I picked up Frugillionaire – 500 Fabulous Ways to Live Richly and Save a Fortune by Francine Jay the other day while doing homework at my base library. It was an easy read and a good starting point for anyone looking into saving money and creating wealth.
As I have been on my Financial Independence journey for about a year now a lot of what was in the book was not new to me. It was nice to read that the frugal habits I have picked up were in this book. It confirms for me that I am on the right track.
I’d like to share ten of my favorite tips and how my wife and I have been applying them to our life:
- Put on your chef’s hat p.7 – My wife and I make a point to do our grocery shopping every week at the base commissary. $100 a week gets us enough food for about 15 meals apiece. Our dinners usually make us enough where at least one of us has leftovers for lunch. There’s room for improvement as we still eat out but I think we are doing pretty good.
- Get a programmable thermostat p. 34 – My local gas and electric company e-mailed me an offer for a free Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat. I promptly took advantage of it it and installed it myself with a DIY video off of YouTube. Now my home automates the temperature for when my wife and I are home, asleep, or at work. So far I have seen a noticeable savings of at least $20 a month on our condo’s gas and electric bill.
- Cut the cable p.45 – About a year ago I came to the realization that we were wasting money on cable. I was spending $190 a month for a internet/cable bundle but noticed my wife and I were only really watching the news, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. I did my homework and found that a Roku Express provides free streaming apps for news and apps for Netflix and Amazon Prime as well. We cut the cord and save $100 a month off of our cable bill.
- Never pay retail p. 91- As I mentioned in a previous article one of the benefits of being in the military is shopping at the exchange. Most of everything we buy is below MSRP and tax free.
- Drink plenty of water p.121 – The water at work is free. I have a Camelback water bottle that I fill at least twice a day. It keeps my body and wallet happy. I snack less and feel great.
- Love your library p.150 – As I said at the beginning of this article I picked this book up at my base library. Almost all of the financial and money self help books that I have read were picked up at my local library. I’m practically getting a free education.
- Buy a used car p.180 – Last year I purchased a 2 year old Camry. Had it been new I would have paid about $13,000 more than used. To date it has been super reliable and a pleasure to drive.
- Pay yourself first p.219 – This is something my wife and I are still trying to master. Right now our habits have us using whats left in our bank account after making minimum payments to our car loans and home loans to save for our future and pay down debt. We a trying to create new habits of paying off our loans early and funding our emergency fund first, then funding our future with investments.
- Automate your investments p. 229 – I have been very vocal about using Acorns, M1 Finance, and Robinhood investing platforms. The reason I think they are so good is their automatic investment/deposit features. I automatically fund Acorns and M1, in turn they automatically invest my money. Best of all I only pay $1 a month for all three investing services.
- Don’t spend to impress p.266 – This was a habit I had before my journey but I see it all the time in the Marine Corps. What I wear, what I drive, and where I live is more about function than status. I may treat myself once in a while on nice things but I don’t care what others think. Having nice things is pointless if you are broke and deeply in debt.
I encourage anyone to pick up this book if they are looking for new money savings ideas or to validate they are on the right track.
Jay, F. (2009). Frugillionaire. Medford: Anja Press.