January/February 2008 Newsletter

Happy New Year from Frugal Families!

First, please forgive the belated newsletter. A plethora of germs invaded our home right after the start of the year and I was still recovering from tendonitis AND a partially torn ligament in my thumb which made typing a painful chore. Thankfully, the germs have moved out and the injuries are healing.

I want to welcome all of you who signed up for our newsletter and are receiving it for the first time thanks to the Redbook article. We love having you with us!

So many of us think of the start of the new year as a time to start over. Alot of people start over with the finances. It’s probably THE most asked question I get. “Where do I start on my frugal journey?” The answer is always the same. You can’t save money if you don’t know where it’s going. You need to take the time to track every penny coming in and going out of your home. It’s only once you know how much you spend and on what, that you can start to slash expenses and save money. A new member of the forums did this and she and her husband figured out that they spent alot of money on going out to dinner. The simple step of eliminating meals out saved them $250 in a mere two weeks! If you haven’t done it, then print up our free budgeting and expense tracking sheets and get started:

Free Printables

As this comes to you, the Senate is still debating the details of an economic stimulus package. The goal of the package is to put money in your hands that you can spend and hopefully, stimulate the economy. I polled the forum members on what they would do with their windfall (IF it arrives). Many have decided to start an emergency fund and/or pay down or payoff credit cards. If you had an emergency fund, you wouldn’t need to reach for a credit card when an emergency came up. If you didn’t have credit card payments you’d have all those minimum payments to put into a savings account (to pay CASH next time the urge to buy came over you). Have you given serious thought to what you would do IF that check arrives?

The forums are now hopping with the new challenges of the year. Challenges help make frugality fun. January’s pantry challenge asked you to organize and inventory your pantry. It costs money if you can’t find ingredients you THOUGHT you had but couldn’t find. The thrifty household challenge was to create a budget if you didn’t have one. As always, forum members cheer each other on and encourage one another to meet challenge goals and save money! Each month we average 6-8 new challenges. I hope you consider joining us!

I can’t believe Valentine’s Day is almost here. Romance doesn’t have to be expensive. We’ve got some great articles to help you find inexpensive way to woo the one you love.

http://www.frugal-families.com/Articles/cheap-love.htm

http://www.frugal-families.com/Articles/Valentine-gifts-on-budget.htm

Here’s a wonderful article on Valentine’s fun with your kids:

http://www.frugal-families.com/Articles/family-Valentine-fun.htm

I wanted to put you onto a great deal my friend and fellow website owner, Adriana, has pulled together exclusively for recipients of our newsletter. Adriana owns two wonderful sites: www.busy-moms-online.com AND www.babys-first-year.com
She has bundled three great e-books on organizing your home, creative ways to pay off holiday debt and frugal living for moms (normally costing almost $30) for only $5!!! I invite you to take a peak at the deal she’s offering:

http://www.busy-moms-online.com/resources/frugal-families-special.html

I wanted to try something new for this year’s newsletters. I wanted to invite you to send me your questions related to frugality and budgeting. If you have specific topics or ideas you’d like covered in a newsletter, please send me those, too. I want to make sure our newsletters are providing you with information that you want and need. E-mail me at paqmom@frugal-families.com

As always, if you decide you no longer want to receive our newsletter, PLEASE return this to me and I will remove you from our list.

Thanks for being part of our frugal family! I look forward to hearing your questions and ideas for future publications.

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