laidback and quiet lifestyle now. (That is, other than my anguish over paying all my medical co-pays; but dang it, I am NOT going to put that ahead of my cigs!) However, I have done many of those things I pointed out to Lars in my post above, not all but many, and had lots of good times. Mostly all paid for by various boyfriends in previous years gone by.

    Lars is right though (and so were you), in me sparing myself some health issues had I not been a smoker or had I even given up smoking earlier on. Fact is, I do have issues likely caused by smoking, that now I have to deal with, which all started about ten years ago. I asked my physician at the time, ‘if I give up smoking will it go away?’ His exact words: “You can give up smoking but you are still going to hit the brick wall head-on. You can apply your brakes by quitting now, and not hit the brick wall quite as hard, but you are still going to hit the brick wall”. So there you have it. There is really no turning around. I will admit also, that I would definitely have more spending money if I didn’t smoke so Lars is right about that too. That’s not to say that I plan to quit.

    Your friend who lived the pure life and had no vices but met with a tragic accident at age 30; maybe God saw him as being too good for this life and took him out of it? I do think that happens with some who die suddenly, or even sometimes tragically, that God takes pity on them and takes them home. I think that is what happened with my husband who was a very sick man and had so many burdens piled on his shoulders. God in his mercy took him home.

    You’re right too, about all these people ending up with cancer who never smoked! My dad died of emphyzema and COPD at age 72 and never smoked a cigarette (or cigar, or pipe) in his life. He was a country gentleman/farmer who breathed the good air all his life other than one year he held a public job, so we never know. SO MANY of my dear and lifelong friends are now gone due to cancer who never smoked a cigarette in their lives either! It makes me sick to think about how they’ve all died from cancer. I think “they” are lying to us about the cancer statistics and that heart attacks are the #1 killer. I think cancer is #1.

    I’ve done a lot of research on cancer and have learned that most cancers actually originate in the pancreas and frequently is caused by drinking. But the wine growers and sellers don’t tell you that! They toot the benefits of red wine (which are not so great either); but that’s not the true story. Alcoholic beverages causes cancer and perpetuates the spread of cancer, while the hops in the beer is excellent for digestive problems, which ALSO increases the spread of cancer.

    My husband died at 62 from diabetes, also never smoked the first cigarette. He was 13 years older than me and at the time I didn’t realize how young he really was when he died. Now I do. My son at 38 has congestive heart failure with major heart damage and is in the process of being placed on the heart transplant list; but yes, he has been a smoker and a drinker.

    Sadly, the final curtain call is the bottom line for ALL of us Lars, just as it was for all of those who have gone on before us. There’s no escaping it for any of us no matter what we eat or don’t eat, or whether we smoke or drink or we don’t. Lordy, you can even die from a tooth infection, or some deadly parasite can be nesting on your leafy green salad, or some mysterious germ can attack your body while you’re walking along having a wonderful day! And of course, there’s always some insane shooter out there taking aim. Now that’s just the way it is folks….

    Thank you again Owl for your lovely Post. I like your style and your outlook very much! And Lars, I think he/she means well…. Have a blessed day!

    • Deanna Clark says:

      One of my daughters died in one day at age 9. She was sweet, mystical, funny and very wise. A friend told me at the funeral that Jesus said, “Theresa was too good for this world.”

      This was a hardship, but not a tragedy…there’s a difference.

      There is a saying, ” When you were born, you cried and others were happy, Live so that when you die you are happy and the others are crying.”

  • TheOwl says:

    I can see the quarrelsome Anne now! Haha cool it,Anne. Why do you care what Lars or me or anybody says? Shakespeare says, “If music be the food of love,play on.” Likewise,if you enjoy smoking,just smoke on. Lars isn’t paying for your cigarettes. Nobody has a right to tell you to stop except your doctor. It’s your money,your health,your life,your decision. I believe in letting sleeping dogs lie. Let’s enjoy this life the way we see fit. Once you’ve done your duty by your children you’ve earned the right to live for yourself anyhow you see fit as long as it does not affect your loved ones. I drink beer and wine sometimes and go to the casino once or twice a month but I don’t ask for money from anybody. As long as we spend our own money and don’t impose on our loved ones,have fun for we live but ONCE.

    Toowhit!!! Toowhoo!!! the owl sings…

    • Anne says:

      Owl; I agree with all your coments, no argument coming from me. Only one correction: I don’t think even my doctor has the right to tell me to “quit smoking” since smoking is not what I went to see him or her about, nor did I ask them if they thought I should quit smoking. They have the medical right and authority to “suggest” I quit, pointing out the health dangers, but to TELL me to quit, no they do not have that right since that is my personal choice for my personal lifestyle.

      Just the same as I might know something about THEIR personal life that I don’t approve of; that doesn’t give me the right to tell them to stop it. Did you know that many doctors and nurses THEMSELVES smoke? Are you aware of (some of) their private, hidden, out-of-traffic smoking lounges in their offices and hospitals? I am.

      Not to mention the VAST numbers of them who play around with addictive prescription dope? I’ve personally had three physicians that I KNEW were on drugs and two others that I knew personally who were on drugs, but were not my own physicians, who killed themselves by overdosing. Yet it is these same physicians, doped up, who treat us. And we trust them? All five of these were well known highly respected physicians and surgeons.

      Then, what about all those who practice homosexuality and expose us to the dangers of HIV and AIDS, some we obviously can recognize and others we can’t as easily? Not saying that we aren’t exposed to these horrible diseases in other ways too, but homosexuality is the number one cause of coming into contact with HIV and AIDS, one drop of their blood or other bodily fluid is all it takes to expose us; yet many encourage and accept the practice of homosexuality based on their “rights”. Okay, not going to argue the point. We can each individually make up our mind as to our personal beliefs as to whether we personally accept their lifestyle or not, but in a medical situation, how do WE know how “clean” they are? We don’t!

      But at least many of them are out of the closet now and we can make our own choices whether to deal with them on a professional level or not; but the trick is that not all of them have comeforth, as many of them have a husband or , wife, children, and they’re not about to rock that boat. You get my drift. But, even the flu can kill ya or a drunk driver can run you down!

      Then we have our mass nurderers picking off innocents and little children with high powered assault rifles and other massive killer weapons so we’re all doomed one way or another. Fact is, all our worries come down to nothing, as none of us have been promised even tonight or tomorrow whether we smoke or don’t smoke, drink or don’t drink, gamble or don’t gamble, and etc etc. Sorry to be the voice of doom & gloom on such a beautiful day, but that’s just the way it is.

      Thank you for always being so thoughtful and considerate. Have a wonderful and Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!

  • TheOwl says:


    I’m not a smoker yet I don’t see that 100k I’ve supposedly saved LOL but of course I benefit tremendously health-wise and save on medical expenses. Non-smokers look younger and are healthier. Anyway,the food we eat and our lifestyle also contribute to our sense of well-being.

    Since Anne is a smoker (drink less coffee,Anne. A little is good for the heart but not too much,esp when you smoke) and there’s no way for her to give it up now that she has been doing it for years,perhaps there are alternatives to living a healthier lifestyle without giving up smoking e.g.eat better by cooking from scratch and exercise.

    Perhaps Anne is smarter than us,Lars. She gets to enjoy life so what’s a longer life when you don’t enjoy it? If she gives up smoking and lives 3-5 years longer but is unhappy from the time she gives up smoking to the end of her life,what’s the point? I say,to each his own. We can’t tell people to live like us. If smoking doesn’t suit me,I just keep a wide berth of smokers and their smoke. If smoking is your happiness,smoke on. I know somebody who had no vices whatsoever (he did not smoke nor drink nor gamble nor womanise). He lived a “holy” healthy life. One morning,he got down from the bus to go to work. He was crossing the road and was hit by a car. He died on the spot and was only in his early 30’s. His mistake was not waiting for the bus to pull away so that he could see the oncoming traffic. People who had never abused their health also end up with all kinds of cancer.

    I wouldn’t worry about saving every single cent. Where do we take all our money when we die? Bequeath it to the children? No need,enjoy it while you still have the time and ability. All the children need is good upbringing and the best education there is. I believe in spending my money and be happy spending it. Happy holidays!

  • Anne says:

    Lars, I don’t see it above, but I received a copy of your post to me today telling me how much money I would have saved all these years if I didn’t smoke. Good points, all, and I’m not going to argue the point.

    However, tell me Lars, do you have that $100,000 you threw out at me by NOT smoking? Do you have it stashed in a bucket somewhere, maybe under the gravel in your greenhouse, or buried under a patio stone? Or did you dutifully run down to your bank and deposit every week the guesstimate you saved by not smoking? Com’on now, SURELY YOU DID!

    No? Don’t tell me you didn’t save all that money you saved!

    • Lars says:

      The answer is “of course”.

      If you decide to stop smoking and then put aside all the money you save, you’ll soon have a nice pile, and over your lifetime it will grow to about that dollar value.

      It’s more practical for all of us simply to do the thought experiment, though, forego stuffing it into a mattress, and put it to work for you, dollar by dollar, into something more productive than smoking. The mirror image of the thought experiment is that if one does continue to smoke, the result will be to be $100K poorer than a smoker who quits, or a non-smoker. For people living close to the edge, living paycheck to paycheck, or who wish they could upgrade their car, accommodation or food, surely that $100K has to look like a good offer.

      The health benefits will simply be an added bonus.

      • Anne says:

        Of course ‘WHAT’, Lars ? You carefully counted it up weekly, week after week, all you would have blown had you been smoking and stuffed it in a can or under your mattress? Did you remember to drop the difference in your health insurance premiums into the can had you been a smoker verus not smoking? That adds up too, you know!

        Did you add to it all the booze you would have guzzled down at the pub but didn’t? (Heck, I don’t even know the price of a beer or any other kind of alcoholic beverage since I don’t drink. Nope, not nary a drop, not even wine. I hate the stuff!) How about all that money you eeked out at the local bingo hall, graduating from that to the slots and then the blackjack tables? Of course, you would have been addicted to gambling by now, right?

        So lets not forget the gambling cruises you went on, for the wonderful buffets of course; and the greyhound dog races and the the horse races where you placed your bets AND LOST. (BTW, I don’t gamble either). It was all for the social aspects, ‘eh? You’re kidding me. Heaven forbid, I hope you didn’t stoop so low as to sneak out late at night and go to the dog fights and drop money on innocent dog blood too.

        Did you drop all THAT in your (by now) big bucket? How would you even keep count of it all Lars? So you have a big stash of mattress money now? Well. Alls I can say is bully for you Lars.

        • Lars says:

          Just do the thought experiment, Anne. Go down path A (avoid smoking) and you’ll come up with $100K that you can spend however you like. Go down Path B and you’ll have all the advantages that smoking brings (all the well-documented detriments as well), but not the $100K.

          There are plenty of recent studies that show how cigarette marketing targeting the poor is very successful, and how many poor folks spend up to 25% of their money on their habit, and how if they didn’t, their heads would be aboove water and not below it. Someone could google that. It’s less crucial for those who aren’t poor, of course, but $100K is $100K no matter who you are.

