Me in NYC on our way to NYU
Me in NYC on our way to NYU

March was delightfully miscellaneous for Mr. Frugalwoods and me. Traveling to New York to speak with students at NYU about personal finance was a definite highlight. We were deeply honored to be invited to speak and had a wonderful time sharing our passion for none other than… frugality (every young person’s best friend they haven’t met yet)!

A Month Of Friends

It was also a month of friends! We spent time with several old friends while in NYC; made a new friend in Erin from Broke Millennial; hosted Cat from Budget Blonde along with her husband and their one-year-old twins; had another dear friend stay with us for a few days; went to a delicious dinner party; and met a reader at the discount grocery store. All in all a rather social month for us semi-introverted Frugalwoodses. And let’s not forget that this month brought us the one and only Bunny Hound:

Are you kidding me with this, humans?!
Are you kidding me with this, humans?!

And A Month Of Other Random Things!

To round out the month, I turned 31, forget my lunch, Frugalwoods-mobile got a flat, we took many early spring walks around town, checked out tons of tomes from the library, prepared delicious vittles at home, and generally had a lovely frugal month.

Birthday month!
Birthday month!

I’ll highlight for you that my forgotten lunch replacement cost me $5.46! That’s 14 rice-and-beans lunches. FOURTEEN. Can you imagine? If I bought lunch at my office cafeteria every weekday, that’d be $109.20 per month! Absurd, I tell you. Frugal tip: if you’re not taking your lunch to work every day, make a resolution to start now!

We topped out at $1,090 in non-mortgage spending, which is pretty ideal from our frugal weirdo perspective. Our aim is always to clock in right at–or a tad under–$1,000/month, so March was a winner in that respect.

Groceries were interestingly high this month, to the tune of $100 more than we usually spend. A portion of this is attributable to hosting folks, which makes it a very good expense to have. We love cooking dinner for our friends, so it’s well worth the cost. The rest? Who knows. Apparently we were hungrier this month.

This is one of those instances where I’m thankful we don’t budget and instead live on frugal autopilot. I’m not sure how we spent so much on groceries, but it actually doesn’t matter. We view our expenses on a total amount spent per month basis and, since this month is well within our normal range, I won’t sweat it. As long as we’re not wasting food or eating unhealthy meals, it’s no big deal.

Personal Capital: It’s How We Organize Our Expen$e$

Frugal Hound listening to a story with her new friends, the Budget Blonde family
Frugal Hound reading a story with the Budget Blonde family

We use Personal Capital to aggregate and consolidate our transactions from across all of our accounts. We then drop them into a spreadsheet to provide our below blog-ready analysis.

Tracking expenses is, in my opinion, the best way to get a handle on your finances. You absolutely, positively cannot make informed decisions about your money if you don’t know how you’re spending it. Sounds harsh, but without a holistic picture of how much you spend every month, there’s no way to set savings, debt repayment, or investment goals. It’s a frugal must, folks.

Personal Capital (which is free to use) is a great way for us to systematize our financial overviews since it links all of our accounts together and provides a comprehensive picture of our net worth. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how I use Personal Capital for my expense tracking.

Where’s Your Money?

One of the easiest ways to optimize your money is to use a high-interest savings account. A high-interest savings account gives you money for nothing. With these accounts, interest works in YOUR favor (as opposed to the interest rates on debt, which work against you). Having money in a no (or low) interest savings account is a waste of resources–your money is just sitting there doing nothing. Don’t let your money be lazy! Make it work for you! And now, enjoy some explanatory math:

Let’s say you have $5,000 in a savings account that earns 0% interest. In a year’s time, your $5,000 will still be… $5,000.

Let’s say you instead put that $5,000 into an American Express Personal Savings account that–as of this writing–earns 1.70% in interest. In one year, your $5,000 will have increased to $5,085.67. That means you earned $85.67 just by having your money in a high-interest account.

And you didn’t have to do anything! I’m a big fan of earning money while doing nothing. I mean, is anybody not a fan of that? Apparently so, because anyone who uses a low (or no) interest savings account is NOT making money while doing nothing. Don’t be that person. Be the person who earns money while you sleep. Rack up the interest and prosper. More about high-interest savings accounts, as well as the ones I recommend, is here: The Best High Interest Rate Online Savings Accounts.

