PersonalLoans.org is proud to announce the first in a series of interviews with frugal spending bloggers around the Web. This week we spoke with Mrs. Money, owner of the Ultimate Money Blog, an excellent resource for frugal spending habits and green living.
In just two years, Mrs. Money and her husband paid off over $36,000 in student loan debt. She writes: “I’ve always been very frugal and money conscientious. When I started learning how to save money, I also realized how much ‘greener’ we were living. We started by eliminating toxic household cleaners from our home and replacing them with homemade natural cleaners, and it all snowballed from there!”
PersonalLoans.org: What was the catalyst for your shift to frugal spending? Or have you always been particularly conscious of where your money goes?
Mrs. Money: I’ve always been pretty frugal. Growing up, I learned a lot about saving money and being frugal, so it’s always been ingrained in me. Since I was a little girl, I shopped at yard sales and thrift stores. Frugality is more of a way of life for me.
PL: How important is planning ahead and staying organized to your lifestyle and financial decisions?
MM: I have a type A personality that has to plan, plan, plan. I need to make sure I have all my “ducks in a row” before I make any decisions. I try to be organized with our finances, and planning ahead is critical for that!
PL: Do you use credit cards? How do you use them to your advantage?
MM: I do! We have a rewards credit card that we use exclusively for gas. We get 4% back in the form of cash once we hit $100. That’s the only time we use the credit card, and we always pay it in full each month.
PL: What do you know now that you wish you’d known earlier?
MM: You can’t save too much money. You’ll never regret that you have money in savings. Sometimes you’ll wish you had more, but you won’t wish you had less. :)
PL: Financial decisions can be quite stressful, what do you do to relieve/avoid that stress?
MM: I make sure that I think through big decisions. Sometimes we make rash decisions based on emotions. I give myself time to think through the scenarios to ensure that I’ve made the best decision for myself and my family.
PL: What are some simple financial tips that people can immediately start using in their lives?
MM: Spend less than you earn, cook from scratch, make your own if you can (I have a bunch of great recipes on my blog!), and enjoy life. I think the key to saving money and being frugal is finding a happy balance. Don’t make yourself miserable!