          As for projecting other vices on me, best not to do that on a frugality board. I doubt many of us interested in frugality as a subject indulge in any of the excesses you list. Certainly I don’t. You’re simply taking pointless shots in the dark and none of them have come close to hitting the target.

          • Anne says:

            I understand Lars. I really do. I was just joshing with you about all the money you could have, would have, saved had you not done this and that and so on. No offense meant. All your suggestions for me were good ones and I thank you even if I’m not yet changing my ways. Have a Merry and Beautiful Christmas, and a Happy Holiday Season!

  • Anne says:

    Here’s another little tip on being frugal, for anyone whose interested. It’s a simple little thing about the type of coffee pot and coffee you use that could be causing you to waste a lot of money over the long haul.

    Get rid of your Mr. Coffee Maker or similar machine, where you put a filter in the top and pour the water through. It’s a HUGE waste of money because it’s a huge waste of coffee grounds that the water only went through once. Instead, purchase an old fashioned perculator, the kind where you fill the pot up with water (I use hot water, it heats and perks faster), and fill the little coffee holder in the top with coffee grounds. Here’s the biggest tip: fill the little cup all the way up to the top with coffee grounds, making your coffee excessively strong.

    Purchase the cheapet, strongest, darkest coffee there is, not light or medium coffee; dark is better and makes your coffee tastier and stronger. Costs the same. There’s a lot of difference in the costs of coffee. For example, the cheapest coffee at Publix is $11.99 a can for a large size. The same size at Walmart is $6.99 for their house brand. Buy the Walmart brand.

    NOW, here’s the real scoop: When your strong coffee has finished perking; you could even let it perk through the grounds twice; strain it through a paper towel into a large sized pitcher that has a tight fitting lid on it. Finish filling the pitcher near the top with water, stir, cover the pitcher and place in the refrigerator. You will have enough coffee for three days which tastes just as fresh as it did when you first perked it. Look at all the trouble and money you’ve saved over a period of time. No more wasted coffee grounds that only had water poured through them once, no need to waste money on paper filters, and your coffee is always ready.

    • Cashme Morz says:

      Kicking Horse ground coffee last the longest in the fridge and tastes better the older it gets.

      • Anne says:

        Thank you Cashme Morz, but I’ve never heard of “Kicking Horse” coffee. I’ve lived up north as well as in the south (USA); presently live on the West Coast of Florida, USA. (near Pacific Ocean) and I don’t believe any such brand exists here. Your recommended coffee sounds like a brand in another country, or perhaps a gourmet coffee, which would not be in my budget. Just the name alone sounds wonderful however. Care to explain?

    • Frank says:

      you sound like a real frugalista – good on you !

      recent note – the oils in unfiltered coffee have been associated with high cholesterol – seeing this after a high reading, I switched from unfiltered (brewed in the cup) to paper filters, then after the next test the doctor said ‘I don’t know what you did, but it’s working !’ – so I’m figuring paper filters absorb the problem-causing oils

      mind you – now I rinse out and reuse the (conical) paper like 3 times, reducing my unit cost from like 3c to 1c per use – it’s deffo line ball about the value of my spare time which even at $2 an hour, is worth 3c for the minute it takes me to rinse the paper filter – but that’s frugal habit I guess – a penny saved is a penny earned.

      agree with your cheap coffee – people can’t tell the difference – when I worked as a waiter in an expensive restaurant – the boss showed me out back to put 10 tsp of cheap instant coffee into a Corning glass percolator jug, fill it with boiling water (from the electric jug), and stir carefully so all powder is dissolved. Then I’d march out to the restaurant full of lawyers and such holding the coffee pot – who’d like a coffee (at maybe $3 a cup) – they’d all go ‘ah – lovely – freshly percolated coffee – yes please!’ – no-one ever asked so I never lied – no-one ever complained saying ‘this doesn’t taste genuine’ – all fooled by first impressions and the subjectivity of taste.

      and cold-brewed – don’t even need to perk – just add coffee to cold water, stir, put in a closed container so it doesn’t absorb fridge odours, and leave in the fridge overnight – next day, beautiful iced coffee, just add milk – and it seems to taste smoother, less bitterness extract without the heat – very nice – try it for summer!

      • Anne says:

        Enjoyed your post Frank! Relating to how you make/made coffee using paper filters, it sounds like you were still using the “pour-the-water” through the top of the coffee machine, thereby wasting the use of the coffee grounds when the water only runs through once in this type coffee machine. With the perculator, the water perks through the coffee over and over.

        Allowing the pot to perk a second time after it has finished, uses even more of the value of the coffee grounds which goes to waste when only allowing the pot to perk once, or when pouring the water thru the automatic coffee machines. Coffee grounds are hard and do not dissolve, so you can only get real value from the grounds by allowing the pot to perk over and over.

        Did you notice above, I recommended to pour the perked coffee through a paper towel? You do not want any coffee grounds or coffee sediment setting up in the coffee, it goes stale faster and tastes nasty, definitely not good for overnight refrigeration. You are correct, not straining the coffee is what gives the coffee a stale taste and leaves the harmful oils in the coffee which leads to higher cholesterol, but a carefully placed (sturdy) kitchen paper towel does the same thing, only better, and you don’t have to rinse tae filter over and over for reuse, just pitch it .

        You know, when you stop to pick up a cup of coffee, say at a convenience quick-stop store, if it has been left setting for several hours, how it sometimes taste so old, bitter and nasty? That is because the paper filter they used that they poured the water through is not a good one and the coffee sediment ran through the filter into the coffee. This does not happen when you use a good paper towel to pour the water through, as you pour the coffee into a separate container. For your info, just thought I’d tell you about the real problem with coffee setting up too long in public places.

        Ah… the good ole days of instant coffee! Once upon a time, (years ago) that’s all I used. But now? Instant coffee in this country is so expensive that I gave it up years ago and took to the perculator after wasting so much time making the same pot of coffee over and over and wasting the coffee grounds every time in the pour-thru automatic coffee machines. Now, I only buy a small jar of instant coffee occasionally, just in case we are expecting a hurricane, or other electrical shut off and I might not be able to perk my coffee. Being without coffee and you’ve had a huricane or other calamity and have no power is the pits! Even unheated coffee beats none, right?

  • Anne says:

    I agree Owl, ref your post to Constanza. No need for any of us to get bent out of shape over this article and its’ authur even if some of it IS plagiarized. Some peeps are so bitchy fussy, always looking to climb on someone elses back over anything they can find wrong, when if they were looking after their own affairs they might get something accomplished in life.

    If there’s an ax to grind, I’m sure the hiers of Mr. Covey will be hot on Alban’s coattail. Not our problem. Actually, now that I think about it, I may have a copy of the original works around here somewhere, just can’t remember right now who the authur was and don’t care anyhow. I’ve had the book since around 1997, given to me as a gift. The title of this article is very similar to other books I’ve read along the same subject matter and isn’t the only one out there. ANYhoo, it’s not important enough for me to get off my duff and go looking for it just to prove a point; and who cares anywayz?

  • TheOwl says:


    Do not worry about this Alban character. Let him have his fun as we have ours,commenting here LOL. If Mr Covey’s publishers want to sue him they will. Why do we care? I know I’m having fun discussing this and so many other topics here with this friendly crowd. It’s nice to be able to express our thoughts and to read the thoughts of others bcs we learn from how others think.

  • Constanza Palacios says:

    Mr. Alban, someone who considers himself “a personal finance writer”, should at least respect and give credit to an other writer’s work. What you have written is based on Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. You don’t even mention you’re using his ideas, which do have a copyright, something you seem to not be aware of or are having no respect for!
    Anyone can visit https://www.stephencovey.com/ where all his books and ideas are presented. Dr. Covey passed away a month before you plagiarized his work, something that could be corrected by at least giving credit to his ideas and his book.

    • Anne says:

      Constanza; sorry, but you are entirely wrong. I had a little time this morning, went back and reread this article as first written. The author DOES give credit to the one his work is taken from. It is at the bottom of the article just above the first post. Read it for yourself. Too bad, a lot of people might have believed your false accusation. You owe the author an apology for this.

      I might add, this is what is wrong with so many peeps, too quick to jump to erroneous conclusions, place blame and find fault with another without first taking a look at their own failures, lack of comprehension and bad behavior. It comes under the heading of behavior modification. Rethink and practice your OWN behavior modification before you criticize or try to change someone else’s behavior, (that you usually can’t change anyhow, regardless as to the situation); jump them and get all red under the collar, scream, rant and rave; when it’s YOU who could do a little changing to make your life better, learn how to deal with you OWN issues and not the subject of your attack .

      Having reread the ariticle, I find many helpful comments and understand better ways to use the recommendations. It is really worthwhile to reread the article and posts. BTW, there are many good posts here as well, with many helpful suggestions for living an easier and more peaceful life and still remain frugal while enjoying life at the same time.

      I just know that I have cut my personal lifestyle expenses from over $3,000 per month to under $2,000 per month and am more peaceful than I ever was, even though I had the income to cover it then, plus more; but now I have none of the worries I had then either. Thank the dear Lord and my deceased husband, both who cared enough to look out for my future; at least I CAN cover it.

      Life is good even if I did have to tighten my belt and will have to tighten it again in the not too distant future, because now I have to move 65+ miles nearer to my son whose heart condition has worsened, now with major heart damage and on the heart transplant register. It breaks my heart. He is in a panic knowing he might not make it, or how long can he make it? Of course, I will be there to help him and my precious grandaughter he is raising now, as soon as I can work it out financially. Liam and others, please pray for us.

  • TheOwl says:

    Take care of yourself first. Love yourself first, and let the world take care of itself. We can’t take care of everybody’s problems. Give up smoking,eat simple and if you’re at home all the time,cook from scratch which is the best way to eat and try get half an hour’s exercise from Monday to Friday every week. It will keep the fat away and keep you young. It doesn’t matter if you had been sedentary for 50 years, you can start any time and benefit from it.

    I didn’t know it’s so bad in the U.S. We’re fine here. Happy holidays.

  • TheOwl says:

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for you handy dandy tips. So true about No.6; they make us fat and unhealthy too. However,I always give myself a treat once in a while. Life aint worth living if we never spend and never eat “bad” food once in a while,just to get a kick out of it LOL.

    Must be careful with No.1 bcs once I was so lazy and did not leave the house for some time. The car was left untouched. The battery just died and I had to change to a new one when it could have lasted another 6month to a year more. It could be a case of penny wise,pound foolish but in my case it was sheer laziness. I hated the traffic,the heat and people who prey on others for a living bcs when we’re on the road or in some mall we could fall victim to robbers etc. This world has become such an unsafe place.

    • Anne says:

      Owl; This is true about letting your car battery go dead. Just a few weeks ago it happened to my car and I had to get a neighbor to give me a battery jump. Now I try to remember to start the car every few days and let it idle for a few mins just to keep the battery charged. Time was when I drove down to my office every day, about three or four miles from home, and that kept the car running nicely.

