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Friday, April 15, 2011

The Art of Frugality

So I have a confession.  I love to make budget worksheets and track my spending.  Okay, so that's not really a confession, right?  Well, here's the confession--I'm absolutely terrible with a credit card and the reason I have to make budget worksheets and track my spending is to prevent myself from living in debt.  Whew, there, I said it.  I'm not completely terrible with my credit card, but I do have the propensity to use it when I shouldn't.  I'm happy to announce that today my credit card balance reads: $0.00!!  Hallelujah!  It's truly a day for celebrating!  While this is not the first time my balance has read $0.00, it has certainly read more than I wish it had and for longer periods than I'd care to admit. While battling my poor credit card usage habits, I've done some learning and growing over the years. 

My mom always told me that if I use my credit card, I should make sure to pay it off at the end of the month.  Those "Mama always told me..." stories always have a way of appearing in my life.  My mom is almost always right about things like this--though I don't tell her that often enough (note to self-I should start telling her that more often).  The biggest thing I've learned in the art of frugality is to live within my means.  If you can't pay off your credit card by the end of the month, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you're living beyond your means.  So you may be sitting at home thinking, okay Kirsten I have $4,000 charged to my credit card right now and I'd love  to take your advice and start paying off the total amount by the end of the month, but that's just not reasonable.  Trust me, I completely understand.  I recommend you pay what you can at the end of the month--at least the minimum payment but try to shoot for more than that.  I'll explain more about this in another article.  But until you have your credit card completely paid off, avoid using it at all costs!  This means you have to really budget what you're spending to keep from living beyond your means.

Frugally Yours,



  1. This is a great post! I love your writing style!

  2. Wonderfully said! I had an addiction to credit cards. Until recently, I was in debt over 10K and the sad thing of it all is that I had nothing really to show for it. I think I have finally learned my lesson and I have cut up all my credit cards and just use my debit card. If it is not in the bank, then I cannot buy it and I choose what I buy more carefully instead of making impulse purchases. Although, I must admit that it took me a few declinations to learn that the "credit" option on your debit card is not really like a credit card...lol

  3. Thanks, Allison! Kathleen, thank you for your comments! We're in the same boat with our spending. Good for you for cutting up your credit cards and taking control of your spending! Keep it up and let me know if you find more ways to live frugally!


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