Money Infant

Baby Steps to Financial Freedom

Archive for the Frugality

10 Ways to Embrace the Frugal Life

To truly enjoy everything they want out of life, many people have been turning to frugal living. By embracing the frugal life, they have been able to get rid of debt, save more for retirement, live a richer life, and most importantly finally exercise control over their finances and lifestyle. Continue Reading →

Are You Frugal or Just Plain Cheap?

There’s a great revolution going on in our country lately, a revolution of frugality. Spurred on by high unemployment, lackluster investment performance and the global credit crisis many people are increasing savings and looking for better ways to spend what money they have and keep as much as possible for themselves.

This is all to the good, but is there a point at which frugality becomes just plain cheapness? Continue Reading →

Frugal Food Sunday

Since I was so successful making you all hungry with last week’s post about roast chicken I thought it would be fun to keep going with the posts about frugal meals. Sunday’s are usually good days to make these since they are typically pretty low maintenance time wise and the leftovers can be used through the rest of the week as lunches. And since one of my goals for 2012 was to cook more for the family its good for me to get into the habit of making Sunday dinner.

Today’s frugal dinner is one that I grew up with, but didn’t like until I was 20 years old. I still remember cringing when I asked what we were having for dinner and my mom replied Golumpki’s. Continue Reading →

Frugal Home Security System

Home security is one part of the “insurance” protection that everyone should have, but few people consider. One of the major issues that many people face when they consider implementing a home security system is the fact that it is so expensive. They wonder if the cost is truly worth the protection they receive, and in some ways they are correct. Continue Reading →

Frugal Living Defined

With prices rising higher every month and wages remaining stagnant (if you are fortunate enough to have a job), more people are yearning to learn about frugal living every day. Because I’ve heard some people deny the frugal lifestyle as one of deprivation and suffering I thought I would set the record straight with a basic definition of frugal living. Continue Reading →

Frugal Meals: Chicken Rotini

The past two frugal food Sunday’s have featured common and popular dishes. It quite probable that you already knew how to make roast chicken and even golumpki’s. This week though I have a recipe that I’m guessing you don’t make on a regular basis. In fact, you may have never even tried it. I’ve been making this since my college days 25 years ago, so I guess you could say the recipe has stood the test of time. Continue Reading →

Fun vs. Frugality – Have Fun Like a Kid While Saving Like an Adult

With a combination of shopping smart and substituting some indulgences for other equally-fun activities, anyone can have fun while saving big. Read on for ideas that will maximize your entertainment while minimizing expenditures. Continue Reading →

Gambling on Personal Finance

Gambling your savings or even worse from money you don’t even have yet can be a really bad idea when it comes to your personal finances. Anything from lottery scratch cards to online poker to high stakes Vegas table games can be considered gambling and typically winning in these types of games is the exception rather than the rule.

So why is it that this past Sunday and Monday you would have found the Money Infant and Mrs. Infant happily staring at the one armed bandits in Atlantic City NJ? You would think that even an infant would have learned that gambling is a definite no-no when it comes to personal finance, saving and building wealth.

It’s true, I do know about the evils of gambling and normally wouldn’t even think of such a trip, however Monday was Mrs. Infants’ 28th birthday and when asked what she wanted for her birthday she gleefully replied “A trip to AC!”. Always the loving husband I happily complied and immediately looked into our budget to see what kind of damage such a trip would make.

Now, if we were still struggling month to month or paying down significant debt I never would have considered this trip. If we didn’t have a clear budget and goals I also definitely wouldn’t have considered this trip. However, since I know where we stand in regards to paying off our remaining debt, saving and what our budget is, I felt we could safely take a moderately priced weekend getaway.

I firmly believe that no person or couple can continually keep saving or paying off debt without being able to occasionally blow off some steam as well, whether that means a weekend in the wine country, a day (or week) at the beach, dinner at that expensive new restaurant or in our case a weekend gambling away our hard earned cash in Atlantic City. While financial freedom is the most important goal for all of us, balance in our lives is important too and I don’t think it’s healthy to obsess too much on one aspect of your life. If you’ve gotten to the point where you have some discretionary income each month it’s not always necessary to stick that extra money into savings or use it to pay down debt…sometimes you can splurge. One of the beauties of financial freedom is being ABLE to do this occasionally without hurting your budget or feeling guilty.

One of the things that scares people away from budgeting is that it makes them feel trapped, like they have to robotically follow their budgets no matter what. A budget is not designed to trap you into spending or saving. It is simply a guide to your personal finances. A road map to your destination of financial freedom. Sometimes you’ll follow it towards the expressway and you’ll be closer to your goals faster and other times you may want to relax a bit and take the scenic route. Either way is acceptable, it all depends on your personality and goals.

Plan well with your budget, but don’t feel that you’re trapped by what your budget says you should be doing. As long as you’re moving towards the goal of financial freedom; paying down your debts, saving for retirement, building your emergency fund and most importantly spending less than you earn, you will be fine in the long run. Your personal finances are not a sprint, they are a marathon and a budget is by no means written in stone. Take the slow road occasionally and you’ll likely find that you come through refreshed and ready to take your finances to the next level.

Oh and the end result of our trip to Atlantic City was not too bad at all. After gambling for about 15 hours over 2 days we were down just $50. So basically the cost of the two days was our room at Caesars ($140) and a wonderful birthday dinner for Mrs. Infant at Dock’s Oyster House ($120 and worth every penny). All other meals and drinks are included in the $50 loss, so gambling was actually a bit better than break even. I would consider that a pretty cheap 2 days in Atlantic City!

Live on Less Than You Make

If there is one piece of personal finance advice that is agreed on by pretty much every personal finance expert and guru it is “Live on Less Than You Make”. Since much of personal finance is based on common sense you can see why everyone would agree on this one small step. It’s amazing to me that our parents and grandparents and pretty much all of our ancestors followed this advice without even considering it was necessary and yet our generation seems to need reminding. Where do we think the extra money is coming from to cover our red ink and to support us in our retirement? Continue Reading →

Making Money with Collaborative Consumption

I’m not certain when and where it all started (perhaps with CouchSurfing?), but collaborative consumption is making a huge splash these days thanks to technological advances and the peer to peer (P2P) social community model. In case you aren’t aware of what collaborative consumption is it can be defined as an economic model based on sharing, swapping, bartering, trading or renting access rather than purchasing goods or services directly. It’s not a new idea (think public libraries or exchange type stores), but it is one that has been redefined by technology. In 2010, collaborative consumption was named one of TIME Magazine’s 10 ideas that will change the world. Continue Reading →

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