Serious Savings Without the Sacrifice – Part 1

*** I wrote this post on Sep 26, 2014. Shortly afterwards, the roommate I talk about in this article (who was actually my childhood best friend) was killed in a horrible car accident. I hadn’t seen her in 14 years, something I now deeply regret. While this article is probably a rehash of many things you already know, I thought I would publish today. I haven’t written in a long time as I had a very difficult time with my friend’s death and I also started working on an Etsy shop, which I will write about another day. ***

In 1993, as a new University student, I made plenty of money sacrifices. I had $800 per month to spend. The first $354 went to my portion of rent, the rest went to school supplies, utilities, clothing, and food. My bank account was often down to $1 by the end of the month. The only strategic money move I made was to get an account with the bank whose bank machines could disburse $5 bills.

My roommate, who was the Queen of Bargains, would buy Tomato Soup in bulk. We would sprinkle on a little dried basil, toast up some bread, and have this fabulous feast for dinner in our fancy 2-bedroom apartment. On Friday nights, we’d trade clothes and get ourselves prettied up in our tiny bathroom for a night on the town. With $20, our IDs, and a bus pass in our jeans pocket, we’d take the 30 minute bus ride downtown arriving early to cash in on the $2 bottles of Molson Golden. Three drinks later, we’d be dancing the night away, making sure to keep an eye on our watches so we didn’t miss the last bus home at midnight. Later I’d crash into bed with at least $10 still tucked safely away in my back pocket.

I’m sure you have similar stories from your youth. Fun times with very little money. But you wouldn’t want to keep living this way with a $40,000 per year income, would you? Now that you’re an adult, you deserve more. Much more. You deserve a life with zero sacrifices.

The first question everyone asks me when I meet them is: “Who instigated this lifestyle, was it you or your husband?” When I respond with “My husband”, the next question is: “How hard was it to make all those sacrifices?” My answer is: “Not hard at all”. And here’s why.

These sacrifices are not sacrifices at all. They are in fact Life Enhancers. I went from doing what everyone else was doing and thinking it was making me happy, to having real experiences that were making me much happier.

Let’s start with two easy, often talked about, examples:

Your Daily Latte Fix

Everyone talks about the latte. Some say it’s too expensive and you should cut it out. Others say: “You should spend money on what you love!” I say, you can do both. I’m not about to give up my latte unless I have to, but there’s more to a latte than just a quick coffee fix. There’s more to it than idling in a lineup of car clowns, dishing out $4 a pop (I had to look this up), taking sips from you paper cup while driving to the office, and then finishing up your cold cup of coffee while sitting at your desk in front of the computer. Your experience can be much richer.

A latte (or any kind of coffee or tea) is best enjoyed in a ceramic mug while sitting undisturbed in a quiet room with the sun beaming down on you. Or, it is best enjoyed (still in a ceramic mug) while sitting and chatting with a good friend. This is a sit down and enjoy slowly kind of event. This is how I have my latte every morning. After the hustle and bustle of getting our son ready for school, I sit quietly on the couch in a sunbeam and think about my day. Sometimes I pick up a pen and write a few things down. I also occasionally enjoy a second (gasp!) afternoon latte with MMM – we sip and nibble on a cheese and veggie platter while talking about fun stuff.

Now, would it make any sense to interrupt all this by having to get into a car and drive to a latte making factory to purchase said latte? NO! In fact, it would be absolutely ridiculous.

That’s why we make our lattes at home. You can do it too. It’s much cheaper. Or, you can try your employer’s free coffee, if it’s available. You might even be able to talk your employer into getting an inexpensive espresso machine for the office. “Think of the morale boost!”, you might say.

MMM recently calculated that each big mug of fancy latte that we make at home costs $0.34 (our machine is a $50 Mr. Coffee espresso machine, similar to this one, which has worked just fine for many years).

Coffee Calculation:

One gallon (128 oz) of  local natural whole milk costs us $3.75. We use 6 oz for 1 latte, so that $0.18 for the milk.

We use 26 grams of coffee per batch, but that’s for 2 of us, so 13 grams each. A  2.5 lb bag of fair trade, organic, dark roast coffee beans at Costco runs $14.  That works out to $0.0124 per gram of coffee, so the coffee costs $0.16.

