I’d clocked up a vehicle loan, several credit cards, an overdraft and an unpaid tax bill.
Combine that with my everyday living expenses and I was struggling (read: failing) to even make my monthly minimum payments.
It was a pretty sorry existence. Get up, go to work (11 hour shifts being the norm), come home and sleep. Then do it again, all the while trying to spend as little money as possible. Then, when payday finally swung around, watch all my hard-earned money disappear on debt payments before starting all over again.
This went on for several years, as I got more and more depressed about the situation. Where the tiniest unexpected bill (like the time I was overtaxed by 20%) would worsen my mood even further.
It was my own fault. But it was no way to live. No luxuries. No social life. Budgeting everything. And to top it off, a job I absolutely hated – but accepted only because it paid more than the alternative job I really wanted.
Soul crushing would be a fair assessment of my lifestyle not so long ago.
Now fast-forward to today. I’m virtually debt-free. At the same time I have carefully watched my spending and focused much of my time on uncovering and testing frugal living tips.
And while I’m certainly not wealthy, I have found that not only is there light at the end of the tunnel.
No matter how painful things may have seemed not so long ago, by reducing my debt and becoming more frugal I’ve been able to achieve a comfortable, enjoyable life.
January 2017 Update
Since I originally created this page a few years back, some significant changes have occurred.
I am now completely debt free, have swapped jobs to one that I enjoy far more and have managed to save $10,000 in the last 12 months alone.
Before the end of this year I expect to buy my very first home.
Alongside this long-held goal, I’m also working hard to save and invest, with a view to achieving financial freedom in the the near future.
From drowning in debt, to home ownership and financial freedom – all the space of a few short years. This stuff works, folks!
So Why Frugality Magazine?
I’m certainly not claiming to be special; many people have recovered from far more difficult situations than mine in the past and many others have far more money saved. I’m certainly not an expert.
But I am passionate.
Passionate about debt reduction (or even better – elimination). Passionate about saving money. Passionate about simplifying the mysteries of personal finance so anyone transform their situation.
And most of all – passionate about the freedom that comes with a low-cost, debt-free lifestyle.
I started Frugality Magazine for two main reasons.
Firstly, I want to inspire and motivate you to improve your financial situation. I wanted to share my own tips and experiences with you – in the hope that you can learn from my own experiences (both good and bad!) and make smarter decisions about your money, and your future.
And secondly by setting up a blog I hope that this “public accountability” will continue to motivate and inspire me to find ever more ways to live large on a small budget.
About This Site
I’m not one for making my own toothpaste, spending hours visiting every store in my neighborhood looking for the best price on milk or taking risks with out-of-date produce just to save a few pennies. That’s not frugality to me – that’s just being a tight-ass.
My version is frugality – the kind of frugality I talk about on this blog – is about how to live a comfortable lifestyle for less than you might think possible.
It’s about effective tools, powerful changes to your mindset and handy hints that will let you live a full, rounded and joy-filled life, without it costing you an arm and a leg.
Because spending less while still enjoying yourself has a number of potential benefits. It means you can save more money for a rainy day. Or give more away to charity. Or spend (wisely) on your hobbies and passions – those things that really have a noticeable effect on your quality of life.
Or alternatively (or even additionally?!) it means you can work less, enjoy more free time and indulge your passions more. After all, who on their death bed ever says they wish they’d spent more time in the office?
If that all sounds good to you then I’d be thrilled to welcome you to my little online money-saving family.