      And of course, there were all the fast foods along the way, the buffet restuarants and the chinese carry out, and so on, so I was also eating out two, maybe three times a day and frequently picking up dinner on the way home. It all adds up. So do the excess pounds. I lived this way for quite a few years, PLUS kept an abundance of food on hand at home because my son and grandaughter were living here. Wow. Did I ever change all that!

      Since I have been at home and under the weather for a while, (likely all smoking related); I only go thru Burger King maybe once or twice a month and that’s only because I love their breakfast biscuits, and to the chinese buffet once or twice a month for lunch because I just can’t help myself, (both on the way to other places), otherwise I have learned to curtail my excessive eating and spending habits. No more of this running up and down the road every time the mood hits me. Which was often.

      I agree, this world HAS become a fearsome place to survive in, but I rarely go to the malls anymore or venture out into heavy shopping areas since I no longer have the need so I don’t let myself worry too much about such things. It’s the pitiful neglected and abused children who have to live in drug infested homes that worry me the most; those we never hear about until it’s too late. Also the poor elderly who don’t have enough monthly income to pay their medical co-pays, eat and survive; and there’s plenty of them out there silently suffering. Then so many who can’t find jobs although many are young, educated and well qualified, some both husgband and wife lost their job; many once upper-middle class, whole families sleeping in their cars in parks or wherever they can find a place to sleep undisturbed.

      Those are the ones who concern me most, those we can do nothing about; not myself so much as I have learned how to keep my head above water, dump all the unimportant hassels that weren’t really as important as I thought they were, and manage without all the perks, but many others are not so fortunate. I think if I’m ever able to get back to work (which I miss terribly), I will be living an entirely different lifestyle having now cut out all the fat.

  • Anne says:

    Giang, here’s the way I live frugally: 1) DON’T start up your car today unless you absolutely have too. I figure every day that I don’t drive my car off the drive way I have avoided spending money that day. No matter what I thought I needed that day, if I can put it off one more day, and then another day and another, then I do that. You will save money in gasoline alone.

    2) Don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, eat something before you leave home. 3) Don’t stop at a fast food drive thru either on your way to do your chores or going back home. 3) Make a list of the places you have to go, in order of the route you will be driving, so you don’t forget any or have to double back when you remember one that you forgot or then have to make another trip on another day. Think of the gasoline you’ll be wasting.

    4) DON’T go to the grocery store without a list of needed items and stick with your list unless you see something that you absolutely MUST have. 5) Plan your menus a week in advance! You’ll be absolutely amazed at how much money you can save by planning your meals in advance. For instance, a smallish ham, a smallish roast beef and a baked chicken can go a long ways for use in several meals. Put potatoes, onions and rice on your list. If you don’t have a crockpot, get one. 6) Take off your list, the expensive cuts of meats, (including bacon) expensive cakes, pies and deserts. A little fruit and a cup cake every now and then goes a long way, also pudding and jello. Buy everything at the cheapest price using the store brands. You’ll get used to the bland taste. Just season your foods a little differently.

    7) Stop it with the credit cards! ALL of them. Pay cash for everything, using your ATM debit card. 8) DON’T order junk off the internet, including gimmick “must try” cosmetics and skin creams. It usually isn’t cheaper anywayz by the time you pay the shipping charges and no better than many of the fantastic products we already have available. In fact, I’ve never ordered anything off the internet that I was really happy with, also was able to find it cheaper and just as good at other nearby stores. The internet sales are mostly a rip off, other than a few. But then, you never know the condition of the product.

    9) If you can’t pay your charge card debts and still manage to pay your monthly living expenses, THEN DON’t pay them. By now your credit is ruined anyhow. 10) DON’T agree to let your house fall into short sale. Foreclosure is far better than a short sale; which BTW, your credit is already ruined anyway even if you let it go into short sale; also, mortgage holders can come after you for all unpaid endebtedness and legal expenses on a short sale later on and many do!

    Shop for school supplies, shampoos, & etc at the Dollar Store (NOT the Family Dollar or the Dollar General. They are higher priced). Shop at thrift stores before spending at other stores. Watch out for the Goodwill, they are a big money maker and are way overpriced on some of their garbage that needs to be thrown in the dumpster, but every now and then you will find something new in Goodwill that is worth the price. Otherwise, try other thrift stores. Consignment shops are usually overpriced as they split 50-50 with the owner of the merchandise and both are looking to make some bucks. But sometimes you can make excellent purchases on gorgeous high-end furnishings in consignment shops if that’s what you’re looking for. Use your better judgement. If you don’t REALLY need something, don’t buy it!

    BTW, It’s not as hard to clean up ones credit a they might think it is, but you will NEVER get it done by hanging onto old bills you cannot pay or are just barely paying the interest on charge cards, nor will you ever get your credit cleaned up that way. Dump them! You don’t have to respond to credit card callers, SO DON’T. But DO keep up with filing your annual IRS, local and state tax returns, or at least filing for an extension.

    Let the balance in your checking account remain there every month. Just don’t touch it. You’ll be surprised how quickly it can grow. Set a small limit on any C’Mas gifts you need to buy and STICK WITH IT. I could give you more handy-dandy little tips too, maybe another time. Happy Holidays all!

  • Giang says:

    It is interesting to read the posting of how to live frugally. I am on the way of living so. Sometimes I spend too much on the supermarket bills for things that I really do not need urgently. Tomorrow I will go to a bank for setting up an automatic saving account immediately. I must live under my means.

  • TheOwl says:

    Yes,indeed. Thanks for giving me the idea. I think we should invest any future tips. If we’ve already paid the service charge we need not have to tip again. Sometimes,I feel we’re being silly transferring wealth from our pockets into those of others by tipping unnecessarily.


    You’re so right. In my part of the world this has been happening for the past thousands of years. It’s about time people who work hard for the money enjoy it. Why do citizens allow corruption of the most blatant kind among the ruling class and politicians?

  • Rewi Kemp says:

    The main reason most westerners are hard-up or strung-out is that for the last 30 years all the increase in wealth has gone to the top 1%.
    It is up to us to reverse this and make sure that all the wealth increase in the next 30 years goes to the 99%.

  • TheOwl says:


    Tip them whatever they deserve. If I feel the service provider is boorish or disrespectful or lazy and does not deserve my consideration I will NOT tip but remember not to go back there as it’s dangerous LOL. You must know what some of them resort to when they think a certain customer is nasty or whatever. They ‘attack” us so subtlety we may never know until it’s too late haha

    In my country we do not tip at restaurants any more bcs we pay service charge and govt tax (VAT coming soon) but when I go abroad for holiday I still tip the bell boy; also the guide and driver again (at the airport when leaving I tip them again unless their service is so unsatisfactory. If you visit south-east Asian/Asian countries,the drivers and guides are so caring you don’t mind giving extra although you’ve already paid them through their tour company) even though I’ve already paid upfront when booking the tour.

    I believe people should give tips when they are satisfied with service and not bcs they do not want to be called cheapos. To me,a tip must be sincere. Do not feel obliged to give simply bcs it’s the norm. I will NOT give even if it’s the norm just to show my dissatisfaction with the service rendered bcs the money is mine so I decide.

  • Tom says:

    How about don’t tip your waiter the proper amount and invest the money instead. Cheapos

  • TheOwl says:

    I can’t agree more with Sara. I’m the worst type of procrastinator you can think of yet I NEVER procrastinate when it comes to money! Why? Bcs you’ll lose big time. Know the magic of accruing interest. 2ook can snowball into 600+k in 17 years at 6% flat p.a. Just let the money sleep. Procrastination IS indeed DESTRUCTIVE!

    There are things in life we must not act on hastily but money is not one of those things LOL.

  • Hi,

    I put Procrastination first because I consider myself a recovering procrastinator, so I know how destructive it can be. Most problems in life tend to get worse if you put off dealing with them, but with money there is an explicit cost to delaying – it’s called interest. Putting off coping with debt is like leaving a taxi with the meter running. That’s why doing nothing about your money problems is not simply a neutral position – it means you are making things worse every day you fail to act.

    Sara Fargoons

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  • LiamTheDream says:

    Hi Anne, to me you seem to be doing evrything right except one thing….SMOKING….just got a call from the old sod during the week a friend of mine died suddenly…a Doctor by the way but he smoked like a chimney plus I hasten to add, he was very fond of the Pub…he was able to give out advice but could.nt follow it himself….”Physician heal thyself’. He always said that he could managw giving up the drink but not the cigarettes. Experts tell me that it worse than a heroin addiction. I really don’t know what a heroin addiction is but I’ll have to take their word for it. Just think, they are around $8 per pack now, that’s beyond the pale. I’m glad that I stayed off them. I Hope and pray the same for you.

  • TheOwl says:


    Earthenware is only porous on the outside as the inside is glazed over during the firing process. Anyway,earth can’t be toxic. I do use stainless steel but do not enjoy metal cutlery as they can accidentally clash with the teeth. I prefer china-ware spoons. We eat a lot with chopsticks which are made of wood or bamboo. Eating rice with the hand needs practice. It’s very enjoyable once you know how. However,it’s only hygienic when the fingernails are short and the hands are washed properly.

    have you ever been to the east? Try visiting South-east Asia. You’ll find the experience very rewarding. Culturally,we are so different so we must learn from one another.

    It’s great to live close to nature but I wouldn’t take off my shoes in the outdoors. Bcs the climate here is hot and humid/tropical we do not use carpets. We never wear shoes in the house. If we wear house slippers they are never worn outside the house. Shoes worn in the outdoors are never taken into the house. We walk barefoot on our marbled or tiled floors bcs the weather is so warm.

  • Anne says:

    Anastasia, I received an email notice of your post to Peter, however, it does not show up here on these posts. Now yet anywayz. You were inquiring about the housing costs of living elsewhere, I presume in another country as compared to the winters in Ontario.

    I just wanted you to know there are still some wonderful buys in warmer locations in the United States. For example; Kissemmee, Fl., which is a far-reaching (but nearby) suburb of Orlando, Fl. In Kissemmee, (pronounced Kiss’ ’em ‘me’), many beautiful newer homes are still half the price (and some less than half the price) they were before the bubble burst.

    Example, a new home (many) that sold for (approx) $450K during 2006, might now be priced at $199K. There are many homes of less value, some selling in the low 100’s and less. These homes were subsequently foreclosed and/or are in short sale. Some have little to no home owners association dues, while some do have, some low, and some higher, depending on their emenities. It depends on which suburb you go into, whether gated, has a country club on the grounds, golf course, whatever. Taxes are higher in Fla by comparison to a few years ago and are still based on the last tax assessors appraisal; HOWEVER, these appraisals will be lowered in accordance with the new sales price of the purchase (it takes about a year) and according to the tax milleage in that area, which may fluctuate county to county. A knowledgable agent can explain it to you.

    I am a licensed independant Fla Real Estate Broker; however, I do not work in that area, but do stay on top of their market. If you are interested in obtaining more information in the Orlando/Kissemmee area, let me know and I will be happy to refer you to an excellent agent there who will gladly email additional info to you.

