This week at PersonalLoans.org we had a chance to speak with Kelly Rigotti, owner of AlmostFrugal.com. AlmostFrugal is an excellent resource for anyone looking to tighten their budgets while still enjoying everything life has to offer.
Ms. Rigotti writes: “I write Almost Frugal to share my journey towards frugality (as well as any tips I find along the way). Living frugally isn’t easy as you and I both undoubtedly know; help and community make it easier.”
PersonalLoans.org: What was the catalyst for your shift to frugal spending? Or have you always been particularly conscious of where your money goes?
Kelly Rigotti: I never underwent any big epiphany as far as my financial situation. It was more a series of small events like moving to France and having to figure out a way to pay my American student loans, going on maternity leave with each of my three children, not being able to find a decently paid job, going back to school… that each lead to the realization that I couldn’t financially support myself and that something had to change.
PL: How important is planning ahead and staying organized to your lifestyle and financial decisions?
KR: Very! I have three kids, three cats and a husband, I’m a graduate student, I work nearly full time, I run a successful blog and I’m a social media marketing consultant. If I don’t plan ahead, it doesn’t get done. An example of something that really helps me stay balanced, both financially and time wise, is online grocery shopping. I order groceries on Wednesday to be delivered on Saturday, which saves time as well as money- I’m not in a rush when I do it, so there are fewer impulse buys, plus I can always check in the kitchen to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything, and the tally on the screen lets me know when I need to put something back.
PL: Do you use credit cards? If yes, how do you use them to your advantage? If no, why not?
KR: Nope. First of all, credit cards are much less common in France then they are in the States, and more expensive. We do have a revolving line of credit, like a credit card but without the plastic attached, that we have used from time to time, but I always regret it.
PL: What do you know now that you wish you’d known earlier?
KR: That saving early is important. I have almost no savings, and it really scares me. I’ve started paying myself first, and this really helps, but the process of building up savings is slow and painful.
PL: Financial decisions can be quite stressful, what do you do to relieve/avoid that stress?
KR: I avoid making them! No, the main thing that I do is try to check my bank accounts daily, and keep my budget worksheet up to date. By doing that, I know exactly where we stand financially, which keeps me feeling in control and thus, less stressed.
PL: What are some simple financial tips that people can immediately start using in their lives?
KR: Two of my favorites are:
Have at least one or two No-Spend days each week- where you spend no money, whatsoever, and also, make sure to check, and record, your financial transactions every day. Knowing where you are will help you feel in control, and will help you continue on the road to financial independence!
PL: Finally, if there is anything else you’d like to add, please feel free!
KR: Some links ;)