While I will occasionally go out for coffee with a friend, when I do, I make sure that the experience is worthwhile. The place I go to is locally owned and the shop owner is usually around chatting to people. I often bump into folks I know from my community, and I have a really nice experience. The coffee place is also just around the corner from the library, which brings me to the next easy way to save…

Before: driving to the coffee shop, sitting in line, paying $4.00, hurriedly sipping coffee in cardboard cup, finishing cold coffee at your desk, throwing out your empty cup and wishing for more.

After: making coffee at home, silently cradling your warm ceramic latte bowl while sitting in a sunbeam, enjoying every sip of your coffee while reflecting on your day, start your day rested and invigorated, have an afternoon latte as well… why not? It’s only $0.34.

Cost benefit: assuming you buy 5 days a week, that’s $1040 vs $88.40 per year without even counting interest on savings or other coffee shop purchases like the occasional chocolate croissant. Also see MMM’s article The Coffee Machine that can pay for a University Education.

Reading Your Way Broke

Besides good coffee, my other weakness is books. Looking at my Amazon order history (which is really fun to do, by the way), I can see that I bought $280 worth of books in 2001, over $500 in 2002, $180 in 2003, and $136 in 2004 (ironically, one of the books was “Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic”). That’s just on Amazon. I have no idea what my spending was at bookstores those years. Sometime in 2004, MMM and I sat down and had “The Talk” about accelerating our savings rate to reach Retirement faster and it shows in my Amazon Order History. My book spending went down to $0 in 2005. In fact, I only bought 2 things on Amazon that entire year.

How was I able to cut my book spending down to zero and not make any sacrifices? The answer is obvious: The Library, a magical place where you can get all the books you want for free! While the answer is obvious, it wasn’t to me. The library was a place of my youth where I peered over books to look at boys, passed notes to my friends, and tried to write my research papers without copying anything from all those books.

In fact, it turns out that the answers to spending problems are often found by looking back to our youth. For MMM, going to the library was an obvious thing, but I had never even thought of it. So, we got a library card and started going and I was hooked right from the beginning.

Libraries are fantastic places, often full of history, beautiful architecture, and neverending rows of books to browse. Even if your library is small, there is usually plenty of fun stuff around: areas for kids, community events, CDs, DVDs, free e-books, magazines, etc. While some might feel libraries are a thing of the past, I think they are our future. Just as some congregate on Sundays for various religious events to feel part of a community, I congregate at the library and get the same result. I see people I know, check out the latest in historical fiction, and watch my son meticulously pick out books. It’s not unusual for me to practically fall off my bike on the way home from the library due to the excessive number of books I’ve checked out. At our library you can check out 40 books at a time. Imagine picking up 40 random books for free and keeping them for 6 weeks. Six weeks is a long time, friends. One time we wrapped up library books for Christmas just for fun and after 6 weeks we would have been done with them anyway. Then you return them and you can take out 40 more! It’s a kind of abundance that is anything but sacrifice.

On top of all this, our library has an excess of books, so they often have books for sale. At $0.50 per paperback and $1.00 per hardcover, it’s close to the cheapest used bookstore you will find.

You’ll never look at those glossy bookstores the same way again. It’s like a fake paradise with a coffee shop attached. You want the real thing, the history, the community, the abundance of free books. You want to hang out for hours and talk to people, librarians that have a passion for books, organizers of community events, let your kid try out the educational computer games. There’s no comparison. You will be a convert for life.

Before: driving to the bookstore full of frantic shoppers you don’t know, being upsold on things like journals, pens, and coffee, finally choosing a hardcover for $20 + tax, going home and reading the whole thing in one sitting, putting the book on your shelf to collect dust forever.

After: biking to the local library, read the notice board and find out about a street party this weekend, pick up your book on hold, check out the kids section and grab 5 promising titles, browse the do-it-yourself section and pick up a few books on home renovations, pick up a few new science fiction novels for yourself, self check-out, browse the used books for sale and pick up a $0.50 classic for a friend’s upcoming birthday, bike home feeling like you hit the jackpot.

Cost Benefit: depending on how much of a bookaholic you are, this single much more pleasant experience, can save you thousands of dollars per year. I do pay the occasional small late fee at my library (due to my own negligence, as they automatically e-mail me when my books are due), but I think of it as a donation to my library.

We’re just getting started here. Stay tuned for more.

{ 42 comments… add one }

  • Nate February 20, 2015, 9:42 am

    Thank you Mrs. Money Mustache! As the instigator husband in my relationship, I love hearing from the female perspective that becoming more frugal is an enriching, uplifting experience. Looking forward to the rest of your thoughts on the subject!

