I have written a lot of blog posts on being frugal, in fact, I think most of the blog posts on Diana Met Danny have to do with being frugal. I even have a group board on Pinterest for those who are interested in living frugally. When I first started working on my blog, being frugal was extremely important to me and something that I took pride in. Being frugal was a part of my identity. Because I was frugal I saved money on a tight income and did things like pay off my credit card and my school tuition.
Now a lot of things have changed! For one, I don’t coupon anymore. Couponing took a lot of time but saved us a lot of money on food and household items so it was worth it then. Secondly, I don’t spend as much time researching how to be frugal or thrifty either.
Instead of labeling myself as a frugal blogger, which I haven’t been for a long time, I like to think of myself as being financially smart. Instead of trying to maximize every purchase that I make, I place my money where I have to and where I’d like to without feeling guilty about it. I still consider my budget when making purchases, but I’m not going to consider being frugal in every single aspect of my life. I like to spend more money where it makes sense or simply because I feel like it makes me happy.
There’s a huge difference between spending frivolously and spending money wisely. For one, my husband and I enjoy going out to eat when he’s at home and off the road. Going out to eat gives us a new change of scenery as well as something to do. We’re able to reconnect over dinner and eat some good food (hopefully) at the same time! I mean, what could be better than that?
What spurred this change has little to do with me spending more than I did before, but the fact that I just don’t want to label myself as frugal anymore. I feel like I have a much healthier relationship with money now, and I just want to enjoy myself without feeling like I’m putting myself in a category. One of my goals for this year is to give back to my church regularly as well as other organizations I believe in. I also hope that I can visit Ecuador and Colombia as well. I can’t believe that I haven’t seen my grandmother since I was in middle school and that I haven’t ever met Danny’s side of the family in person.
So yes, I still consider myself financially responsible, but no way would I say that I’m frugal. Discovering Dave Ramsey was such a blessing in our lives and following his methods to pay off debt helped us get through some rough times. I still save money where I can, and I don’t spend money that I don’t have. There are just some more splurges and luxury items added in there along the way, and I don’t feel shame or guilt about it. As long as it’s within our means, and bills are paid first I see no harm in treating ourselves every once in a while.