How To Read A Frugalwoods Expense Report

From top to bottom. I jest, you could read it bottom to top if you so desire, I’m not going to stop you. As regular readers know, we itemize every single dollar we spend (which is why there’s a line item for $4.04 this month). I do this because it’s the most honest articulation of how we allocate our resources and managed to save 71% of our take-home pay in 2014 (after maxing out our 401Ks).

Frugal Hound at the library!
Frugal Hound returning her book “Squirrels And How To Catch Them” to the library

Why do we save so much and spend so little? It’s all in service of our goal to reach financial independence by age 33 and move to a homestead in the woods.

Interested in how we keep costs so low? Check out How We Save 65% Annually and, if you’re up for some hardcore frugal adventuring, take my Uber Frugal Month Challenge. If you’re curious about the common expenses missing from the below, our August 2014 Expense report has the answers (or feel free to ask in the comments).

As I mentioned, we don’t budget and instead live on frugal autopilot. This technique saves us the time and hassle of building a budget (we’re some lazy frugal weirdos). The caveat here is that many people find budgeting incredibly helpful and I in no way malign the budgeting process. If you operate more successfully with a budget, then budget away my friends.

And now, I hope you enjoy this romp through every dollar we spent in the month of March:

Item/Vendor Amount Frugalwoods Musings
Mortgage & Escrow for Taxes & Insurance $2,741.01 Yep, it’s high. But, we live in a very high COL city (Cambridge, MA) and this house will be our cash-flowin’ rental after we decamp to our rural homestead.
Groceries $404.70 Super high this month ($100 more than we usually spend). I attribute this partially to hosting guests and partially to the category of “who knows.”
Utilities: Gas $234.39 February was extraordinarily cold here in Boston and our gas bill shows it! Hoping to coast into spring soon and reap the benefits of an almost AC-less summer.
Household goods from Costco $103.33 Household supplies including toilet paper, dog food, laundry detergent, vitamins, shampoo, and more. This total does not include any food.
Utilities: Electric $96.59 Yes, we do use electricity. Sadly Fortunately, our frugality does not extend to living by candlelight.
Internet $66.95 Hey, I’m using this RIGHT NOW. Amazing.
Tire for Frugalwoods-mobile $44.63 The cost of a tire and mount from our friendly neighborhood junkyard to replace the flat we incurred. The tire is doing well and we’re happy to pay a fraction of the cost of a new tire. Our mechanic actually recommends junkyard tires, so it’s a win-win.
State of MA required car inspection $35.00 Had to get ol’ Frugalwoods-mobile inspected from hood to boot to keep her legal in the eyes of the law. Of course, it was a good idea since she was 7 months overdue for this
Beer and wine $33.04 Another product of hanging out with lots of friends this month. A happy expense to be sure!
Gasoline for Frugalwoods-mobile $28.16 One fill-up for Frugalwoods-mobile
Wiper blades $20.00 Was required to buy new wiper blades in order for Frugalwoods-mobile to pass the state inspection.
Dumpling lunch and dinner in NYC $14.00 This is the ridiculously low cost of both lunch and dinner for the two of us at Vanessa’s Dumpling House while we were in NYC. Delicious and cheap.
I forgot my lunch!!! $5.46 I detailed my shame for you all after this crisis and here’s the monetary damage. Oh woe is me!
Blog back-up $4.04 Gotta keep backed up! We’re lucky that Mr. FW is a software engineer and can manage our website himself, which keeps our blog-related expenses extremely low.
TOTAL SPENT: $3,831.30  
LESS MORTGAGE: $1,090.29

What do you think of our expenses? How was your March?

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  1. I am so fascinated by expense reports 🙂 Congratulations on a great March. My favorite picture: babies and dogs (how could any picture be cuter than one that has both babies AND dogs? I ask you.)

  2. Our march expenses were pretty high, but most of that was because we spent as much on supplies for our kitchen renovation as we did on everything else (mortgage included!). All in the name of progress, though!

  3. Our March expenses were a bit high due to things like accountant fees for our taxes ($1,500 net refund after paying for them, though), having to pre-pay for summer camp for our daughter, and car care. Luckily, I had a pretty good month for side hustle income, which helped balance it out, a bit.

    1. Yeah, congrats on growing that side hustle success! It’s inspiring to see that come together!

  4. That sounds like a delightfully social month, I love it. I’d love to meet more blogging friends in real life. Plus, the beans look mighty cute!
    I’m impressed with your expenditures, that’s for darn sure.