    Nate from Denver

  • LennStar February 20, 2015, 10:08 am

    Its good that you can write about your friend now. *hug*
    It just shows how dangerous cars are :(

    Uh, the library. As I kid I was going there once a month and always putting my backpack full of books. Remembering it I was way better in using the space in the backpack for books then I am today with the bag when I go shopping. Strange…
    I run out of interesting books there after 6 years lol. Now I take only 2-3 a month.

    For all the other bibliophile out there, 2 must-have links:

  • Nodaclu February 20, 2015, 12:17 pm

    Hi Mrs. MM. I hope time is healing your wounds. I lost my dad unexpectedly 10 months ago, and though it isn’t easy, time moves forward, and so must I.

    I do hope you start writing here regularly. As a former internet marketer, I get the need for the MMM character, brand and style, but I much prefer your writing style and approach.

    Our local library system is a travesty – closed two days a week, and limited hours on a third day a week. But that’s an improvement from a few years ago, when budget cuts meant the local libraries were only open 3 days a week. As our demographics continue to change here in northern California, it seems that there is waning support for libraries.

    But with that said, I need to get back into mine. I miss reading, but I’m just not willing to spend big bucks for books. Thank you for the reminder! :-)

  • Mr. 1500 February 20, 2015, 12:29 pm

    “Just as some congregate on Sundays for various religious events to feel part of a community, I congregate at the library and get the same result. ”

    I feel the same, but even more, the library is my church. I go there to elevate my understanding and knowledge of the world. I could live without TV for the rest of my life, no problem. I would never want to live without reading.

    The first place we went after we initially toured our town was the library. A town that has its priorities in order will have a good library.

  • MJB February 20, 2015, 12:47 pm

    Nice work on this post! My wife gets all the credit for our library habit. One benefit of having to actually return the book, is that it subtly pushes you to actually read-the-damn-book. After taking three years to finally finish War and Peace, I could use some librarian enforcement in my reading life. On the coffee front, we found that aero-press ($25) makes wayyyy better coffee than most uber-pricey coffee makers hawked at Williams Sonoma, and we use Costco for the beans. You’re spot-on with the cold cardboard coffee – I’d never stopped to consider that aspect of chaincoffeedom.

  • The Roamer February 20, 2015, 1:39 pm

    I’m not a coffee drinker but I get your point. For me a big shift was one of my goals.

    The idea of having a home library was a life goal, I didn’t want an extra room for guest I wanted a library. But from reading mmm and the minimalist I changed.

    I have always loved the library. I use to know where all the sections , sheet music, time travel, math… It was lots of fun.

    We now go to the library about once per week, we also bike the 3 miles. One time we drove and my son got so upset.

    Going the the library really is no sacrifice .
    Thanks Mrs.MM. can’t wait to hear more from you

  • Ineke February 21, 2015, 7:59 am

    First of all, I am a huge fan of MMM en recently found your website, so i am going to read ‘back’ here. :) Although I am not from the US but from the Netherlands, I have much fun reading all the artikels. Not everything applies to me but that does not matter, the fun of reading is enough. About the coffee and the library, I also do this all the time the same way. It’s beyond me why people wanna buy books when there is such an abundance of them so close by and at such little cost. The books I have at home I read a last time and then give them away. More space around the house. ;)

  • Katie February 21, 2015, 1:12 pm

    Just discovered your blog and glad you decide d to start one.. I missed your guest posts on mmm. First on foremost I am sorry for your loss.
    I am a bookaholoc and had a similar renewed relationship with the local library. It is such an amazing place. Where else can you take things for free with no collateral ? I have a kindle so I often frequently scan amazon for their free downloads every now and then they have some good ones ( nit to mention all the classics are free.) Look forward to following your blog!

  • copycat2b February 21, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I can’t believe that you have your own blog.Just read it all now and LOVE it.We females need to get our”female take” on how great and rewarding a frugal life can be out to others.

    I have to be honest from reading all the anti-consumer blogs one would often think that the males are dominant in this movement just dragging their female partners along.
    I think women have a huge part to play in getting the message out there,particularly to other women.You are a fabulous authentic writer.I could read your stuff forever,especially the bits about the challenges of being a parent- sort of like Penelope Trunk except a bit more sane(just joking as I love her fearless alternative views on everything).

    Please,please keep writing lots more posts,we frugal females need to hear confirmation that how we are living is really the best way to live especially for our kids.I am a major Myers Briggs fan and am dying to know what personality type you are,definitely a lot of caring and feeling in their.

