05 September 2013

You can do anything for one day, one week, one month...

Right now I am trying to stick to two resolutions- the Skinny Rules diet, and a spending diet. The Skinny Rules diet started as a one week resolution- for one week, I will follow this diet. That meant that when I had to go to Pennsylvania last Friday for a funeral, and we went to a mac and cheese themed restaurant, I had salad. (and a few bites of mac and cheese, which seemed reasonable to me). After one week, I weighed in and found that I had lost 3.4 lbs! Granted, I'm sure most of that was initial water weight but I am not complaining. So, I will do the diet for one more week, and see what happens then. And probably more weeks after that, but with diets, I think it's good to set small goals.

Financially, I am on a spending diet for the month of September. That means that when the kids want to go to McDonald's, I tell them we will go in October. Same thing for clothes, or house stuff, or anything that is not required and available from the grocery store. The reason for this is that I am committed to paying off my credit card debt as soon as humanly possible, and one month intervals are workable for me.

Setting small goals can make big, depressing and overwhelming tasks bearable. Taking it day by day, week by week, or month by month can get you there!

                (image via Flickr user asterix611)

03 September 2013

Frugal dieting:a review

Anyone who budgets groceries knows that a diet can be a budget killer- all those weird, expensive ingredients, foods no one will like, and of course none of it is on sale...

So what's a frugalista to do when she needs to drop a few?

First, she checks the Internet, Pinterest, and the library for great diet tips. If you aren't on Pinterest, get on it now! (Follow me at http://pinterest.com/jaime_hammond/)

Most diets that WORK involve real commitment- fast fixes are just that. I had seen pins about Bob Harper's The Skinny Rules book on Pinterest and decided to place a hold on it at my library so I could check it out (see what I did there? Classic librarian joke... anyway) Harper's book consists of about 20 rules that, if followed, will result in permanent slimness. Some of them, like "don't eat fast food" are pretty obvious (but also frugal). Others, like "no carbs after lunch" are totally doable but also make a big difference. Harper really focuses on hydration- he says many of the Biggest Loser contestants are chronically dehydrated and have high sodium levels, which contribute to both weight gain and decreased potassium, 

The Skinny Rules is a diet for those wanting to lose a few and stay on budget- rules like "go meatless one day a week" are budget and waistline friendly. I think we found a winner!

My breakfast this morning

26 August 2013

What stuck

Five years. Can you believe I started this blog five years ago? I can't either. So much has changed! I thought I would take a minute to reflect on the projects I've started over the years and talk about what worked enough to become part of my regular life. Here are some of them:


I'm still using the same excel spreadsheet I used to budget nearly 8 years ago. Here's a post from 2008 where I talked about how I do my budget. I absolutely couldn't handle my finances without it! I've tried other things over the years (apps, Quicken, the Dave Ramsey envelope system) but they don't work as well for me. I say, stick with what works.


One of my biggest changes was starting a vegetable garden. This has been a great success! Here are some posts on my garden through the years, and here is a recent shot of some veggies I grew:
(feel free to follow me on instagram)

I broke up with Target

It wasn't me, it was Target. Read my breakup letter here.

I started a holiday

In 2010, I started a holiday called "Decluttering Day." It even has a Facebook page!

There are more things I've hung on to, but this is a glimpse into some of the fun projects I've hung on to over the years. What have you changed for good?

25 August 2013

2014 just might be the last year of frugal living

I began the Year of Frugal Living in 2008 when I was a newly divorced mother of 2 and 4 year old boys. Over the years, my commitment to the blog has waxed and waned, but my commitment to paying off my debt and being debt free has never faded.

Though things got tougher for me in 2011, I've never lost hope that I'd be able to accomplish my goal. Well, okay, I've never lost hope for more than a few days- I've googled bankruptcy more times than I care to admit- but in the end, I'm still working on it.

I've made some hard decisions and at this point I'm SOCLOSE to being credit card debt free (I still have student loans)- I expect to be done with it in the next 9-12 months. Because of this, I'm doubling down on my frugal living and really living cheap so I can finally be done. I thought I'd bring the blog back since I'll need support- but also because I want to celebrate it with you when I do!

So, is anyone still reading?