    1. We’ve found the internet to be a wonderful place to meet new friends! Both here on the blog and on some other frugality forums. It’s so fun to meet people who don’t look at you funny when you suggest a potluck rather than going out 🙂

    1. The ROI on those dumplings was 1000% delicious. It would be seriously dangerous for my wallet and my waistline to live anywhere near chinatown.

  5. I agree that spending a little extra to entertain friends is worth it. We went on vacation in March and still need to do the final calculations, but we saved about 50% compared to the same trip last year. That frugal, challenge-everything thinking (and then setting it on autopilot after that) is what helps us save, too. We’ve been calling it mindless austerity for personal finance.

    1. Hosting friends is one of those things that we are _so_ happy to spend money on. Hard to put a price on joy.

      Mindless austerity… I like it!

  6. I love that your forgot your lunch once and realized how awful it was on your finances. For years, all I ever did was buy lunch at work and I cringe when I think about how much money I spent over the years. At least I have seen the light and I will start working more out of my home soon and plan to implement the Frugalwoods Rice and Beans lunch strategy when I do. Can’t wait!

    1. Hey, we’ve all been there and spent on things probably best forgotten 🙂

      Rice and beans… it’s a magic combo. I love too how it makes a great canvass for experimentation. I’ll often throw a little bit of whatever veggies we have in the fridge in as well. Most veg goes great with the spicy hearty rice&beans.

  7. I see that you bought laundry detergent from Costco… have you ever tried making your own? You can choose your own scent and basically make a years worth for the cost of one of the detergents from Costco. We found that it works just as well. The only time we buy the store stuff is if it’s super discounted.

    1. We haven’t tried making our own, maybe we should! We’ve been using the costco brand scent-free detergent for a while and it seems to do an OK job. I remember thinking it seemed really reasonable compared to the name brand, but I’m sure it’s not cheap. We’ll have to look into it!

        1. I use Soapnuts to clean my clothes. Natural, no scent, not irritating to my skin, and does a good job. And cheap! And easy, what more can you ask? I used to make my own, too, til I found these online.

  8. Sounds like a good month 🙂 I’d love to meet some bloggers in “real life” but don’t know any near me! Your expenses look fab – you’re right on track for your transition stage 🙂

    1. We’ve been excited to meet both bloggers and just general frugal types who came across the blog and emailed us. We’re pretty friendly folks, we’ll meet anyone once 🙂

  9. Looking good! Living up to the frugal weirdo label =)

    March was a decent good month. Excluding a rent security deposit and some charges will be reimbursed later, I spent $588.58 excluding rent and utilities (which was charged in January – on campus housing).

    But, the big item is that I found a new place to live! It will save me $500/month! So excited.
    And it’s only 4.4 miles from my lab, so I will bike commute virtually every day. I need to get the appropriate gear to bike int he rain.

    1. Wow, that’s awesome! 4.4 miles is a great distance for bike commuting. Enough to get the blood flowing and to provide a decent little workout, but not enough to make you all sweaty. Nice work!

    1. It’s shocking how much we are able to save just by making our lunches in advance. My coworkers… they eat their future for lunch every day!

    1. Snountain! In fact, I noticed yesterday that we were down to the last little mound. I bet it will be all gone by wednesday. The crushed planting bed edge, however, is now easily visible… 🙂

  10. March wasn’t bad. I made a few big ticket purchases which bumped up the overall total, but my reoccurring expenses were either average or below average.

    Were you affected by the insane utilities cost hike in the Boston area?

    1. Our electric did go up in price, but the gas was mostly just a really cold Feb. combined with us heating our upstairs more since we had guests. 100% worth it though.

  11. I love these expense reports! We have started keeping track of our expenses in more detail as well, and it’s been real eye opening even in the past two weeks we’ve been doing it. We’ll see how it adds up after April is over and where we can cut back!

    1. It’s almost like a game for us. A game where if we win it we get to quit our jobs and move to a homestead! And we’re pretty competitive, so even though we’re only “competing” against our prior months… we’re in it to win it! 🙂

  12. Less than $6 on lunch sounds like such a good deal to me, but it’s all about perspective right?! It’s probably why I also opt to bring my lunch most days of the week. Buying lunch is a treat. It was so great getting to meet you two last month and I can’t wait to catch up more at FinCon.