    Please just put writing a short blog post into your morning schedule,you said you love writing and it is definitely “giving back” for the great lifestyle you live.

  • Li February 21, 2015, 6:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing Mrs. MM. Beyond saving money, making your own lattes and using the library are just sensible. I look forward to reading more of your wise wisdom.

  • Marie February 22, 2015, 4:00 pm

    I’m so sorry to learn about your friend. I can imagine how tough it must be for you.

    Yep, I’m with you re coffee and books. I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve gone out for coffee…it can’t compare to my favorite locally-roasted coffee beans with real milk. I also love the whole idea of borrowing books and DVDs rather than having them accumulate in the house. At the rate I read, it would probably add up to the equivalent of a hefty monthly utility bill.

  • Amy February 22, 2015, 6:53 pm

    Love this post! We buy excellent coffee from a local natural food store, but I always felt like it was a “treat”, and would be similar in price to a small brewed cup from a Starbucks. Right? Wrong! We did the same math and, yeppers, about
    $0.30/cup. I feel silly for not calculating this sooner. But at least now I know how much I’m saving each morning I fill up my to-go mug at home w my fair-trade, locally-roasted beans. Plus, no more waiting in line. Win-win-win.

  • Ms RigMore February 23, 2015, 1:37 pm

    I stumbled onto your blog a couple of years ago and from time to time in the last year I have stopped by your blog to see if you added anything new. It has been quiet for a long time and thought you might have found that blogging was not you cup of tea (or $0.34 latte). Your reasons were far more profound than I assumed, and I am sorry for you loss.
    I am glad you are back, and hope to enjoy more of your posts in the future. The information you provide reminds me that the more scenic route in life is not the overcrowded consumer highway, but all those other little paths that are so easy to overlook if you never stop to think for a moment.

  • Elaine Ee February 23, 2015, 6:02 pm

    Thanks for writing this and I can’t to see what else you have to share.

  • Amanda February 26, 2015, 7:02 am

    I’m so excited to here from the Mrs.! I got hooked on your husband’s website last year. You both are so motivating to me and my husband. Can’t wait to hear what you both have planned next.

  • Kim March 2, 2015, 3:55 am

    Thank you for writing about the library. It’s one of our favorite places to go, and many of our friends don’t know of the benefits. I checked our property tax bill and we’re already paying about $70/year towards the library, and with the amount that we use our library, I’d say we are saving about 10x that price with books, movies, events… The only time I buy a book now is if our library doesn’t carry a title, then I buy it used on Amazon, read it, and donate it to the library when I’m done. I love all the free events for kids – ours has movie nights, crafternoons, story time, magicians, reading with puppies, and some awesome high-tech stuff like a 3-D printer, a photo studio and a flight simulator! With the wall-to-wall selection of DVDs, the only reason we keep a Netflix subscription anymore is for their original series, we’re cutting out the DVD-by-mail. Our library also has a program for kids where if they check out 5 books in the summer, they get a free ticket to Legoland.

    I’d love to read more about breaking the Amazon habit. For us it isn’t books, it’s random “shopping” (according to Mint) that we don’t remember what we bought by the end of the month when we do our spending tracking (looking back it’s things like flashlights for camping, vegan protein powder, a medical ear scope, bachelorette party souvenirs). $30 here, $50 there – it’s like the online Walmart where you walk in looking for something specific, then you walk out with 3 other things b/c you wanted the free shipping and needed a minimum purchase. I would like to delete my account and pretend that online shopping doesn’t exist anymore, but it’s often the easiest path of obtaining stuff with a toddler in tow.

  • Sandy March 4, 2015, 4:46 am

    My weakness used to be magazines. And I’d buy (and read) like 4 every week at about $ 5,00 each! Then one day my husband commented: “Are you reading one of your expensive add-azines again? Why do you pay for such crap?”

    I stared at him, then at the magazine and started looking it over with a critical eye. He was right: the thing was basically a stack of paper filled with adds. Less than 20% of the pages were actually covered with articles and of those, only about half were really interesting to me.

    Well, long story short: last year I spend about $ 10,00 for the whole year on magazines and I read the rest at the library. It turned out the library subscribes to most my favourite magazines and I can just stroll over there and read them for free!! This year the goal is to pay $ 0,00 for magazines the entire year!!

