Hello and welcome to my blog! I'm on a mission to prove - both to myself and to others - that you don't need a lot of money to live a rich life.
Let me start by saying I'm immensely blessed. I live in Napa, California where a drive to the grocery store includes breathtaking vineyard views. I have a wonderful family with a winemaker husband and two joyful boys. Our life includes good food, great friends, and - of course - fantastic wine.
What doesn't it include? A big budget. We live in a modest fixer-upper house. We drive hand-me-down cars. We spend less than $400 a month on groceries and less than $50 a month on restaurants. We use cloth diapers. We line-dry clothes to reduce our power bill.
And you know what? I don't think we've ever been happier.
Building a family in a place with a high cost-of-living has taught us to be smart with our money - and, by virtue of that lesson, to focus on what is important in life. It's taught us that simple things - like taking a walk, sitting down to a candlelit dinner, or planting a garden - are what infuse life with joy. It's taught us to let go of "neighbor-envy" and instead be content with what we have.
I started this blog in 2012 as I began my frugal journey. At the time I thought my blog was going to be about saving money, but I've discovered that is just the tip of the iceberg.
What I've found is an incredible sense of empowerment in knowing that we can live on less. In saying "no" to our materially-obsessed culture and choosing to be happy living without rather than with. At a certain point along the way I realized that I was no longer living frugally just out of necessity, but because it was leading me toward a more simple and fulfilled life.
On these pages you can expect to find the practical things we're doing to live on a budget, as well as the big questions we're grappling with on our quest for a simpler, values-driven life. It's my hope that our journey will inspire others to embrace frugality and the Good Life that comes with it.
I hope you enjoy the Frugal Mama Files!