    1. It was great meeting you as well! That trip was sooo much fun. Buoyed my faith in the next generation too!

  13. Fabulous month as always! We are trying to decide whether to track our expenses on a monthly basis like you guys. We currently track income/expenses on a quarterly since market fluctuations make monthly numbers go up and down a lot. However, I think for expenses alone, tracking it by monthly may be more beneficial to us to try to reduce expenses in some areas.

    1. Yeah, it’s not a perfect month to month comparison with yearly or quarterly expenses… but we like to get the near-instant feedback of how we’re doing. Often if it’s been an expensive month, we reflect that “wow, we spent more and it was totally worth it and in line with our values.” Other months it’s more like “Wow, it totally _wasn’t_ worth it…” It makes a nice tool for reflection.

  14. I noticed you didn’t mention a phone in your budget. What sort of phone(s) do you have and what does it cost?
    One reason I don’t get a smart phone is that the upfront cost is too much and I don’t want to be tied into a service contract to get a cheaper phone. We have a home phone with our Internet service and I use a cheapie 20>00 every three months Tracphone as my cell.
    Every day I see people jabbering away or playing games and checking Facebook non-stop on their smart phones and all I can think is: “Unless these folks own the companies or it is provided by their work, they are paying a bloody fortune for those things.”
    Almost everyone I talk to pays a minimum of $50.00 a month (and that doesn’t include the cost of the phone itself) just for cell phone service and is tied into multi-year contracts. I hate those contracts the way Frugal Hound hates baths and tooth brushing!

    1. Hah! Frugal Hound does hate baths and tooth brushing, that’s for sure!

      Our employers currently pay for our respective phones. It’s both a blessing (since we don’t have to pay!) and a curse since the employers pay because we’re expected to respond to work queries after hours and on weekends as needed.

      I will very much enjoy paying for my own service when we move to the homestead. I assume we’ll go with whatever company gets the best service where we end up. Probably ask neighbors.

  15. I am a little jealous of your expense report. I see you in such a light where you can choose to be frugal. I feel like I am in a forced frugality situation. I am ready for the day that my husband graduates from college and I can focus on college again myself so I have the choice to be frugal and save versus clawing at everything to keep our heads in the black.

    Also, I do love looking at expense reports and at least your eating out problem is not quite as bad as this guy over at Budgetsaresexy.

    1. We lived in forced frugality for a while too. It wasn’t fun, but it did give us a great foundation and skills to save a bunch once our incomes increased.

      That fellow sure was a riot, huh? It’s funny how different perspectives can make all sorts of things seem “reasonable”.

  16. Looks good to me! Another solid month. As you say in your post, expenses related to hosting good friends are very good expenses to have, indeed. We also had a more expensive month than normal due to visiting some friends. Money well spent. Keep up the good work!

    1. Spending on friends is the best sort of spending. I’d happily double the budget to have friends in the house all month! 🙂

  17. Your posts make me miss my old Budget Porn posts. It’s great to dive deep on a budget, and I feel like the public nature of it allows for a more honest appraisal.

    You’re destroying us on the frugality front. Often I tell myself I’m ‘frugal enough’…but there’s obviously room to improve.

    1. Hah! It’s true, being public about it really helps us keep on track. There’s been a time or two where the phrase “but we’ll have to put it on the budget post… we can’t do that!” has kept us from spending an errant dollar here or there 🙂

  18. “I’ll highlight for you that my forgotten lunch replacement cost me $5.46! That’s 14 rice-and-beans lunches. FOURTEEN”

    That is a staggering difference in costs. And did it taste 14 times better?

    Mr Z

    1. Haha, it in fact did not taste 14 times better ;). I did enjoy it, but totally not worth the expense!

  19. I’m not advocating that anyone go hog wild eating candy but I just bought 5 bags of candy at CVS + 2 canned teas and I paid 11 cents for the lot of it! I had two CVS Extra Bucks coupons for $2.50 & $2.00, I $1.50 off candy coupon and the candy and tea were both on a 50% off after Easter sale!

  20. Great job Frugalwoods,

    Another solid month in the books. Is there a reason why you decided to use Personal Capital over Mint? I have yet to set up either but am looking into it to save time with collecting and categorizing our monthly expenses. Looks like your take out lunch was reasonable at $5.50 by many standards as I know a lot of people who spend $10 to $15 a day on eating out. Your frugal tip of packing your own lunch to work in my opinion is one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve ones financial situation.