  • Amy March 5, 2015, 3:53 pm

    Hi Mrs. MM! Thank you so much for this post. I really appreciate you sharing after your loss, I hope that time has helped lessen the severity of the pain. I also have an issue with Amazon, particularly the kindle books as they allow me instant access to a book without having to leave the house. It’s unbelievable how much money you’ll spend when you just have to make a few clicks. :( My local library has a digital library in addition to the print books, I find it absolutely wonderful! I’m from Billings, MT and they recently built a brand new library and many people bemoaned it as being unnecessary but I am finally now more excited about going there than I am Barnes & Noble. Thank you again for the post, I love your approach and the helpful woman’s perspective of the mustachian lifestyle.

  • Alyssa @ RenaissanceRunnerGirl March 6, 2015, 3:22 pm

    The book habit is really difficult for me – but I look at my bookshelf and see that although there are certainly many books on there that I read and re-read at least once a year or so, for every book in that category there are three or four that I read once and stuck on the shelf. And I could go to the library and take out a copy of the ones I re-read a lot…

  • Rebekka March 15, 2015, 6:11 am

    I just wanted to say how wonderfully you write. It is interesting while being very practical and down-to-earth. I sat down this morning to connect more with a community of like-minded people, and your blog was exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  • thejuntotimes March 16, 2015, 7:21 am

    Libraries!! Oh How great they are!!! Shopping malls? Pah!! Spending a Saturday walking around the library is a good replacement for a shopping mall.

    Coffee shops are OK occasionally, as long as you stay in or take your own cup, reather than using one of those environment damaging disposable paper cups. The Latte at home option sounds appealing though, I will be giving that a try!! :D

  • Sherri March 16, 2015, 8:23 am

    Love your blog

  • Marcia April 2, 2015, 8:34 pm

    I didn’t actually GET the coffee habit until I turned 40 (in Hawaii). I never really did have a starbucks habit, which is good.

    But bookstores…my husband and I had our first date, and many many more, at a bookstore. Luckily (or unluckily?) there aren’t any bookstores in our town anymore, except one or two small independent ones. We do love to support them, but mostly by buying an occasional gift card.

    I occasionally buy a used book at a local used book store (3 per year?) I get books as gifts for birthday/ Christmas. Otherwise, my Amazon book “shopping” usually involves the free books, or occasionally, the $0.99 books. I do enjoy the library occasionally too, but I have quite a backlog of free books. If there is a book that I *really* want to read and not electronically, I can do inter-library loan for $1.50.

  • Henrike April 3, 2015, 1:09 pm

    I am striving to live a simpler life style and reduce my debt. Wish I had today’s insights much earlier – but better now than never :-)

  • JoeP April 11, 2015, 3:01 pm

    I’m a frugal person but books are my Achilles heel. I’m a voracious reader since I’ve been a child. I read at least 40 books a year. Most of the titles I’m interested in are either not available via the library or are have a 6 to 10 deep waiting list; this scenario sends me to Amazon kindle to get my fix. I read mostly investment, economic, or psychology books with sci/fi and philosophy sprinkled in. I also have a book exchange program with a few coworkers.

    I also read Mr Money Mustache religiously because he’s funny and has many great ideas on how to live an enjoyable and frugal life. I never knew Mrs MM had a blog of her own until now. I really enjoy Mrs MM’s writing style and her viewpoints regarding frugality. I can’t wait for the 2nd installment to this article. Go go Mrs MM!

  • Amy K / RelaxedGal on the MMM forums May 4, 2015, 1:12 pm

    This post prompted me to drag out my espresso maker a month or so ago. Thank you, it was nice to make myself a fancy drink. I got out the flavored syrup and everything!

    I usually drink tea, but occasionally make a pot of decaf coffee on the weekend and my 4 year old loves her “coffee,” which is 75% milk. I made her a latte, figuring she would love it, but no. Too fancy for her. “I don’t like milk with bubbles.” What?

    So the espresso machine went back in the attic. Maybe I’ll dig it out some day to make my husband a “London Fog” – his addiction at the local coffee shop, it’s Earl Grey tea, vanilla syrup, and steamed milk.

  • Mel May 29, 2015, 8:50 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    This was a great post. So many of the best things in life are cheap or free. Thanks for the reminder.

    I’d love if you could write something about your exercise gym and work out routines. I’m getting a small home gym set up and I’m interested in work out plans that use just a treadmill and free weight set. I’m so tired of cardio (I ran a marathon four years ago) and I’m starting to lift weights and do hiit workouts now instead.