  • LiamTheDream says:

    Hi Anne, A priest told me “Don”t pay any attention to these so called “spell-casters” or whatever you wish to call them> I can’t believe that in this day and age that people still believe in such nonsense!!!!

  • TheOwl says:

    Anne,thank you.

    About the shoes,I agree with you. In fact,the most natural is to move around barefooted like Adam and Eve. God meant it that way,like eating with hands. I enjoy eating rice with hands. What do you think of going back to nature? Isn’t it frugal,not having to buy shoes and all kinds of stainless steel cutlery? I prefer using china-ware,not stainless steel. Earthenware is more natural.

    • Anne says:

      I might be wrong Owl, but I have always had a little caution about using earthanware. Like aluminum cookware, it is porous (sp?) and could possibly retain old carsonegic chemicals, rancid grease and the residue of previous usage might seep into the pours of the earthanware. I have no idea whether this is a valid concern or not, just that it occurred to me.

      I do use stainless steel as it is non-porous and easy to clean. Also microwave/oven-safe glassware and wrought iron occasionally, but have never been sure about the wrought iron either, whether it is porous or not. Just because it was used in the old days does not mean it is safe. I know that it will retain rust if not properly treated, which also includes never washing it in sudsy water. Now, you tell me; just how safe is THAT?

      If you never use stainless steel cutlery, what do you use? I don’t know of any glass cutlery. Plastics have been identified are carrying carsogentic chemicals when heated, and recently published advice against the use of plastics because of the dixons in heated plastics and bottles used for our drinking water which can and does leech into the food and water.. Looks like we can’t win no matter what!

      As to going barefooted, I love going barefoot, but rarely do that either, not even indoors. I guess I can’t feel comfortable that I am keeping my floors and carpeting clean enough to be absolutely certain that I am not picking up some sort of germs on the bottoms of my feet, when I already worry myself silly over smoking and the damage I KNOW it is doing to my body. As to going barefoot outdoors, I used to love doing that when I was a kid and we lived in the wide open spaces. But now I know there are all kinds of insects, worms and larve out there, many too small to see with the naked eye and they can travel through the soles of our bare feet.

      I live in an area where there are all kinds of insects and creatures living in the woods around me. I never knew just how many until we had a forest fire right behind my house one winter a few years ago, and by the following spring I never saw or could imagine so many insects of diffferent kinds living and laying their eggs on my patio, porch, under the eves and everywhere else all around my house and trying to get IN my house, poisonous spiders and all, huge roaches, all kinds of nasty things. They had escaped the fire and moved forward. I had one heck uv a time getting rid of them all, even inside my house. We had to take Big Sammy (the dog) out to take his walk and do his business out there, which became another ordeal with all the fleas and ticks that attacked him and he then brought into the house. NOPE, no going barefoot for me!

      Eating with your hands? Never thought much about it just that I rarely do it. Pretty much a sandwich or a piece of fruit, something like that. Not even fried chicken which I usually cut off the bone first and use a fork. Rice? How? Wouldn’t it be too easy to fall all over the place and make a big mess? I do love white rice however, and eat it nearly everyday as recommended by my chiropractor, whom I confer with occasionally, who is also an MD and certified nutritionist.

      My Alabama friend says that she eats greens and cornbread all the time with her fingers, that it tastes much better this way. Might give it a try sometime. But as we both know, none of this has anything to do with being frugal! I just know that I wasted $40 bucks on a hair cut down at the salon last month that I now grieve over. She literally RUINED my hair and I could have done a much better job myself; would still have my hair, and would still have my $40 bucks! Sickens me.

  • Anne says:

    I got a pathetic little kick out of Mrs. Anderson’s post about a “spellcaster” bringing his wife back to him. I’m not into spellcasters, psychics, not even into preachers who are “seers”, we, having all been warned of such things; so I merely scanned his post and moved on.

    NOW I will say, that if a spellcaster could bring his wife back to him, another spellcaster could just as easily cast a spell that would make her leave him again. Conprende’, Mr. Anderson? I wouldn’t be resting easy if I were you. Sounds to me like you have called on the wrong one. All the same, good luck to you.

  • Anne says:

    To Jim, post dated 10/09, wherein he says he paid $300 for a pair of wonderful shoes years ago and has had them resoled several times; well and good, but podiatrists advise never to wear the same pair of shoes for longer than two days in a row. Doing this causes your feet to conform to the structure of the shoe and causes feet problems later on, some even leading to surgery.

    You have many fragile bones in your feet; switch around, allow your feet to rest (bones and muscles) and relax in their own natural manner and growth by frequently switching shoes. Just thought you might want to know what the pros say about wearing the same shoes all the time. Guess you’d better get yourself over to Kohl’s or K-Mart and pick up a couple more pairs of comfy shoes, right?

  • TheOwl says:

    I apologize too. I did not mean to die literally. It was used metaphorically. Like Rudyard Kipling said in The Ballad of East and West,

    Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face,
    tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!

    We think and see/do things differently but I guess we can learn a thing or two from the wisdom of the civilizations of both ends of the earth.

  • TheOwl says:


    You called me all kinds of names and when I defended myself you said I won’t let go. Come on,just be fair. I did not “attack” you in any way since there’s nothing for me to be defensive about. There’s no point discussing something when the truth is in plain sight. I won’t argue about a fact.

    • Anne says:

      Owl, I’m not going to continue to belabour this indefinitely, but if you look back, you will find that you told me to “die die die”. Seriously now, you don’t really think that was a nice thing for you to say to me, or that I would not react? But that’s okay, I’d rather move along.

      This is not the time or the place to keep up a blistering dispute, this is a thread about being frugal, which we have both let get out of hand with our personal comments. For my part in that, I’m sorry.

      Owl, we don’t even know each other and are just strangers on the interwebs, where the twain shall never meet. Let’s let this go now, shall we? My apologies to you for my own unfavorable comments.

      Respectfully, Anne

  • Anne says:

    Sorry about my error Peter. Purchased = purchase.

  • Anne says:

    Well, I never! I turn my back for a few days having been all tied up (or would Owl say ‘all tied down’), only to find that Owl just won’t let it go. Dang. Give it a rest Owl. You’ve otherwise got some fairly decent posts way up there, just more than one side to your nature I suppose, so let’s just let it go at that. Comprende’?

  • Peter Kelly says:

    I’ll try and close the tar and nicotine debacle. This website sells antioxidant cigarettes that clean your lungs. http://www.primepharm.com/products.asp. I hope these are in every home, workplace, shop, pub, casino and club.

    • Anne says:

      Peter, I did not see anything on that website that sells antioxidant cigarettes that “cleans your lungs” or cleans anything else. It appears they are selling e-cigarettes, which we can already purchased all over this country. Care to expound on that?

      As for the workplace, shops, stores, pubs, casinos and clubs, parks and every other public place, including public transportation; to my knowledge there is no smoking allowed anywhere in the United States other than your home or personal automobile, and even rental cars don’t allow smoking either. Some humidifiers help to alleviate indoor ordors but that’s it.

  • TheOwl says:

    Owww Anne,me mean?? It’s just your perception bcs you think I was criticizing you. You seem to be the one in strife. I guess some Americans always blame their weaknesses and mistakes/callousness etc on their environment etc etc etc as if everybody else is wrong and they are the only right people.

    Say what you will you are the one in strife and difficulty. You are the one smoking yourself into poverty and early ill health,not me or any of those people who tell you quit,quit,quit.

    If you cut your nose you spite your own face,not mine LOL. I really don’t give a damn what you call me. You’re simply in denial. Giving excuses will never make your problems go away. There is the myth of the ostrich which sticks its head in the sand and thinks nobody can see it bcs it can’t see anything. Those huge bums sticking out of the sand make it impossible for the ostrich to hide itself. I’m just using the ostrich as an analogy haha so please do not accuse me of calling anybody an ostrich!

  • Elsa Logan says:

    Oooops……..just logged on to answer my emails quickly before I go have to away for a few days – and unfortunately I haven´t got time to leave a lengthy reply – but I just wanted to thank you Anne, for apologising – it wasn´t necessary really, because I thought about your post after I´d replied to it and realised that you must have been hurting too – so no harm done – I wish you well – and thanks again xx

  • LiamTheDream says:

    I would like to thank Anne for a very well written letter, insightful and thought provoking. In reference to her comments on Hell, they say that the Devil’s greatest scam is convincing people that it(Hell) does not exist. Are they in for a shock. I don’t say this as a judgment rather as an observation>

    • Anne says:

      Liam The Dream; I did respond to your post several days ago but it was mysteriously deleted shortly thereafter. Guess this proves we have a moderator here. Apparently I got too preachey about hell and all. Sorry, moderator. At least you read it. Maybe it will have some merit after all, even if not related to being frugal? In any case, best of wishes to you.

      However, in another attempt to respond, thank you Liam for your kind words; the truth you speak.

  • TheOwl says:

    Well Anne,if you think smoking is nothing compared to drinking,substance abuse,cancer,gambling,prostitution etc,smoke on. It’s your life after all. By the way,I was not comparing prostitution to smoking. I was just using it as an example. Hope you see the difference,being an educated person and all.

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s untimely death but life goes on. Perhaps your son did not get the support he needed after losing his dad but I feel that he should have done his dad proud instead of allowing the situation to overwhelm him. Could this be a result of a certain weakness in his character? Anyway,since he’s doing fine now,let’s hope he can get his act together for the sake of his daughter.

    Sometimes life deals us a cruel hand yet we must soldier on like Braveheart and not whine and indulge in self-pity. If we allow the situation to get the better of us then we end up becoming self-destructive. Moms should try not to give excuses for the kids’ actions and behaviour so that they learn to take responsibility for themselves and their own actions.

    I see things in the eastern way as in the east we are very resilient. I do not know how Americans handle the challenges of life. Here in the east,we accept whatever fate dishes out to us and then we work hard to get out of the shit hole instead of wallowing in it for the rest of our lives.

  • Anne says:

    Well Owl. First let me say that life has not been unkind to me. Just the opposite. Life has been good to me. I’ve had many wonderful and beautiful things in my life, including the most devoted husband one could ever hope to find in a lifetime; good friends, a marvelous career; beautiful homes, many talents, and glamour too. God has been good to me and I thank Him for that.

    My biggest heartache has been that my hubby passed away suddenly over 20 years ago; and no it was not smoke related nor did he smoke; leaving me with a teenage son to raise alone who became sick in his soul over losing his father. Now THAT was hard for the both of us, the agony of losing his dad, my hubby. From there on life seemed to trick me in many ways, none smoke related.

    I will always believe that it was my son’s deep sorrow and agonizing grief, plus the loss of his career at such a young age which caused him to flounder around for several years trying to go in a different direction, AND his involvement with a sorry no-good woman; all largely led to his congestive heart failure; which, because of these things, I doubt that he will even live to be an old man whether he smokes or not. NONE of these thigs would have happened had his dad not died as he would have had his dad to guide and help him in his choices.

