One of my personal finance heroes is Donna Freedman. I came across her writing at the beginning of my personal finance journey, when she was still in college and stretching every penny to make it through (I suspect that I had searched for something like ‘poor college kids’ to lead me to her). I’ve lurked and followed her career somewhat, and she has become quite successful. Not only does she have her own PF blog, “Surviving and Thriving”, but she also is a staff writer for Get Rich Slowly, and additionally contributes to Smart Spending on MSN Money as well as freelance contributions to other blogs and online publications.
One of the reasons I love Donna’s sage advice is that she is always realistic. Sometimes, she takes frugality a little farther than I would, but she is also balanced and reasonable in her viewpoint. One of my favorite mottos of personal finance comes from Donna (or at least I discovered it through her!), which is: “Save where you can to spend where you want.” She even made this the motto of the now-retired Frugal Nation segment of MSN money. This philosophy has really hit home with me and is probably one of the founding principles of my own personal view on my finances.
It embodies my attitude spending and saving almost completely: I have no problems skimping on things that don’t matter that much to me in order to spend money on things that are really important to me. I’ve discussed some of my budget ideas for saving for travel, and most of them are based on being frugal in some areas of my life in order to save money to spend on travel. I love to travel, it is a real passion of mine, and I am willing to make that sacrifice on things that aren’t incredibly important to me. Here are a few reasons that I love this idea so much:
1. It makes it easier to save. Knowing that the money I am saving is going towards things that I really enjoy makes it so much easier to save. It takes away some of the drudgery and sometimes makes it fun. It gives me motivation to WANT to save.
2. It makes it easier to make sacrifices to save money. If I save $10 by cooking my dinner at home instead of going out to eat, then that is $10 that I can put towards a meal in a foreign country, a bus ticket between cities, or maybe admission to an awesome site, like a museum or park. When I think about it that way, it makes me more excited for the future and the potential that $10 has than upset because I am eating at home again.
3. It makes you feel less deprived. Instead of feeling like you are completely deprived of anything extra, it will make you feel like you are accomplishing a goal. You are putting forethought into where your money goes. Plenty of people earn the same amount or more than you do, and they have no idea where there money is going and always feel broke. If you are making conscious choices to be frugal in some area of your life, it frees up funds to go towards something that you really want (a new computer, that next vacation, becoming debt-free, etc.). This kind of satisfaction goes a long way to making saving money less painful.
Who are some of your favorite personal finance writers? What kinds of mottos have stuck with you regarding money?