A new personal finance column from our friend Donna

By Will Chen on 22 January 2009 0 comments

Donna Freedman and Karen Datko from MSN's Smart Spending blog are two of our favorite frugal writers. That is why I'm thrilled when I found out that Donna will be writing a new column on MSN called Living With Less.

I've always thought of the Smart Spending ladies as honorary Wise Bread bloggers. The message in Donna's first column only confirmed my suspicions:

I know someone who won't answer the phone until after 9 p.m. because that's when collection agencies stop calling.

What kind of life is it when you can't even answer the phone without fear? To me, this sounds like deprivation: letting your mom bounce to voice mail because you're afraid you'll hear from creditors demanding money you can't pay.

Compared with that, eating at home and wearing hand-me-downs seems like an indulgence. There's no greater luxury than peace of mind. That's why frugality isn't a punishment and why choice doesn't always mean denial. Choosing to be frugal simply means living mindfully and staying true to your financial values and goals.

What I'd like this column to emphasize is that being frugal doesn't mean you can never spend money. What it does mean is that you should spend on the right things for the right reasons.

That sounds just like our message of living large on a small budget! In every column Donna promises to share several concrete and actionable frugal tips with her readers. These are the examples from her first column:

  • Kids want a soda? Charge them for it.
  • Spending a quality hour with you Sunday paper can pay off in a big way.
  • Use spreadsheet to track your inventories and avoid unnecessary purchases.

Keep a look out for Donna's columns on MSN Moneycentral for more tips, and don't forget to start charging your kids for their sodas!

Tagged: Frugal Living
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