    I did not mean to come off like I was complaining about my son living with me as that is not the way I feel about him and my darling granddaughter. Under the circumstances I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and they most assuredly could move back home tomorrow if they needed too or he just wanted too. I would be hurt for him for his disappointment that he wasn’t able to make it on his own; but, my arms and my home would be open and I would gladly do it all over again if need be.

    I miss them dearly, my granddaughter was/is like my own daughter, the one I never had and always wanted; I cherish the ground she walks on. I was (and AM) thankful that I was able to provide a home for us all no matter how tough it got sometimes. My son is a beautiful man, and none of the things that disappointed him in his life were his fault. They just happened. Thank God I was always there to pick up the pieces and keep him/ them close, as there certainly wasn’t anyone else. Mostly, I was just relating how hard it can get financially with someone smoking off you in addition to everything else. Smoking is not cheap like it used to be. See?

    Your comparison of smoking to being a prostitute (which includes kiddie porn and adult raw porn) is not a good one. Prostitution is a deplorable and horrible thing when children, teenage girls/boys and young women/men are forced into it. This is a pathetic, evil thing and is more prevalent than many realize. The men who do this to women/teenage boys and children are going to hell. It is also an evil thing when men trap adult women into selling their body when they have children to feed and a deadbeat or abusive man they had to get away from. I have been blessed that I never had to take such a direction in my life. But this is not the case with many women. I feel SO sorry for them all.

    But, I also believe that if an adult woman over 21 choses of her own volition to become a prostitute, then that’s her business and her body. The men who go to them don’t have too, you know. It is their OWN choice. Some women are not educated like I am, nor do they have the assertiveness or intelligence to create their own career or marry a decent man like I did. My heart goes out to them. It’s the dirty men who take advantage of them that sickens me, and the highly contagious and deadly diseases they carry that is the danger; but no more prevalent than serial cheating husbands, gay men carrying aids and spreading it around, including to little boys, and the child molestors who defile our babies causing them a lifetime of sorrow; all which have no choice in the matter.

    Your comparision to smoking should have been made to alcohol (AND drugs), which people have a choice whether to drink, dope, or not to drink and dope. Smokers have a choice whether to smoke, drinkers have a choice whether to drink. Ditto for drugs. Alcholol is even more dangerous than smoking, and drugs are a quick trip to the graveyard, which at some point the addict becomes unable to quit; but I guess you haven’t researched alcohol and the alcoholic huh? Well, look into it and you will find how detrimental drinking is to ones health and longivity. All the while you have millions and millions pouring this poison into their system, giving themselves pancreatic cancer, liver/kidney destruction and cancer and burning out the brain cells which also leads to alzheimers. Do your research Owl, there are worse things than smoking, which I admit is not good either; but thank you for your response. Respectfully, Anne

  • TheOwl says:

    Hello Anne,

    I’m sorry how life has been so unkind to you but if I were one of those people you mentioned I would NOT say quit,quit,quit. I would simply say DIE! DIE! DIE! LOL You wanna know why?

    You’re quite right. It’s your life,your money,your body. Do what you like with them. However,could you ponder for a moment how your smoke affects others?

    I’m just giving an example (please do no think I’m putting you at this level,God forbid!). A prostitute can tell the law “It’s my body,my moral values,my life. Just F off!” yet she has to contend with the fact that what we do and how we behave affect the community around us. She should be fine if she lives on an island all by herself. I suppose the law would not bother if her clients visit her by boat. Or would they still? I wonder. Who has the answer,please. Thank you.

  • Anne says:

    I apologize Elsa, for leaving you such a strong and hateful message; but I thought you said way back up there somewhere that you both work. My misunderstanding. Also, I DO know what’s it’s like having someone smoke off you day and night, although I smoke too. If this is the case, then you need to take some action of your OWN and put a stop to this. It’s your income and your move, also your own possible health at stake. I’ll guarantee you he will NOT stop smoking should you pull out. Believe it, he would still find a way to continue smoking, as I do, even though sometimes finances got tight.

    In my case, it was my grown son who smoked off me, even more than I smoke, for over six years. First he lost his good job, next I had to take energency custody of his three year old daughter from her mother and in the bargain he too had to live with me, which was fine, but then he couldn’t find another job. Next he could find only menial jobs, not really enough to help with their support. Then he severely injured his right hand in a job related accident for which he was never compensated, then he could not ever again get another job in his career field, or any other field that required much us of some of those fingers.

    Finally he stopped trying and decided to become a professional photographer, which took a lot of time and was another big expense to me while I’m supporting all of us and he’s still smoking off me, only more than ever. No, there was no way I could put them out or abandon them, nor would I ever. During all this, he developed congestive heart failure at age 35, still smoking.

    He is very good in his field and now has some high level clients, only not in this area. Finally, he had to move to that area 75 miles away where business is good,
    taking my precious granddaughter with him, who is now ten, so it was a good seven years that I bought every cigarette in this house and THAT gets very expensive on top of everything else. So I DO know how costly it is to the one buying the cigarettes.

    What I was feeling yesterday from my point of view, was that I am sick and tired of people nagging me about my smoking and feel sorry for those who are hammered at day and night, quit quit quit. I tell ya, I’m sick of it. When they in fact, will never be supporting me or buying my cigaretts, and why would they care anyhow if I smoke or how much I smoke, or if I die smoking.

    They are NOT the ones buying my cigarettes, I am, plus keeping up all my other expenses. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t even want them around me anymore; stay out of my house and stay out of my car unless they can keep their mouth shut about me smoking. I guess you might say that it has become a touchy subject with me. If they don’t like my cigarette smoke, well then, stay away from me; but I AM sorry I over reacted. Please accept my apologies?

    In some ways I got a kick outta this lengthy article that was, in the final analysis, too diffiult to dechiper to make it usable, then got a little ticked that I bothered to read the whole danged thing since it is so simple if properly explained and defined. I think I could have written a workable plan on how to save money and be frugal all in one nice paragraph; but FIRST a person has to have access to the MONEY to be able to manage frugally and be able to stash back some savings since so many are already as frugal as it gets. (Not including smoking, that is). What say you?

  • Anne says:

    I have a few words for the wife who is all consumed, obsessing even, with her hubby’s smoking. Pack your duds, take your income, and LEAVE. You would be doing the guy a favor. Maybe THEN, you can learn to get off his back, live and let live. Personally, I would have put you out a long time ago.

    I am a smoker. I smoke because I WANT to smoke. Ditto with your husband. The man smokes because he WANTS to smoke. He works, he earns it, it’s his life and his health. Maybe smoking is the only peace he gets, didcha ever think about THAT? Got it now?

    • Elsa Logan says:

      Actually, I´m not obsessed, just a bit cheesed off as it´s MY earnings that are going towards his smoking – and don´t think I don´t understand what it´s like to want to smoke – I had a 40-a-day habit and if we´d both continued that way, we´d now be on the streets. I´m not “on his back” all the time, but
      thanks for that anyway, Anne – you sound such a nice person.

  • TheOwl says:

    I feel it’s unnecessary to deprive ourselves completely of life’s little pleasures. What’s the point of saving every single cent we make? I’d much rather enjoy my own hard-earned money than bequeath it to people who will squander it away the minute we die and then curse us under the very same breath they use to enjoy our money. As it is,life is already so full of challenges. Why not enjoy the fruits of our labour?

    I would most certainly NOT adopt bgarrett’s 7 habits of frugal people LOL as I’m not that frugal though I do save and invest wisely,not greedily. Life is so short. Enjoy the pleasures the world offers you before it’s too late! I would NOT gamble or drink though I do gamble occasionally but I would travel,eat and spend on little luxuries and experiences e.g. enjoying good wine with great cheeses,bird’s nest and ginseng,caviare and truffle perhaps etc.

    I read a research report by Harvard researchers that people are happiest when they spend on experiences,not on material things.

  • bgarrett says:

    7 Habits of frugal people.

    1. Never buy a new car. If you must have a new car buy one that is several months old.

    2. Never buy, own or watch television.

    3. Do not re-marry after your first wife divorces you

    4. Do not use tobacco or alcohol.

    6. Do not buy ‘sports’ products or tickets to GAMES played by grown men and little balls.

    7. Stay away from as many electronics products as possible.

  • jim says:

    Frugal also means being smart about the value of your purchases. I bought a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo dress shoes 8 years ago for $300. But they are extremely well-made, I’ve re-soled them several times, and they have turned out to be cheaper ‘per month’ than the crappy, uncomfortable, unfashionable shoes at Kohl’s or wherever. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

  • Richard says:

    Here is the true way to save. You take your money and try to spend as little as possible. What you don’t spend is SAVED. Either you need to use it to live or you don’t, and no amount of false playing a bits for savings or bits for pleasure will make a damn difference. You have to think frugal and not spend out on rubbish you don’t need to survive. Being an idiot and needing to split your money into savings and desires is bull.

    Stop spending out on phones and fashion. Try to drive less if you can get away with it. Do things for fun that are cheaper like walks in the country. Use vouchers for day trips saved from Tescos clubcard. Take a picnic and don’t buy from the refreshments on premises or buy the rubbish souvenirs.

    I can’t pretend to know anything about saving money versus spending it but it seems to me you have things that are essential and optional. Do the essential as cheap as you can. Do the optional in as clever and cheap as you can.

    We are all trying to make ends meet in this climate but this article and the comments under it largely reads like people here think most people are idiots and don’t know the difference between having money and needing money. Like they are doing something wrong. In reality the rising prices of everything are bringing hard choices and people are not getting an increase of income to go with the rising costs. This is a scissor crisis.

  • LS says:

    I started going to garage sales 3 years ago and I have saved so much money and now have way nicer stuff in my house. As long as I am patient, I can find almost all my clothes, dishes, furniture, etc. for pennies on the dollar and I am better off than before, when I paid full retail price for everything.

  • patrick mullins says:

    The best advice I can give your followers to live a frugal life is put your bills in the bottom draw,and ofcourse into the dustbin the credit cards.It really works.Try it for a week.

  • Arthur Lee says:

    Why do you call this article a parody. You should look up parody in a dictionary

  • Koko48 says:

    The sentence above (think of the oil being the blood of the car)….just think of the oil in the earth as being the blood and synaptic fluid of the plates that seem to shift around on in the earth. Is it right they are doing this to Mother Earth, when there have been many suppressed methods of energy available for a long time. These wars overseas are being perpetuated by the Big Bully U.S. basically over oil and resources they want. Greed goes hand in hand with the Big Boys..the greedy oil men, and they don’t seem to care they are destroying lives and families over there for their wants.

  • donal clifford says:

    Take it from me, your philosophy of life SHOULD be :”eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die”. Watch out for that bus!

  • Liam says:

    In regard to changing the oil in your car, always change the filter too. It’s very simple, one should get the hang oi it after watching someone do it. Always change the filter with the oil change. It should be done every 3 to 4 thousand miles. It’s easy to find oil on sale. Even the village idiot can change the oil and filter. It will save a lot of money and the car will last a lot longer also. Just think of the oil being the blood of the car.

