Hello and Welcome to The Smart and Frugal Path!
I created this blog because people were always asking me how I do the things I do. How do you save so much money? How are you able to take those vacations? How do you spend so little on groceries? I figured if my friends wanted to know, others might too.
Another reason for starting the blog is because I would like to travel full time or at least for a month or so at a time in a few years. The blog will help keep me accountable to continue the journey towards making that reality.
These are two subjects I’m passionate about, travel and saving money. Conflicting? Maybe not.
My Adventurous Side
Being in my mid 40s, I’m at the point of looking at my life and thinking about how I want to spend the rest of it. I discovered experiences and enjoying the time I have is more important to me than wealth or possessions. I don’t want to do what everyone else does just because everyone else does it.
I love to travel and explore new places and hate working all year just to be able to take a week or two vacation. Waiting to travel until retirement doesn’t sound good either. Why risk it never happening because of poor health by the time you’re finally able to retire?
Therefore, my plan is to sell my house and move into a small place and travel for a few months at a time in something mobile like a van or small RV. Or I may just skip the residence completely and travel full time.
Basically, I want to live in a van down by the river.
My Responsible Side
I am a single mom of two really great kids. The oldest just moved off to college and my youngest will be going in two years. Staying in my house so the kids could remain in the community and school they’ve grown up in has been important to me. I didn’t want them to drown in student loans for college so I started saving for it years ago.
I’ve followed a written budget for over ten years. I don’t have any debt except my house, pay cash for cars and pay my credit card in full every month. I save for retirement, invest and always keep an emergency fund of at least six months living expenses available.
I manage all this having never made more than $65k a year and never having the luxury of a 401k with an employer. By day, I’m a clinical social worker and I currently only work part time so I make less than I’ve made in nine years, but I like part time. I value enjoying my time more than wealth.
Blending Smart & Frugal with Adventure & Travel
This site is about both parts of me and maybe you, too.
If you’re interested in how to save money being frugal in your everyday life you can find tips and ideas in Frugal Living. This won’t be a deals or coupon kind of place though. I share things I do to save money, what’s worth your time and what isn’t. I have no problem paying for things I feel are worth the money they cost. I do have a problem paying for something that a much less expensive alternative will work just as well.
Combining frugal living and increasing your income at the same time is the quickest way to achieve your goals, whether they’re responsible or adventurous. It’s how I am able to do things like take my kids on vacation every year and pay cash for cars. You’ll find ideas to increase your income in the Earning Money section.
Learn how to create a budget, keep money available for unexpected expenses, plan for retirement and college and reduce monthly bills in Personal Finance. I get uber responsible here as I share what has worked for me.
My adventurous side is mostly about travel but the responsible side of me means I travel smart and frugally. Find tips for traveling on a budget, with kids, camping and different destinations in Frugal Travel.
I share ideas on developing a frugal mindset, my road towards downsizing, motivation and inspiration to keep you moving towards your goals and dreams in the Inspiration section.
Besides traveling, I also enjoy some crafty things like sewing and knitting. I usually make things for charities I support because I really don’t have much of a need for anything.
I love to read comments from readers so please always leave a comment, I read every one! If you have any questions, just let me know.