Pinching pennies. Living frugally. Being thrifty. Whatever you like to call it, living a life with less, whether out of necessity or desire, is extremely beneficial.
In many ways, I’m super glad that my husband and I started our marriage out as two broke college kids who then welcomed twins about 18 months later as we graduated college. The first six to seven years of our marriage were marred by constant financial difficulties as we lived paycheck to paycheck, or survived off student loans and government assistance as well as the generosity of friends and family.
Even though we earn more money right now, we still have some BIG goals of my husband finishing his PhD (we have to pay tuition out of pocket each semester), paying off my student loans and then his (very large) student loans aggressively (like in 5 years), avoiding credit card debt like the plague (because we really don’t want to go there again!), and eventually owning our own home.
We will never meet these goals if we spend every penny we make, throw money away on things we don’t need at the moment, and don’t create a great budget.
But, honestly, we’re still not financial pros. Not by a long-shot. We still need a lot of help.
That’s why I’m sharing these amazing resources with you. Yes, even though they all cost a (little) bit of money upfront. Sometimes it worth the investment because it means we’re more invested in the outcome, more invested in not wasting the money we just spent!
The good news is that they are all part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this year so you can snag each of these for a tremendous bargain (in addition to 98 more amazing resources to improve your home, marriage, parenting, cooking, and faith). More details below!
Best Thrifty Living eBooks
I looked over each of these thrifty living financial resources and tell you what is so great about each one.
31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero by Ruth Soukup of LivingWellSpendingLess.com – $7.99
I have heard of this No-Spend month-long challenge multiple times now (I think it’s usually issued as a challenge in October of each year by Ruth on her blog) but have never done it. Maybe I’m too chicken. Or it seems too impossible. But, thousands of families have done it. The benefits? It helps you take a long hard look at your spending habits, saves you a month of impulse buys and purchases, and can help you reset your budget.
It starts with planning out your meals for the month (something I’m terrible at), establishing ground rules for the challenge, and committing to actually doing it. Then she moves on to tackling your cleaning and organizing (we tend to spend money on things we forget we already have!), getting creative and thrifty with the stuff you already have in order to up-cycle or improve something else, and lastly ways to earn money and get free stuff.
How to Coupon Effectively: How to Save $5,200 per year in just 2 Hours Per Week by Lauren Greutman of IamthatLady.com – $9.99
Lauren cut her grocery budget down from $1000/month to $200 per month and kept it that low for 3 years while she and her husband worked their way out of some serious debt. Her secret? Coupons. She regularly teaches couponing seminars and is spilling all her secrets in this ebook!
She guarantees that in just two hours (or less) per week you can save 50% off your grocery bill. She breaks down all the coupon lingo, where to find coupons, how to read the fine print, organize your coupons, store coupon policies, and finally how to budget it all together and save the big bucks!
31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses: Less Stress, More Savings by Kalyn Broke of CreativeSavingsBlog.com – $7.99
The truth is more income doesn’t solve underlying spending issues! This ebook is perfect for tackling everyday expenses – food, rent/mortgage, utility bills, phone bills, buying big ticket items, insurance, car and gasoline expenses, eating out, medical expenses, gifting, personal care, and more!
Each chapter has three action steps you can take right away to reduce your expenses as well as many additional resources. She also lists multiple saving ideas for each item so you can apply the savings tips that work best for your situation. It’s a very impressive guide to saving money, even if some of it will take more than 31 days.
Thrifty and Thriving: More Life for Less Money by Victoria Huizinga of SnailPaceTransformations.com – $5.99
I am biased about how great this book is because I know Victoria personally (through blogging events) from when I lived in Indianapolis. We’re personal friends on Facebook and I may have helped her name this book! She has embraced a thrifty lifestyle, long after necessity dictated she do so and is completely debt-free, including the house.
This book is all about 40 thrifty principles that set truly frugal people apart from the pack by covering what “Thrifty People Are,” what “Thrifty People Do”, and what “Thrifty People Know.” It’s her belief that by adopting these (over time) will help you make these changes for good as they make a lifestyle change.
A Zero Budget Christmas: How to Make Christmas Memorable with Little Money by Kristen Glover – $8.99
Christmas is hard when you don’t have any money set aside because it isn’t in the budget, because you just can’t afford gifts, unless you take on credit card debt you can’t pay off the next month. I loved Kristen’s heartfelt ebook, sharing her gut-wrenching experiences at Christmastime with three young kids. She shares some practical advice for moms who are struggling to make ends meet find some money (and perspective) in regards to this gifting holiday.
Her goal of a “zero budget Christmas” is not to have you spend zero dollars, but spend zero money from your existing funds. I love this idea! It’s very similar to how we save for Christmas all year without adjusting our budget! I highly recommend it if you are in this situation as it’s packed with so many great tips!
Real Life Money Plan: Designing a Money Plan to Fit Your Real Life by Jessi Fearon – $49
What I really like about this video course (that comes with a printable workbook for goal tracking and journaling), is that she walks you step by step along the way of setting up a budget! I am not great at budgeting so it’s so perfect for me. She also helps you figure out how to get going on an emergency fund and how to kill the debt monster. The videos are never more than 5-10 minutes long, and she’s highly engaging! Jessi was once at rock-bottom in debt, so she understands how tough it can be!
How to Be Frugal: A Guided 10 Unit Course That Will Teach You How to be Frugal Online, In the Store, and In Your Home by Jennifer Roskamp of TheIntentionalMom.com – $99
This video course with supportive worksheets and bonus materials covers how to feed your large family for less with wise eating habits, conquering your pantry and freezer, learning store strategies to optimize savings, manage coupon use, and becoming a shopping ninja. She also covers saving money in your home, and focusing on your financial goals.
Each video is about 10-16 minutes with her talking to you and explain and encourage you at each step. She suggests completing a unit a week (there are 10 units total). She encourages and explains how to use the cash envelope system even with buying things online!
Financial Goals Workbook by Krystal Salder of LittleLightonaHill.com – $10
If all you need are some printable worksheets to help you track your financial goals and dreams, your debts, balances, and priorities, this is a great little workbook to pick up.
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