  • Rick says:

    Learn to do things yourself. There is no reason you can’t cut your own hair, or change your own oil. Chances are the person who is doing it for you right now doesn’t have much of an idea how to do it anyway.

    • Rhys says:

      I would disagree with doing things yourself, rather; specialize in a specific set of skills, learn to market those skills, then get some one to change your oil at a cost less an hour than what you earn. This is how you utilise the capitalist sytem we live in 😉

      • EJ says:

        Interesting Rhys, I too believe in outsourcing, when I work out how much time it will take me, compared to the value of my time if it works out I am in front, then I pay someone else to do it.

  • TheOwl says:

    Peter Kelly,

    I do not know Mitt Romney but I’ve read about him. I do not live in the US so I do not know about the local situation but from your description he sounds real scary. Must be an Illuminati.

  • Peter Kelly says:

    AFGHANISTAN sorry. IRAQ’s MESOPITANIA is where Taxation originates from and are were very protective of citizens, accuracy of accounts and consequential harm. I think there was very little ambiguity then. Life is more complicated now. Do you know how many machine revolutions in the industrial revoultions 264 years over the 3.2 to 2.8 billion years of life evolvement (I LIKE THE 10 COMMANDMENTS and the 8 NEW COMMANDMENTS if they are known). The damage to human and natural history is irrepairable given aggregation. It is far from frugal. War is abhorrent. I would like to see a picture of Iar Taoiseach ex Irish PM kiss a depleated uranium hurt Baby and a copy of Mitt Romney affiliated companies/persons/organisations legacy and strategy/scenario planning. The only thing i like about Mitt Romney is his stance on Gay Marriage everything else is just off the wall. I know there are a vast amount of organisations but this is not the most effective way for anything at all. If I elect someone I want to know how they will actually help long evolved natural life. Mind the Aquafers becuase the water table moves and the managedlandfillsites will probably be mined over the existance of the planet so be carefull. Impact is paid for over 2.5 billion years so be frugal.

  • Peter Kelly says:

    As a Health and Financial&Safety Inspector/Auditor I must say that according to my sources Mitt Romney is hiding US$8,000,000,000,000, Eight Billion US Dollars/Monetary Units with little respect SERIOUS CAVEAT. You can’t conceal monetary debt, it appears. Barrack Obama is President and should be the President for the four term years. I think Obama needs to be more aware of Global Habitat given that there are approximately 2.5 billion Years remaining and the US is running at a fast rate with alot of media and bravado. There has been serious industrial damage during the four years possibly from the US$3,000,000,000 spent on IRAQ and AFGANISTAN in the last 10 years. Mitt Romney is feared in the financial industry and appears to be using porn as a strategy against First Lady Michelle Obama.
    Financial Capital will be needed it just needs sencing what it is doing.

  • Ed says:

    These steps are the just taken from Stephen Covey. Not original at all. Please come up with something better.

  • Melody says:

    I am proud to be able to say that this weekend both myself, hubby and son have completed a dream which started in 1997 when our son was born. I wanted to be able to have a beautiful little home, owned outright and it has taken 15 years and 6 house moves and much suffering to accomplish! I look at pictures of one property and shudder, thinking back to the bath which was in the garden and my husband needing breathing apparatus to remove 7 layers of carpets in the bedrooms, mold of various colours adorning the walls in the kitchen but through the tears, we had a dream and never lost sight of it! I was thrilled one day when I took my recycling to our local depot and found a stray jumper on the floor, it looked very beautiful and I claimed it for my own, it was a cashmere jumper and I still have it to this day. I am very proud of our achievements and our struggles to get where we are today. Feel it in your heart and know that you can do it…

    God Bless to all who read this and never give up!

    • Loan Arranger says:

      Lovely piece of encouragement for all those willing to open their hearts and minds to the possibilities offered to them. Sometimes you have to go looking (really hard) to find those possibilities. Then hold them before you like a lantern to light the way. Just keep heading down the road toward what you want, and don’t let anyone sidetrack you. Good luck!

    • MEME says:

      Yes, the housing bust was for me a boom. I had a small amount of money for a house. Most people would consider it a decent downpayment, but I had horrible credit. I purchased a house in a neighborhood I liked SIGHT UNSEEN for cash. It is mine. Yes, the roof was holey. There were no gutters. THose before me were angry they were being foreclosed on, so they broke all the windows and even bent and broke off the bathroom knobs in the bathtubs and the like. You wouldn’t believe all the holes in the walls and the ceiling. And I am STILL working on this thing, BUT IT’S MINE. ALL MINE. And that is RARE. Many people would not have done what I did, but I encourage others to take the risk. I am not sorry one bit and have actually lived in this thing as we’ve fixed it. Buy a foreclosed house that is a crazy price and give it some love and then see what it is like to own a house for a fraction of what it is really worth. Really- JUST DO IT.

  • Barbara says:

    I am quoting here from the Salvation Army Paper on Poverty in America 2012:

    The United States’ federal poverty level for a family of four, is $23,050.

    In reality, about 16 percent of Americans are living in poverty, or roughly 49 million people, according to The Salvation Army.

    About two of every five Americans reported having received assistance from a charitable group, including food from food banks or financial assistance/housing support. Among Americans ages 35-54, nearly half said they received assistance at some point in their lifetime.

    About one in eight Americans reported having spent a night in a shelter or on the street due to a loss of housing. About a quarter of Americans who earn less than $25,000 annually reported sleeping in a shelter or on the street.

    In America if your family is within the federal guidelines for poverty, we have welfare, vouchers for assistance in finding affordable housing, food stamps, etc., so that the vast majority of our poor have roofs over their heads, free education through high school for the children (with lunches provided free) and food in their mouths. HOWEVER, where we fall very short, is working with the mentally ill to ensure housing for them.

  • TheOwl says:


    How come a few years back I read a reliable article that the US had 30 million homeless people? Where did that enormous figure I quoted in my last post come from? In fact when I read it I couldn’t believe the number. Now who are we going to believe? 636,000 homeless in a population of more than 320 million is to be admired!

    However,The National Coalition for the Homeless in its 2009 report stated that in 2007, 12.5% of the U.S. population, or 37,300,00 million people, lived in poverty. The official poverty rate in 2007 was not statistically different than 2006 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2007).

    How could it be only 636,000 when there are even more foreclosures in 2011 and 2012? Every night across America there are thousands of people without a bed to sleep in. And according to the coalition in any one year as many as 3.5 million are homeless.

    • MEME says:

      I thank everyone writing on the Asian countries, as I have LONG been curious. As a social worker, I can tell you that 1. It is really QUIte difficult to come up with accurate statistics on how many homeless people there REALLY are. Plus, do you count the people just living in their cars? Or do you count people sleeping on friend’s floors or crashing at a family member’s residence? Most of the published statistics are counting people that hit homeless shelters, not people under bushes or viaducts. They also aren’t counting displaced (and legitimately homeless) people in domestic violence shelters, drug rehab facilities, etc. I mean TECHNICALLY, the woman and her kids at the domestic violence shelter could just go back to her abuser because she is probably on the lease, so to the government she and her family aren’t REALLY homeless, right? Speaking of government: 2. Governments lie. Even the good old US government. They are MASTERS at tweaking the data so that we as a country look better. 3. Are the stats counting all recently displaced by natural disasters, the housing crash, etc.? PROBABLY NOT. I worked with this special population myself. I worked trying to get housing for people who were disabled and who had filed for disability but did not yet have it approved. All of those people are generally not counted. If they have government subsidiZed housing, they are the LUCKY ones because the waiting list is extremely long. So as someone who has been in the trenches of homelessness, TRUST ME- MANY UNCOUNTED PEOPLE ARE HOMELESS. If you aren’t, be glad. It stinks. Maslow was right.

      • Helen says:

        Thanks for being honest, Meme. What about the ones in homes that are worried about losing them? So many people are on the knife’s edge…..

  • Barbara says:

    As of 2011, the last year we have good data, the number of homeless in America is 636,000 people. The State of Homelessness in America 2012 examines homelessness between 2009 and 2011, a period of economic downturn in the nation. The report shows that despite the bad economy, homelessness decreased by 1 percent during this period. The decrease was likely due to a significant investment of federal resources to prevent homelessness and quickly re-house people who did become homeless. The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) was a $1.5 billion federal effort to prevent a recession-related increase in homelessness. It was built upon ground-breaking work at the federal level and in jurisdictions across the nation to improve the homelessness system by adopting evidence-based, cost effective interventions. In 2010, its first year of operation, it assisted nearly 700,000 at-risk and homeless people. This report provides evidence that it was successful in achieving its goal of preventing a significant increase in homelessness.

  • TheOwl says:

    Hi Invincible,

    The phenomenon you described is normal,more so in socialist countries where they will hide their backyard from the world. The worst is North Korea. Even advanced countries like the US doesn’t wash dirty linen in public but the Americans will speak up for human rights and equality. These 2 ideas might not exist everywhere in the US either.

    My country prides itself on being a democracy but it practises blatant inequality and serious corruption. Recently a bill was passed in Parliament to try to control what we write online. If somebody writes something seditious (the official religion is seriously a sensitive issue and so is the privileged position of the majority race) on your blog or website you must be able to prove that it was NOT written by you. It’s no longer innocent till proved guilty. Now it’s guilty till proved innocent. The politicians are like magicians. They can turn everything upside down. The same thing with China. The Bo Xilai affair is proof of a blatant display of power,greed and corruption.

    Human civilization has never been able to find a system that is perfect bcs it is in the human nature to be greedy etc. The topic under discussion is actually frugality and how to save and not waste but we have digressed LOL. However,the subject of government ties in with this topic. Why do we need to be so frugal in order to survive? It’s bcs of the corruption and inefficiency of our governments.

    China is a much better country now compared to the time of the Emperors and the early years of socialism. It is definitely progressing rapidly and the US definitely does not want that. But nobody can stop China. For a country with such a huge population I think it will take a long time for China to be able to show its backyard to the world. Even in an advanced country like the US there are lots of dirty backyards. The homeless there run into the tens of millions,more than the total population of my country.

  • JustSayNo says:

    There is only one rule for frugal people — Don’t spend. Period. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something!

  • TheOwl says:

    Men who don’t take responsibility are the product of a mother’s mistakes. It’s the upbringing we should blame. Anyway,do not continue to suffer in silence. I believe we need to sit people down to discuss serious matters and perhaps we need to give them ultimatums. Some people need a wake-up shake to shock them into action.

    Your husband could possibly be making more than enough but he’s spending everything on himself. Do some detective work and you’ll know for sure. Do not continue to sell yourself short. No man nor woman should be such suckers. I for one would never allow myself to be made used of by anybody,no matter how much we love them.

  • TheOwl says:


    There are many skills to sell as a freelancer. Just google freelance sites. But be careful. Some sites are better than others. Check all out before starting. Read what people say. Lots of scams around and people trying to scam the time and hard work of others.

