By Susan Flynn
Small changes can net huge rewards, but it's not easy to change old habits. You work hard, you're tired, why not order takeout?
Allen Clark understands. She used to eat out every night before having kids. Now she runs a Web site, www.momadvice.com, devoted to promoting frugal living. But, never wanting to feel deprived, she and her husband earmark a small amount of money each month for indulgences, like an occasional Starbucks coffee.
"That allowance makes all the difference," she says.
For many, frugality becomes a more satisfying way of life. It's empowering to save money and feel in charge. Fulreader says she may get some ribbing from friends, but her strategies for cutting costs are now "second nature."
It's not all that hard to hang jeans out to dry or complete errands on the way home from work to save money on gas, agrees Eckel.
"I don't think I know anything more than anyone else," she says. "I just do it."
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The Frugal Philosophy