A fellow blogger, Donna Freedman, has a new soapbox, and it’s big. And I’m proud of her.
MSN Money has her featured on their site with a daily blog called Frugal Cool, and it’s about time Donna got her due. She’s been there, done that in terms of going through tough times. A frugal single mom who successfully raised a frugal daughter, Donna has worked hard, lived simply, gotten a college education (without student loans) and had the courage to spill-and-tell about how you can do it, too. She’s not harsh with words, but there’s no Suze Orman-style “GIIIIIIRRRRLLLFRIEND!!!!” talk, either.
Donna’s message is simple. You have to decide what things you want the most and why you want those things, and work your budget priorities around those two ideas. For example, we all have to eat. If eating organic, locally produced food matters more to you than eating any other way, then that’s your food priority, and to get it, you have to budget more money to pay higher prices for those items. That means hitting the bars with friends, stopping for “emergency” take out and lunches with coworkers may not have a place in your budget. Life’s unfair, but you have to work with the money you have, or you have to find more of it someplace else to keep spending the way you want to.
Donna makes no apologies for her decisions. In her early years, frugal wasn’t cool, it was a need brought on by the combination of divorce, a daughter and the prospect of paying bills on her own without a college degree. Now frugal is fun, it’s a habit, and it’s a lifestyle, but it’s not a straitjacket. Yes, she coupons (and for those of us who do, that’s a verb), stockpiles, and shops sales. She’s not missing a thing: she travels, contributes to charity, lives debt-free and has many followers who admire her story and like her common sense.
I think you will enjoy her as well.