About Practicing Frugal

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I’m Dianna and I’m so glad you found my little home on the internet where I talk about and share my knowledge and experiences with living a more frugal and simple lifestyle.

Maybe its because you have to, maybe its because you want to, but most of us have a desire to spend the least amount of our hard earned money as possible to live, work and play.

That’s what it’s all about here at Practicing Frugal.  We are all practicing each day to live a more frugal and simple life.  We try new things and sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail, but we have to just keep on practicing, because our momma’s told us that practice makes perfect.  I don’t know if we’ll ever make perfect, but we can keep on trying. It surely can’t hurt and we might even learn a bit along the way.

While you are here you can learn more about managing your money and debt with this series on Creating A Budget or learn how to plan to spend that Tax Return.

Maybe you would like to learn more about using coupons by checking out my series on The Basics of Coupons, but keep in mind we are not talking about extreme couponing here, just using coupons to save money on things you need and normally buy.  You can even print some of the best printable coupons that you will find without even leaving the site.

If Do It Yourself is more your thing, we have some DIY repairs, projects and ideas over on our DIY page and you can read about our garden results over at Going Green.

Speaking of green, you can read a little about why my family prefers not to buy bottle water and learn how we save money on paper and plastic products, but be sure to check out our most popular post on cleaning with apple cider vinegar.  

You’ll find some great ideas for using what you have, making your own and many other frugal adventures….. and some not so frugal adventures by checking out Practicing Frugal in 2013Practicing Frugal Tips and Practicing Frugal Daily.  

I hope you will come back often and check out the new content, because I am always up to something around here.  I’m so glad you you found your way here and love hearing from readers.  Feel free to leave comments, ask questions, email me, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.  Reader participation is what this blog is for.

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Our Story

I’m married to my best friend Marty, and we have 3 beautiful girls together.   My oldest, Madeleine (20) is in college and Kassie (10) and Dakota (6) are homeschool students. We love to camp, fish, canoe, kayak, hike, bike and travel as a family.  The girls are avid softball players as well, which keeps us going much of the time.  

I started blogging in January 2012 after leaving my full time job (I work very part time) to be home and homeschool our girls.  I was often asked how to coupon, how to get out of debt and more, so I decided to start this blog to share what I have learned, learn from others and to share our progress at practicing frugal.  

A Little Background

Growing up both of our families lived on little, we were never taught how to save money, budget, spend wisely, and most of all stay out of debt.  Money just was not talked about.

When my husband and I were first married we were living on a very small amount of money.  We both had part time jobs and I was getting ready to go back to school.  We didn’t have much but we never went without our basic needs being met.  As the years went by our income steadily increased as well as our debt.  We didn’t have a plan.  All we had was wants.

Several years ago I was reading a subscription refunding site about this guy named Dave Ramsey.  My friend and I talked about what we had read and she bought his program.  After my friend listened to the discs she let me borrow them.  What an eye opening experience for me.  They were so good I had my husband listen to them.  My kids even had to listen too. I bet they can still tell you many things Dave says!  Some of his points are basic common sense, but we commoners couldn’t seem to put them into place until Dave told us it was the thing to do.

We spent the next few years putting our plans into action.  Our goal was to reduce our debt so that I could work part time and homeschool our youngest girls.  In June 2011, I left my job as a Respiratory Therapist to begin a new journey at home.  It has not always been easy and life has happened many times, but we are making great progress.  We still have some debt, but by practicing frugal we get closer to our debt free goal every day.

and it feels good, real good.

Every day we learn something new about living on less, making do, using what we have, making our own and living with less so that we can accomlish some long range goals for our family while still living the life we want to live.  We are…..

 

making a habit out of living frugal…..

Dianna

 

 

 

 

 

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Goals and My Word for 2015

 

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I’m not one to make New Year resolutions, as I find that they just end up being dropped about midway into January.  Instead I like to think about the past year, what worked, what didn’t, what did we struggle with, and what do we need improve.  I do this for many areas of our life including our budget, travel, faith, homeschool, kids activities, goals, work schedules, home maintenance, long term goals and more. This is a great way to get started planning for the new year and figuring out what worked, what you would like to work on and what just didn’t work at all.  It’s also a great way to remind yourself of your long term goals.  Where you would like to see yourself, your family in the next few years.

As always I get out my handy little notebook and jot down some notes as I think about those areas of our life.  I also jot down the trips I know we have for the year, the extra expenses that may be coming up, and anything else that I can think of that needs my time and thought.

I like to then go through each of these areas and make a short list (2-3) of the most important things that need to change, be improved upon or maybe just remembered. These are my goals for the new year.  I limit these to a short list so that they will not become overwhelming.  If I have a few items I want to work on, I do my best to narrow it down to just 2 or 3.  Some of these things are a quick fix, but others will need to happen over time, and having them in my little notebook reminds me throughout the year.

You see, I am a planner by nature.  In order for things to happen, I need to plan for them.  I do not do well flying by the seat of my pants, but really does anyone?  Flying by the seat of my pants with a budget makes me incredibly nervous.  I think we would be lucky to have food on the table and a roof over our head.  Is this you?  Do you often find your life is frazzled and out of order?

The most successful people and businesses have plans.  That is how they got where they are.  They decide what works for them and what doesn’t.  They meet, they discuss and they make a list of things to change.  I feel like this is a great plan for everyone.  It will surely take some stress out of your life!

If you are one that always finds things popping up, has bills overdue, finds yourself without money right before a big trip, I encourage you to take some time to do a little planning.  Get yourself a notebook and think about the things that are always out of order and leave you feeling frazzled and distraught.

While your at it, pick a word to make as your focus for the year.  Choose one word to focus on for the year.  Something you want to remember, something that you want of focus on for the year.  For me this year it’s TIME.  I want to focus on giving more of my time to my girls, more of my time to my family.  I want to use my time more wisely, instead of wasting it on trivial things like the couch and tv.  I want to spend more time outdoors, because I love being outside.  Our time here is limited, so I want to make the most of it I can.  Make memories.

What would your word be for the year?

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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