    Thanks for sharing,


    1. We use both of them, but I find myself logging into personal capital more often. Their graphs are prettier 🙂 Both do practically the same thing though.

  21. Still very impressive monthly spending if you take out the mortgage. Our March spending was a little higher than usual because the in-laws were visiting from Europe.

  22. Hello FW’s
    Well done, another month of low expenses. Pretty impressive. Funnily we have about the same monthly expenses, we just pay a whole lot less on the housing part, but considerably more on the other expenses. What I don’t get is how you spend so little on household goods (which includes your dog food), our greyhound alone eat about that a month in kibble and treats!
    Keep it up.
    Cheers, Mr. FSF

    1. Ole frugal hound is a pretty frugal eater. She eats Kirkland Nature’s Signature Grain Free Salmon and Sweet Potato (i’m not making this up) kibble. It’s a great deal.

      She also doesn’t eat that much. 3 cups of dry food a day plus the occasional treat keep her at a healthy and svelte 58 pounds.

      1. Ah, see FSF hound is not so frugal at 75 pounds. See is a big girl and needs about 4 cups a day with treats (bully sticks, so we don’t have to do the teeth cleaning). She loves her Go Natural Chicken (or salmon), but that stuff goes at $63 per 25 pounds bag. We have no Costco membership, so the Kirkland products are out for us.

  23. Yowzer, that utility bill! We spent $90 less on gas, and $35 less on electricity than you on our March 18 bill. You sure you can’t switch providers or something? Maybe it’s just that Boston is more expensive than Albany. Because I know it’s not that we have a small house, or that you’ve got the heat cranked up.

    1. Feb was just a _really_ cold month here, combined with us turning up the heat for guests. Our upstairs guest rooms are more drafty than our main floor master, so we crank up the heat when folks are using them.

      1. I know, February was our 4th coldest month in recorded history. Still think you’re being taken for a ride by the utility company 🙂 Or maybe it’s just the drafts. We had friends over, didn’t turn the heat up, and gave them the heated blanket for a “special treat”!

        1. Great job frugalwoods! Norm, you are doing much better in Albany than we are in Vermont. We got killed on heating oil this year since I did the prebuy and our March electric bill was $131.70! Our house is a business as well though so we had outside holiday lights (on a timer).

  24. Wow, very impressed with your non-mortgage spending. We don’t live anywhere near as frugally as you guys, so our spending is far higher. Some of that is by choice, to spend on what matters to us. Some of it is due to our own limitations.

    Still, it does make me want to tighten our budget a bit more. We’ve got to save as much as we can (realistically maintain) thanks to hubby’s $25,000 of oral surgery expenses this year.

    1. Why thank you! I think it’s all about finding the level of frugality that works best for you and that’s feasible/comfortable.

  25. It’s always interesting to see how people do their money. I loved that you post actual amounts too, it’s meaningful to see the numbers in the way a pie chart with vague looking percentages just can’t illustrate. I have a love/hate with frugality, I never seem to do it in a way that doesn’t leave me feeling really bitter and deprived. It looks like you guys have managed it though, I’ll have to read more!

    BTW I love your hound, he always looks so dignified (even in bunny ears).

    1. Glad you enjoyed the actual numbers! That approach really helps us to isolate and examine all of our expenses. Frugality is definitely not about feeling bitter and deprived–for us, it’s all about spending only on what really matters to us, which will give us the freedom to do what we want with our lives. I think everyone has to find that balance with spending and saving that’s comfortable and tenable for them. For us, we’re so focused on our goal of reaching financial independence that frugality is a means to that liberating end :).

      1. I think it’s a matter of finding the right goal to motivate. I’ve achieved all the goals I had previously set for myself – buying a house, getting my current job, finding my partner, etc. – and since then, I’ve never made the effort to properly sort out new goals. I’m in the progress of doing that now but it’s a little bit of a process.

        Maybe once I clarify these a little more, I’ll be able to feel better about being frugal. I think what you guys are doing is admirable. Nicely done!

        1. I think you hit the nail on the head, Lindsey. I think that without a goal, frugality is tough. But with a goal, it becomes about what you’re going to gain–not what you’re giving up.

  26. I know you took a beating on the electric bill, but I have a friend in East Africa who works with an NGO who has written that converting from candle and gas lighting to electric lights has yielded some of the best community health improvement results due to less smoke inhalation. Moral of the story, I am glad you crossed off sadly and wrote fortunately instead.