    A friendly word of advice though. DO NOT,I repeat,DO NOT take everything a man says at face value. You gotta sit down and talk things over. Some men bullshit their wives bcs they want to have their cake and eat it too LOL but what’s the use of having cake when you can’t eat it? They don’t want to contribute to the household expenses yet want to enjoy family life. Think about it. Having the best of both worlds!

    • Tito says:

      Thanks for the advise but i really don’t know how else to get a grown man to be more responsible. I ve tried so many things and it didn’t work, i just gave up. I really do feel over laboured.

  • Tito says:

    Beautiful write-up! I am a bank employee while my hubby is self employed but our income never seems to be enough. He claims that he cant budget cos his income is not constant. I end up footing all the bills. I really try my best to be frugal for sakes of our 3 kids, packing my lunch every day, buying in bulk esp veggies n trekking home after work etc but my salary drys up before month. I ve been married for nine years and i still cant say how much my hubby earns.
    Owl talked of freelance writing, dont mind learning more abt it.

    • EJ says:

      You may need more support than this website can offer, to be married to this man and not know how much he earns is abusive on his part. Search for information on financial abuse to make sure you are not being taken advantage of, his life should not be a free ride with you footing his bills, you are not his mother. Take care of yourself, your children and your future.

  • TheOwl says:

    Thanks Georges. There’s no point mopping around. If we don’t do something to help ourselves who would? The rich,the super rich and the royalty are well-taken care of. We,the taxpayer have to take care of ourselves.

    I’m ethnic Chinese but I’m not China Chinese. I live in south-east Asia. We aren’t poor but we have to work very hard to be competitive (what is worse is that in my country the government has policies that take very good care of the majority race and these policies marginalise the minority races. Asians being racist with Asians? Naturally!). China mainland is now such a huge force to be reckoned with. Their workforce is so huge they can produce anything,anything at all,so cheaply. Knowing how to speak,read and write Mandarin Chinese helps.

    The West can’t compete with them. That’s why you must also learn Mandarin Chinese,one of the most difficult languages to learn. The first time I visited China in 1992 very few of them could speak English. When I visited again in 2008 many of them were already speaking passable American English. Now China is attracting many westerners. It is,therefore,a good idea to learn Mandarin Chinese and about the culture of the Chinese. Who knows,one day many Americans and Europeans might have to find a living in China. The money is definitely coming to the east. China might have a huge population of 1.3 billion but there are large tracts of empty land for development. All the best.

    • Invincible says:

      Hi TheOwl,

      I am Chinese (more specifically, China Chinese). Of course, it seems like a trend now that more and more foreigners come to our country to get jobs mostly because they think the economic prospects of China is pretty promising. But since I live in China, I think I am much more familiar with the real conditions about our country. So, I doubt a little about their POSITIVE opinion.

      You say: “China might have a huge population of 1.3 billion but there are large tracts of empty land for development. ” Actually, if you come to our country, talk to those local people and listen to their opinions, you’ll be surprised and can have a new and different view. In my opinion, the reason why many foreigners are impressed about such rapid development and prosperity in China is that they form their view mostly in terms of only a small part of the truth: our government invested a HUGE sum of money to help western countries out of financial crisis; the 2008 Olympic Game was held in our capital- Beijing; and many Chinese go abroad to purchase luxurious commodities labeled with GUCCI, PRADA ect. In a sense, what our country shows to all of you is merely its strength and, meanwhile, it tries to hide its negative side from both the foreigners and its own citizens. For example, with internet blocking, we cannot gain access to many websites such as Facebook and Twitter simply because there are voices of protestations against our government. More ridiculously, even through sina or sohu (those popular websites used by Chinese), the comments have to be neutral or at least not against Chinese government if you don’t want your comments to be deleted!!! Thus, it’s obvious that if a country is really prosperous, it’ll have enough confidence in itself and won’t feel afraid of giving its citizens the right to air their voice and to gain access to the perspectives of other people.

      In a word, as we cannot judge a person by its appearance, we cannot judge the real conditions of a country only by those superficial facts.

      ps I know that my comment here may be irrelative to the article but I just wanna use this opporunity to let people around the world know how a China Chinese views his own country and hope my comment can be a little help for all of you who are interested about China!

      • Deanna Clark says:

        I read where Facebook is censoring all comments contrary to mainstream newsmedia…here in the USA.

        The cia has controlling stock in it now…from the first when it went public. It’s only for photos and gossip, just like the ones in China. This is common knowledge, not a secret.

        • Katie says:

          Don’t believe everything you read. Or are you one of those who reads something on the Internet, and thinks that if it’s on the Internet, it MUST be true? FB is NOT censoring any comments. And the CIA does NOT have controlling interest in FB. “This is common knowledge”? Really? Perhaps among conspiracy theorists, but NOT the public at large, simply because it is NOT true!!! It really makes gets me rankled when people post things as FACT when it is simply their opinion. And your post, Deanna Clark, was simply your opinion! If you claim otherwise, please post credible sources for your “facts”. Thank you.

      • EASCC Campo says:

        Hi Invincible, The USA can not beat your prices in part because of the currency exchange factor. Our college professors did not bother to read and stress our federal legislation that your country complies with. Our lawyers are educated to function in one state only, same with our CPA’s. What can be found on line is very new as to import accounting. Duty dollars is something very few people know about in the USA. You will be getting semi lost Americans out of work for a while I’m afraid that haven’t even read or looked at our books of passed legislation. Our teachers failed to educate even in basic crimes, instead they require boxing and football etc. I am ashamed of my country.

  • georges madi says:

    good advice for Robert and for me

  • TheOwl says:


    Have you ever thought of freelancing,selling your skills to the world? Work for yourself. Why work for people and make them rich?

    Why do people not like you? Make sure you are squeaky clean in your personal and oral hygiene and dress smartly when attending an interview. Good luck.

  • Robert C. says:

    How can I take control of my finances when no one would hire me? How do I take control of other people to make them hire me? If people don’t like me or my skills in an interview, how do I control that? I have a degree, further training, certifications, worked two jobs at one time, etc. I am very frugal, as I have no money to spend. I am living with my parents and I am being frugal by borrowing their Internet access to type this. This article or book is more for people who have money to overspend with. Not people who were laid off, and cannot find work, or had to take a job that pays poorly. Yes, I am one of those people that took a part time job that employers state they can’t find anyone to work at.

    • Peter Cobbold says:

      You obviously have a low esteme of yourself. This probably comes through in interviews. There are books at the library (fee of charge) thast can help you. Just do it and stop feeling sorry for yourself.


  • TheOwl says:

    Loan Arranger,

    I’m Asian. I do not con people. I read and write the Queen’s English. I was educated by the Irish. Please do not stereotype. That’s being racist.


    Forgive me but I see no future there. He does not care for you. If I were you,I would just leave him and start a new life for myself. If he loves you that would give him a jolt to finally give up on this sick habit!

    • Loan Arranger says:

      The thing is Mr. Anderson, people reading this posting are not searching for someone to cast out spells. They are searching for advice on how to get to their financial houses in better order. If your recommended web site is something of a commercial (read money-making) nature, I don’t think this is the appropriate web site for you. I would be interested in what institution in Ireland you were educated, and where you live/lived in the United Kingdom. Not trying to cast aspersions here, just sayin.

  • Loan Arranger says:

    Well Mr. Anderson, your English is so bad I am fairly certain you are not from England, or America, or any other English speaking country for that matter. My guess is you are a fake, and the website you are promoting is likely a scam to get money from unsuspecting people. You are likely sitting in Africa, or Asia somewhere, waiting for someone to bite on this obviously fake posting.

    • Elsa Logan says:

      Yes, Mr Anderson, you´re obviously trying to snare someone who HAS “come up the Clyde on a banana boat” as they say……………but thankfully, something tells me you won´t have much luck on this site !

  • r says:

    8. Don’t become disabled.

    • Elsa Logan says:

      I just want to thank all of you for taking the time to give me your much-needed advice, it’s very much appreciated!

      And special thanks and good wishes to Trisha!

  • Kerry says:

    Elsa, to see a way out of your situation, you must prioritize what is important to you. If you love your husband more than his smoking and the effect it is having on your and his health and finances, then that is your priority and you need to accept that and find ways within it to make things better. Don’t mean to sound like Dear Abby here, but it appears to me that you need to focus on step 3, and also consider the advice May gives above. Your situation appears dire, and you sound like you’ve lost hope, but be creative in thinking about solutions and you will find a way. I agree with you that this is all very good advice, and it’s not easy to follow, but focus on how you can change things and not how bad things appear to be on the surface. Only you can decide if your husband is part of the problem or part of the solution. There is never no way out, and you will find it if you clear your thinking and decide to take control.

    • Elsa Logan says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Kerry. My situation is scary and I do feel bereft of hope a lot of the time, but I try to never lose sight of the fact that there are many people far worse off than myself and thankfully, I still have my health, which is the most important thing. As for my husband, I´m still confused as to how I feel about his behaviour and after 35 years together, if I can´t make my mind up now, I don´t suppose I ever will !

      • AJ says:

        A really important thing to remember is that smoking and asking someone else to stop act on the smoker as nagging behaviours, Its no motivation to stop and in fact only puts people off side who smoke. Without doubt it is the worst possible way to encourage someone to stop. A smoker quits when they and only they decide to. If they don’t beleive they can, or have no desire or goal to stop, nothing you say, do or “encourage” will make the slightest bit of difference. Alan Carr’s book is the most effective read to stop smoking I know of, but HE will have to seek it out, subtle hints from you are only likely to be perceived as more nagging.

        • Elsa Logan says:

          You’re absolutely right, AJ. Alan Carr’s book is effective. It worked for me all those years ago, but not my husband. Unfortunately – and I agree with what you are saying, smokers have to decide for themselves whether or not to give up and it has to be a wholehearted effort. It’s just so hard to stand by and watch all that money go up in smoke and not say anything, but I’ve made up my mind not to mention it now and to just hope for the best – but I´m not holding my breath!

          • Sara says:

            If you both earning why are you subsidizing his smoking. Why not put aside as much of your money from your income as he spends on his habit from his money. Then he will be forced to choose whether he can afford his habits or pay the bills. Apart from making you ill by the effects of passive smoking he is unfairly financially penalising you. Nagging will have no effect. Look after yourself, by saving for your future (you may end up needing health care from the smoke damage to your lungs) and by getting out of the house away from his nasty smoke. If he loves you as much as you love him he will have to stop smoking to spend time with you and you will be helping him to stop smoking too. If he chooses to continue against all common sense then let him take responsibility for what may be inevitable – IE you find there is more to life than watching someone smoke themselves to death, and can afford to follow your own path. And don’t feel guilty, its called tough love and works better than martyring yourself. Also, you need to love yourself too and look after yourself since he obviously is not going to.

          • trisha says:

            Hi Elsa, I am in Tasmania Australia reading your story. I feel very sorry for you and hope somehow you can find a way out. Life is hard and we already live frugally and now due to debt I never realized we had we are sharing our house with our kids and their kids.

