Monthly Archive: April 2014

22

Is an Emergency Fund necessary?

We’ve all heard the personal finance truism: Keep three to six months of living expenses in the bank just in case. But do folks pursuing Financial Independence and Early Retirement (FIRE) really need an emergency fund? Originally the emergency fund was conceived in response to the all too common cycle of debt and poverty. People who scrape by, living paycheck to paycheck, can be utterly devastated by an unexpected one time expense. But we’re not...

45

Frugalize Your Groceries

We all gotta eat, so I thought I’d share how we do it the healthy, frugal way. This is predicated upon cooking most meals from scratch; however, you don’t have to make complicated, gourmet dishes–there are plenty of simple, quick, and healthy recipes, which the resident chef, Mr. Frugalwoods, will post here one day…we promise! After taking our Uber Frugal Month challenge, we realized we needed to spend less on groceries. In addition to not eating out,...

11

You CAN Save Your Way to Financial Independence

I recently attended a conference for work and in a session on personal finance, the speaker espoused that one cannot get rich by cutting out small luxuries because “necessities” are so expensive. This speaker went on to say that you’ll never “save your way to financial stability” and that the best thing to do is focus on making more money. Needless to say, I disagree with this stance for a number of reasons: 1) In fact you...

6

Master Bedroom Makeover: Frugal Finishing Touches

After completing the biggies in the Frugal House master bedroom makeover: painting the walls, refinishing the gold mirrored closet doors, and refinishing my poor old jewelry chest, there were a few small, very inexpensive DIY projects that really polished off the room. These are what I call high impact, low budget projects–they make a huge difference in the overall appearance of the room, but they’re just not that expensive. First: a new light fixture. The existing...

6

DIY Furniture Refinishing for Under $20

I have a fantastic jewelry chest/hutch that came to me as a hand-me-down from my family. I love its many compartments and slots for various bits and bobs, but it was suffering from a case of ’90s oak and gold finishes. I knew that we couldn’t redo our master bedroom without addressing this, ahem, little eyesore.                 Now I am CERTAIN there’s a more correct way to do this, but,...

29

Refinishing Gold Mirrored Closet Doors

One of the, shall we say, special aspects of our master bedroom were the gold-framed, sliding, mirrored closet doors. I knew they had to go as part of the master bedroom revamp…or did they? I conducted a great deal of research into options for replacing them and everything I found was super expensive. Closet doors are not cheap and even making our own would entail significant materials costs. So, we decided to paint them. I wasn’t sure if this would...

8

Master Bedroom Makeover for Minimal Money!

One of our first Frugal House projects was updating our master bedroom. It was in sorry shape with bruised-peach walls and classy gold ’80s accents. We went from before to after for $163.70–learn how! In this post I’ll focus on how we painted the walls. See these posts for specific rundowns on each project in the room: Refinishing Gold Mirrored Closet Doors  Refinishing Furniture Final Frugal Finishing Touches (curtains, light fixture, and the dog corner!) Total Cost: $163.70 (includes all of...

9

Home Improvement the Frugal Way

The #1 rule of renovating and remodeling frugally: doing the work yourself. Mr. Frugalwoods and I have discovered that most supplies and equipment are fairly inexpensive and can be used on multiple projects. Labor is where high costs come into play. For this reason, we tackle projects that are heavy on the labor and low on the skill. In other words, stuff that takes a long time to do but doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge. And, we’ve had to...

Glorious After! 12

How to Refinish a Staircase for Under $50

Our staircase was sporting some pretty terrific carpeting and that special ’90s golden oak shine. As the first thing you see when you walk through our front door, it was a mega eyesore. Frugal Hound was the only one in favor as she liked digging her claws into the carpeting. Needless to say, she was overruled. Here’s how we got from before to after for less than $50 in: The Frugal Grand Staircase Refinishing Adventure! Total...

19

Frugalize Your Closet

Taking a frugal approach to clothing can save you hundreds to thousands of bucks each year. And you don’t have to look like a ragamuffin! By carefully combing the thrift racks and seeking out deals on new stuff, you’ll take great joy in outfitting yourself for a fraction of the cost. Frugal Wife’s Quick Guide to a Frugal Wardrobe: Buy used whenever humanly possible. Shop smart when you must buy new. Wear things for a...