    1. Yes, that’s a great point. I definitely wrote that in jest and in full recognition of how incredibly fortunate we are to have reliable electricity that’s so easily, safely, and readily available to us. I certainly don’t take it for granted!

    1. Definitely was a fun month and totally worth the extra dough ;). Glad to hear your March was on the frugal side too!

  27. You guys are frugal machines. No doubt you will be in that homestead sooner rather than later with your spending habits.

    We had an okay March. Our net worth crossed the $200K milestone for the first time ever. We really won’t get into our prime saving months until we get past April. But so far on a YTD basis we have already increased our net worth by almost $20K or about 11% vs. 2014. So we are making solid progress. We should see net worth increase by $6K to $8K a month starting in May.

    Since we are not nearly as frugal as the Frugalwoods, we need to find a way to increase income so we can save 70% of our income 🙂

    Great work guys!

  28. March went pretty well for us, especially because of a decent tax return that I was able to put toward dental work we had been delaying, and debt and savings, of course. I recently looked at my finances as percentages for the first time, and discovered we´re only living on about 15% of my income. I was shocked! This gives me hope as I pay down debt. We´ll have a second income in about a year, then the savings will really be sky high!

    1. Hey, that’s great! It’s a wonderful feeling when you realize you’re able to live on so little 🙂

  29. Well, I spent almost $200 on lightbulbs. No, really. Our new house (speaking of March spending! We bought a giant pile of bricks!) has approximately 73 built-in light fixtures, most of them currently sporting incandescents. LEDs have really come down in price, so we thought we’d take the plunge. We’ve generally been spending money hand over fist, but in frugal ways. Like we bought a patio table for our new patio, but it was $140 secondhand.

    Little Brother’s broken leg was not cheap, but so far it was within the FSA, so we haven’t really noticed it. We didn’t set that much aside, so we’ll see what happens when the bills for the X-rays start rolling in (so far, we’ve only paid the $215 in copays).

    1. Lightbulbs sounds like a good, frugal longterm investment. I like that you know the precise number of light fixtures–73! I hope your baby’s leg is healing well and that you’re settling into your new place. Talk about having a lot going on! I send you all my best wishes!

  30. I am sorry, I am late to this party but : OH. MY. GOODNESS. BUNNY HOUND!!!!! This is a retirement strategy in and of itself. Everyone on the planet NEEDS a copy of that picture.

    1. Ouch is right! I’m under two blankets as I write this, so hopefully spring will come someday 🙂

  31. We have had a very mild winter with low utility bills, which has been nice, although we’ll pay of it with lack of water this summer I’m afraid. That’s really cool that you got to meet up with some online folks. Hopefully we can get together when we come to Boston later this summer. That Easter photo of Frugal Hound is maybe my favorite one you’ve ever posted!

    1. We’re fans of itemizing 🙂 Friends are definitely an area where we’re happy to spend liberally!

  32. We budgeted a little higher in March since it was the babies birthday but didn’t go too, too much over in the spending department. 🙂 Happy to be on the receiving end of your generosity and wonderful cooking! Overall a perfectly delightful month since we got to meet you guys and hosted Shannon & Bill too so it was a blogger filled happy month over here!

    1. Ya’ll are welcome any time! We had a blast, and the beans + frugalhound was honestly the funniest thing I’ve seen in 2015 🙂

  33. You have mentioned that Mr. FW is a software engineer. I am sure many of your readers would benefit from his frugal tips about where and how to buy computers and how to get good frugal computer help and would be endlessly grateful for his advice. .
    I am no software engineer but I do seem to have a natural gift, if you will, at diagnostics and repair, so I mostly can fix my own machine.There’s no piece of software that I can’tquickly learn the ins and outs of. I can honestly say that I have never had a true computer crash, virus infection ,etc.and I am good at finding legitimate reliable freeware and decent cheap software.

  34. I think it’s awesome that you went to speak to college kids about your journey. Although our parents grew up very frugal, hubby and I were not. It wasn’t until January of 2013 that we started to get serious about our finance. We have since paid off about $90K in debt..but we are now 40. Wish I had a young inspirational couple talk tome when I was younger!

    1. That’s fantastic you’ve paid off all of that debt–congrats! We really did have a great time speaking at NYU and I only hope we might have the chance to do it again in the future. I certainly wish I’d had some financial education as a college student too!

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