            Life is a nightmare but this is our way out of selling our house and if we can survive two years we will be doing well. I don’t know about America but here we can go on waiting list for housing, especially as we get older. The waiting list is quite long here (6 years) but usually people get homes and that would help give you stability. Smoking is supposed to be worse to quit than heroin, so I feel for your husband. If you don’t want to give it up well can you imagine how hard it is for him? So keep up your spirits and try to find one or two things to enjoy every day.

            From Tassie I send you good thoughts.

        • Dr.ESLombard says:

          By the time I was 27, I was smoking 70 cigarettes a day! That was 1952. I saw a three line newspaper filler suggesting that there might be some possible association between lung cancer and smoking. I quit instantly. Many years later I found an 1895 Palmer chiropractic textbook that said the very same thing. I tend since that time to consult with naturopaths and chiropractors as frequently as medical doctors. I have found that a wise course.

  • Elsa Logan says:

    All good advice, which I try to follow, although without much success I might add, because my husband smokes like a chimney and refuses even to talk about giving up. I´ve tried for years to get him to stop as I did over ten years ago but now when I mention it he just blanks me. I haven´t had any new clothes or anything for as long as I can remember, but what he spends on cigarettes each month could easily finance a new car or pay half the rent. We´re in our 50´s, have no life insurance, no assets and need our two incomes to survive and we´re both self employed. I can read articles like this till I´m blue in the face, but I still can´t see a way out of the situation.

    • owen says:

      Be positive..we all have to change. We waste too much, buy things we dont need…you can buy an occasional treat for you or your wife.. We waste a lot of what we buy. Turn the lights off, turn off the tv..not just put on standby. recycle food.. use left overs for a tasty meal.. dont cook stuff you dont need, only to throw it in the big..”waste not, want not” walk to the shop instead of driving. The list is endless. Scrap the credit cards, dont borrow. Good luck.

    • Ashu says:

      Sad, but with him smoking like an addiction, it might already be too late. Whether you have new clothes or not, is now irrelevant , as the most you will need is Health Insurance for him. And some economic support or backing for you in case something happens to him, for a protracted period of time. You have to confront him with the grim reality, and ask him how he expects you to survive all by yourself in case of an unpleasant eventuality. Talk to him , or ask someone who he listens to , to counsel him, in your presence. If he smokes , it could be more than an addiction, it could be something bothering him, maybe the very habit and it’s bleak consequences he foresees as the station nears. Have faith in both of you, and you can limit the damage. Best withes.

      • corey says:

        Sorry are you a Dr? My Grandmother smoked from 13 to 97, my father is 67 and has been smoking since 15. I just quit at 30. Don’t assume someone is already dead because they havent quit yet. Within 24 hours your chance of heart attack is reduced by 95% and by 3 years chance of cancer reduced by 60%. Your lungs also reproduce the cell lining within 3-6 months to 1 year. So don’t tell someone they are going to lose their loved one based on made up math/guesses. People have a problem with doing this on the internet. However, you should consider seriously pushing to get him to quit. Also, speak from the heart and keep at him. Its hard to quit, but he just needs to find what works for him. Maybe track your budget for the month and show him how much he is spending then show him how he could of bought something he wanted with that money (whether its a 67 Camaro SS or a Gibson Les Paul) if he could get it in 6 months or 2 years then it may be the driving force to help him and both of you.

        • Elsa Logan says:

          Thank you, Corey ! I´m sure Ashu means well, too, and it´s good to hear both points of view. Thank you both for your advice – I appreciate it very much.

          • rabo says:

            Hi Elsa,

            I can only say that I believe there are 2 sides to every situation, the offense and the defense. It sounds to me like your money defense is tight apart from the concession of your husbands smoking habit. Can you tweak the money offense though?

        • Babette says:

          I don’t know where you get that bright and sunny information, but it’s not true. Do the research. Stopping smoking is always a good thing and the body does begin to heal itself, but there is damage that is irreversible. Your family seems to be unusual, but maybe your grandmother would have lived to be in that book of records if she hadn’t smoked and the jury is still out on your father.

        • Robert says:

          I started smoking at 18 or should I say I learned to smoke when I was 18, I quit when my daughter was born and was off smokes for 18 years, I started back up when had problems at home. I have quit now for 5 years and feel great.
          In all my life when I quit I really wanted to quit!!!
          One day, one week, one month, three months and I had it beat!
          It’s not easy but I’ve quit for good now!
          You need to want to quit!

    • sherry says:

      Have you thought about trying electronic cigarettes?It is much cheaper and better for you.

    • Ram says:

      Hmm…reading this made me sad. This sounds just like my father who almost smoked us into bankruptcy. But his health is okay thankfully. He didn’t stop until he was 62 and he had been smoking 40 years by then. He too was a diehard smoker but what made him stop was when he started getting arthritic pain in the joints and the doctor told him that cigarettes were a major cause. He quit overnight. Now he hardly spends much money and has got his appetite back. Wish you luck!

    • Henriette says:

      Would it help to set a budget for his cigarettes? As a smoker I hate it when people tell me that I need to stop because of health. But setting a budget the both of you can agree on, will help him smoke less.
      Instead of focusing on health focus on getting your finances in order. Make a list of everything you want to spent money on, and remind him that smoking comes after transportation, and insurances.

      If he thinks the budget is too low you can remind him that he can either switch to a cheaper brand, or roll his own. Setting a budget will probably make him more aware of the costs of smoking than lectures. (He might want to buy in bulk at the beginning of a month. He can then calculate the number of cigarettes a day, and put those in a container, for that day.)

      It might also help him to make his workspace smoke free, which will mean that he would have to step outside to smoke, and that usually means smoking less. Also have him look into other ways to save money, and getting the necessities. It will make it feel less of an attack on his habits, and more of a joint effort to get to a financially stable place.

      • Lars says:

        Since this is an article about frugality, let’s put aside for the moment any of the health/smells/rights issues.

        A smoker, frugal or not, highly addicted or not, can still ask him/herself the question: “If someone offered me $100,000 to quit, would I take that deal?”.

        Most people will answer “YES”. And if they are any good at simple math, they can figure out that every time they light up, they are offering themselves that identical deal and then turning it down. Over the course of a lifetime, a smoker will spend about $100,000 on smokes, lighters, extra laundry, littering tickets and damage repairs that a non-smoker will not. Don’t bother quibbling about the list, the bulk of the expenses is for the smokes; but it’s important to realize there are other costs as well. And if you’re in a jurisdiction where health care costs, you can do your own math on that and if in the USA, you’ll be bankrupt early thanks to your nicotine addiction.

        Whether or not you love the smell of a cigarette, whether or not you look forward to smoking related health issues and an early death, you still can look at the frugality issue and wonder: “Could I use $100,000 any time during my life”?

        7 habits of frugal people? #1 ought to be” “If you have any chance of ever being short of money, don’t burn it.”

    • Sandra says:

      Hello Elsa,

      I particularly sympathize with you re your husband’s smoking. My younger brother was the same – no amount of talking, articles, nagging would get him to quit. He now has Stage IV Cancer… he is only 58 years old …

      As to getting new clothes for yourself, I buy almost everything – clothes, shoes, household items, furniture, toys, games, magazines, books, electronics, appliances, etc. etc. from second hand stores. Here in Canada there are the Salvation Army Thrift Stores and Value Village (the Salvation Army stores are cheaper and non-profit). I recently bought a designer coat for less than $20, a coffee table for $20, a desk chair for $8 – well you get the picture. Go have a look – you’ll be surprised. Best of luck!!

    • A.J. says:

      Hope you and the hubby are doing better. The reality is, many people get stuck in their patterns of behavior (some of which, yes, are established in youth). What can you do other than improve communication skills (couples counseling?) as much as possible and express how important the issue is to you? Or even issue an ultimatum depending on how much risk is involved. As much as the gurus emphasize individual power, we must still deal with the different attitudes and personalities of those around us. Especially those we love and are willing to sacrifice some of our desires for.

  • andres genita says:

    nice messages thanks..

  • May says:

    One of the best things about being frugal is not only spending money wisely, but also saving money. Most people follow this equation: INCOME minus EXPENSES equals SAVINGS. Because people have bottomless desires and satisfaction, you will never be able to save anything using this equation. It should be: INCOME minus SAVINGS equals EXPENSES. As soon as income arrives, allot a specific portion as savings (doesn’t matter how small or big as long as you do this), and use the remaining money for your monthly expenses. Your monthly budget will have to fit with the remaining money. If you think it will not be enough, you need to start looking at which you can cut down. Maybe cut down on electrical bills (turn off unused appliances, etc.), don’t buy junk food anymore, eat more veggies (veggies are cheaper and healthier than meat), etc. etc. There’s so many things you can cut down. That’s why it’s called a “budget”. Make the budget fit. And you’re not supposed to touch the savings too. That’s why it’s called “savings”.

    • Vivek says:

      The concept of making “savings” your first priority is critical and extremely effective. I have used it in my life with great success. This means making savings the first piece of pie taken out from your income and only using the leftover as expenses ….using the formula INCOME-Savings = Expenses. Also as mentioned here a frugal lifestyle is usually a HEALTHIER lifestyle when you cut down on frivolous food and activities that you don’t need and slowly you will not even need.

      • Peter Cobbold says:

        The real steps to be frugal: If you live in the city and own a home, sell and move to Nova Scotia where properties sell for 2/3rds of UK prices. If you rent in the UK the same principle applies.

        Choose a rural small town or village in NS away from the city where expensive entertainment eats up your money; instead get involved with small community activities have fun with the locals who are very friendly. I did the above and thoroughly enjoying intellectual stimulation from fellow retirees and the social scene. Want more info? email me!

        • Anastasia says:

          Hi Peter

          I think this is a great idea, what is average cost of housing and taxes.
          Is the winters longer and colder than ontario.


          • Peter Cobbold says:

            Hi Anastasia,

            I moved from Toronto, where I lived for 20 years after immigrating to Canada, to NS in retirement. The winters here on the South Shore of Nova Scotia is similar to winters experienced in, say, north of Toronto. Spring, Summer and Fall lasts from about late March to early November, generally speaking. If you need further info, my phone number is 902-228-2059

        • Peter Cobbold says:

          I think it best if you ask questions, rather than me guessing what you want to know. If you use Google Search you can get a lot of answers to questions there, too.


          • amber says:

            Too funny! I randomly came across this site during an unrelated search and saw your post. I was born and raised in NS and was missing home tonight (I relocated to Ontario for work last year)- your post brought a smile to my face. Nova Scotia truly is the best place out there. And yes, I’m biased, but it’s for a good reason 🙂 Enjoy the beautiful province, people, scenery, and culture.

    • john says:

      That equation is completely counter-intuitive.

      • A.J. says:

        It is counter-intuitive to the extent that some people have already cut their budgets to the bone, but the necessities still take all or most of their income. Particularly those with chronic medical conditions and/or carrying un-sponsored health plans. There are certain things that ‘must’ be paid for before any savings.

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