  • Mary June 12, 2015, 11:29 am

    I’m downsizing so have boxes and boxes of BOOKS to deal with! It has underscored that I still buy too many – despite loving my library and using it all the time. Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder that I do not need to OWN the book in order to experience the book.

    So true for so many areas of our lives. I am trying my best to lighten my load (hard with two pack rat kids) and reduce my amount of stuff.


  • Future planning June 16, 2015, 1:17 pm

    Kia ora Mrs Money Moustache,

    I really love your words and those of your husband. They are affecting our life here for our small rural family in NZ hugely, thank you. This seems very random but I am wanting to stop having children, and i read MMM’s blog on the one child family and loved it. We have two girls and one on the way. That’s it for me especially looking at our plans for retirement. Its really personal, but what is your method of keeping your family a one child family? I am searching for a natural method but am now strongly considering the pill because so far our “natural” method, resulted in two gorgeous babies! lol, I have to get some more alternatives. I totally understand if this is completely not something you want to answer. Many thanks for reading.

    • Mrs. MM June 24, 2015, 9:04 am

      Nice to hear from you! I love New Zealand and hope to go back one day! As for your personal question, a vasectomy will usually do the trick. :)

  • Lisa June 20, 2015, 4:09 pm

    As a wife and mother, I love your female perspective on frugality leading to financial freedom for families. I am a fan of the MMM blog and am so excited to discover that Mrs. MM has a blog too. Looking forward to your next post full of great tips! Thank you for encouraging others to think differently about saving for early retirement and embracing a positive lifestyle.

  • Deb June 24, 2015, 8:06 am

    This is awesome! I was just talking to my friend yesterday about how much I love the library. Growing up, my dad used to take me to his favorite libraries in town and now I go constantly as an adult. I’m a teacher so I use my vacations to read and check out 5 or 6 books at a time. Has saved me so much money and I feel like a kid in a candy store every time I go!

  • Bethany August 2, 2015, 9:26 am

    So sorry to hear about your friend.

    Love that you are providing us with another perspective of frugality- more good blog reading to keep me on track! I am learning new habits and coming back and reading the blog posts helps me. I used to be the same coffee buying, book buying person. I used to drink my coffee on the run, now I’m up an hour earlier and enjoying the coffee at my home, in a ceramic mug, although many times I am doing some work from home at the same time before leaving for work. Still much more enjoyable.

    And for those that may not realize, many libraries have grants for “inter-library loans.” Our library is small and doesn’t have many of the titles I want to read, but I can go online to the Michigan Educational Library system and put in a request for the book I would like, and it is mailed to my library. The library calls me when it’s in and I pick it up. Return it to the library when I am done and they mail it back. It’s amazing! The only books I buy now are reference books I want to have on hand or a great photo book, and these are few and far between.

  • Sweta August 16, 2015, 9:57 am

    I listened to your interview with Farnoosh on “So Money” Good job!

    Also, please update your blog soon. 😀

    • Mrs. MM August 29, 2015, 1:37 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked the podcast. Despite what I said on the podcast, I have yet to update the blog – thanks for the little push! :)

  • K-ice August 29, 2015, 1:25 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    We are about the same age and I have lost 3 friends too soon.

    1 car crash
    1 bike crash
    1 cancer

    With the loss of the most recient friend, about a month ago, it is a reminder to live you life enjoying friends and family and not get sucked into a spendy consumer lifestyle.

    MrsMM you are doing a great job to help people live better lives.


    • Mrs. MM August 29, 2015, 1:36 pm

      That’s terrible… so sorry. Thanks for your kind words. Day to day, it’s hard to remember to focus on the things that are most important, until the day comes that we regret that we didn’t. A tough lesson to learn, but at least it can be carried into the future.

  • Rob in Munich October 21, 2015, 2:26 am

    wow you guys don’t post too often, good thing you have the forums to keep me busy

    I love reading but the problem is living abroad I don’t really have access to librarys, I did have a YNAB category to buy kindle books but I found out most books can be read online for free! I’m currently half way through Under The Dome (watching the TV series) definitely not as nice as the kindle edition but hey it’s free!

    My only real vice is magazine subscriptions, haven’t really found a decent alternative

  • Janet February 26, 2016, 12:10 am

    At our city library you can “suggest an item”. I often go and browse the glossy books at the book stores, note down the ones that look good and check if the library has it. If they don’t I “suggest” they buy it. If they choose to buy it (which they usually do) you get to be the first person to get it out = just as good as buying a new book but with the added bonus of freeness!

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