My frugal journey: sources of inspiration

How did it all begin? At what point did being frugal become a lifestyle choice for me? I have been pondering and the truth is that it was foisted on me by circumstance of course. But I was brought up in a frugal household and have never liked waste, so living simply and frugally comes naturally to me. I don’t enjoy being short of money, but I do get satisfaction out of managing the money I have and using my creativity to life a life that is enjoyable. 
  The first book that gave me real inspiration was the absolute classic Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczin. It was published in the 1990s, but is totally relevant today. If you haven’t read it, it is worth buying.

There is an interesting interview with Amy here.

The second, which is aimed for a UK rather than a US market, was the Penny Pincher’s Book by John and Irma Mustoe. This is packed with useful tips and quite witty at times too. I notice it has been updated in recent years.

As I got more computer savvy and moved onto the Internet – this opened up a whole new treasure trove of inspiration and advice. was the first site that I got into. It is massive! So many good articles and great advice from forum members who have experienced awful debt and have either got themselves back on track or are working their way towards that goal.

Frugal Queen was the next. That woman is great at giving you a good motivational talking to via her blog whilst getting herself out of debt and sharing her journey. 

There are so many good sites and blogs on saving money now. One of my absolute favourites is Life After Money. Ilona, who writes it, is a great character and very inspirational. She has become something of a celebrity, even appearing recently on a radio show in Australia!

I like Ricky on Skint Dad too – nice to get a male viewpoint. 

Where do you go for frugal inspiration?

8 thoughts on “My frugal journey: sources of inspiration

  1. Your blog is one of several I enjoy, and I must thank you for listing Life After Money among the ones you enjoy. Ilona is awesome and seems like such a fun person.

    I subscribed to the Tightwad Gazette back when it was still a newsletter, and it absolutely changed my life. I had always been somewhat frugal, but what I learned from the Tightwad Gazette and the internet made it possible for us to live a comfortable life on small salaries.

    For other books, I particularly like “Your Money or Your Life” by Vickie Robin and Joe Dominguez, and “Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter” by Elaine St. James. At least half of the tips for simplifying are also very frugal.

  2. I have also been really inspired by Amy. I received the complete Tightwad Gazette for my birthday last year ans it has been invaluable in keeping me motivated!

  3. The Tightwad Gazette books were my inspiration and starting point back in the 1990s and then a friend told me about the MSE website and I was off! Between the two sources, I devised a strategy that worked for us, and we haven’t looked back since, really. I would say that having a frugal friend or two for support and encouragement helps too, but forums can be a great source of support too, if real life friends really don’t get where you are going!

  4. I suppose these days most of my frugal inspiration comes from the internet. I read relevant books if the library stocks them (reservation fee being £1 I don’t tend to do this!). I think when you are put in circumstances where frugality is necessary then you learn an awful lot by just having to! I keep my eyes and ears open everywhere for ideas on how to do things cheaper. I always ask myself – “do I need this?” before buying, however little the thing costs, and every penny I value. Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.

    I shall look at the Skinflint Dad blog (have signed up) as I realized the other day that most blogs I follow are written by women, so it will be nice to read something written by a man.

  5. I like Your Money Or Your Life too and was one of the first frugal things I came across. Long before I started reading blogs I was on a few forums which were an amazing source of tried and tested tips and really helpful people. Then of course there is MSE.

  6. Have been through all your archives this year and enjoyed them thoroughly! I really like “The Tightwad Gazette”, “Your money or your life”, “One hundred dollars a month” blog, “The Non-consumer advocate” (blog and excellent FB group), “The Frugal Girl” blog, “Frugalwoods” blog, “Frugal Queen” and another lovely UK blog “Just a little less”, plus, as an Aussie I can’t go past Rhonda at “Down to Earth” (she has a couple of books published as well and hosts a lovely forum.
    Cheers, Loretta

  7. The Complete Tightwad Gazette was a life saver when my husband was made redundant from his well-paying job 15 years ago. Our income dropped by 2 thirds and we had 5 children to support. I’d never really budgeted much before but the Gazette helped me look at life and money in a whole new way. I’m not as frugal as I once was but many of the habits I picked up then are still with me today, and whenever money is extra tight and I need a boost in my determination to live well within our budget I get my well-thumbed copy of the Gazette out for inspiration. Frugal Queen is also an inspiration, as is Ilona.

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