Frugality Without Deprivation | Jen Smith from Modern Frugality

Share This Episode!

In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Jen who co-hosts the Frugal Friends podcast and writes at Modern Frugality.

Jen really didn’t want to become frugal in her 20’s because she was afraid of losing out.

Over time she realized the amount of work it was taking to reach her goals was too much.

She decided to stop only focusing on more work and begin focusing on frugality.

Listen and learn all about side hustles and let us know what you think.

Episode Summary

  • The first thing her husband wanted to do after getting married was paying off student debt
  • Jen was not originally on board with this
  • She didn’t want to live under a rock under her 20’s
  • Her husband explained the opportunities that they’d have if they got out of debt
  • They were $78k in debt total
  • The two of them also didn’t have a ton of income
  • Jen came around to getting out of debt but still didn’t want to lower her income
  • She tried to add on three side hustles on top of her job
  • There was so much stress that she ended up with shingles
  • In totality between all their work and side hustles, they were bringing in up to $88k
  • Originally the goal was to be debt-free in 5 years
  • In the end, it turned out to only take 23 months

Jen’s Tools for Turning Around Her Finance

  • One of the most powerful tools she used was a method called habit stacking
    • This is where you take one habit you’re good at and sticking another on top
    • Hers was brushing teeth with budgeting tied in on it
  • Jen also really recommends manually tracking vs automated systems at first
  • Another tool Jen used was a no-spend challenge
  • This is where you don’t spend money on any non-critical item for a set period of time
  • Many times people shoot for a month
  • Saving money is good for you and the environment she also calls out
  • Buying cheap things that get tossed lead to waste

Cheap vs Frugal

  • Impacting someone else negatively is cheap
  • Impacting yourself negatively is cheap
  • If it’s illegal it’s cheap
  • If something takes you so much time to save money that you’re not there for someone else it’s cheap

Key Takeaways

  1. Less is more:  Jen actually became happier in life after stripping off unnecessary spending instead of it being a burden
  2. Saving is self cafe: She talked about how so many of the things we spend money on take us away from things we really care about
  3. Cheap is harmful: We discuss how being cheap is destructive to relationships and the environment

Call to Action

Assign a value on a scale of your choosing to the expenses in a certain category. Start reducing the ones you value least.

Join the Community

We’d love to hear your comments and questions about this week’s episode. Here are some of the best ways to stay in touch and get involved in The FI Show community!

  1. Sign up for our exclusive newsletter
  2. Join our Facebook Group
  3. Leave us a voicemail
  4. Send an email to contact [at] TheFIshow [dot] com

If you like what you hear, please leave a rating/review!

The FI show on iTunes

The FI show on Android

Learn more about Jen

Via her podcast

One of her books -> Saving with Spunk, The No Spend Challenge, Meal Plan on a Budget   

Learn More About Your Hosts

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)