The Classy Frugalist

Hiatus

pig_2_spring_test

Hello readers!

I will be on a hiatus from the blog for a few months while I finish my first book, Embracing Stewardship, that I am co-writing with my friend, Chick Lane. We are hoping that the book will be in print by January 2016. In the meantime, I have a lot of editing to do to get the book ready for print, which will keep me busy and away from the blog. I look forward to writing on this blog again this winter. At that time, you’ll see new posts as well as some old posts from my first blog, frugal-community.

Enjoy Labor Day Weekend!

Grace (aka The Classy Frugalist)

 

 

 

Hello readers! I will be on a hiatus from the blog for a few months while I finish my first book, Embracing Stewardship,...

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Handling the Unexpected

A key

This past week, my husband and I received some unfortunate, unexpected financial news. The monthly payment on one of my husband’s student loans, which has been on income-based repayment, recently skyrocketed from about $15/month to about $500/month. We expected the loan payment to increase because my husband got a new, higher-paying job and we filed our taxes jointly in 2014. That being said, we never anticipated such a LARGE jump!

In anticipation of an increase in this loan payment, we had reached out to the loan servicer in February to ask for an estimate and we were told the new payment would be $60/month, which was well within our budget. After we submitted the forms for income-based repayment earlier this summer, we received a bill for over $600. We again called the loan servicer and were told that there was an error and the payment should only be $200. We resubmitted the forms and received a bill for $500, we called yet again and we were told that was correct. Needless to say, it has been a frustrating process with an unexpected, negative outcome.

So, how do you handle the financial unexpected? We know that this is not the first or the last time that we will have unexpected changes in our financial situation, so this is a good time for us to learn how to handle these things that sneak up on us. Some unexpected situations that you may run into are: car repairs, unanticipated move, increase in bills, unexpected medical expenses, etc. These might be large or small, ongoing or just one-time, but either way these unexpected expenses can through off your budget. Here are some ways to tackle these challenges:

This past week, my husband and I received some unfortunate, unexpected financial news. The monthly payment on one of my...

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Eating in Season

Food

This past week, my husband decided to go to the farmer’s market near his office and see how much produce he could get for nine dollars in cash. We were both a little skeptical about how much he would be able to get with such a small amount of cash, but we were both pleasantly surprised. He came home with a bunch of cilantro, a grocery bag of lettuce, three spring onions, a large bunch of kale and about 20 banana peppers. What an abundance of fresh produce for just nine dollars!! Needless to say, he will now be going to the farmer’s market every week.

I’ve had the wonderful challenge of figuring out various ways to use the fresh produce before it spoils which has certainly been a fun challenge. This week, I want to explore some of the fruits and veggies that are particularly fresh this summer as well as a few of my favorite recipes to use up these fresh items! Whether you are buying your produce at the farmer’s market, grocery store or using your weekly selection from your CSA, using in season produce is a great way to save money and stay healthy.

This past week, my husband decided to go to the farmer’s market near his office and see how much produce he could get fo...

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How to Host a Frugal Party

party

Summer is the season for parties, backyard barbeques and picnics, especially in Minnesota. If you are on a budget, hosting a party can feel like a daunting and expensive task. But hosting a party does not have to break the bank, it can be fun and frugal (in all of the best senses of the word). Here are a few tips to help you through a classy, frugal party:

  • Keep It Simple: A 7-course dinner may not be the best choice for a frugal party but you might choose to host a lunch picnic at a park, a small brunch at your home or a casual dessert and apps party. Whatever you do, keep it simple and cohesive. You might chose a theme to help keep center the event and keep you from splurging. You might chose a seasonal theme (summer), holiday (Christmas in July), a type of food (Italian) or something entirely different.
  • Ask Someone to Co-host: Consider inviting another person or couple to co-host the party with you, you can split the cost of food and decor. As well as share the tasks of setting up, hosting and clean up.

Summer is the season for parties, backyard barbeques and picnics, especially in Minnesota. If you are on a budget, hosti...

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