One of the most important things I do to afford all of the things I want in life, but don’t need, is to pursue a frugal lifestyle year-round. Earning extra money, following savings tips, and learning about hacks really helps me afford the lifestyle I want.
Reading blogs is a great way to learn more about living within your means, and I have personally benefited from reading the expertise and experiences of others. That is part of why I started Planning the Magic– I have learned so much about saving money from my dozens of visits to Disney, and I want to share that with everyone planning their next Disney trip.
Here are the best frugal living blogs to help you save money, whether it’s for your Disney vacation, getting out of debt, or just get closer to the life you want to live.
Beginners’ Frugal Living Blogs
These are frugal living blogs that go back to basics when it comes to living on a budget, saving money, and working towards a more financially independent, stable life.
This Australian blog has a wealth of great resources to get you started on living a simpler life on a budget. Melissa Goodwin created Frugal and Thriving to share her experiences going through tough financial times during the global economic crisis, and to catalog the measures she and her family have taken to save money ever since.
There are a lot of great ideas of small ways to save money on this blog, ranging from DIY crafts and household items to budgeting worksheets. I like how diverse this blog is: Melissa has written articles on just about every frugal theme you can think of. This is a one-stop shop for any frugal projects you’ve been wanting to try out (think making your own cleaners and face masks).
If you are the type of person who loves reading lists (which you might be if you’re reading this!), then Shoestring Cottage will probably be right up your alley. This sweet blog has plenty of easy-to-read posts all about saving money, frugality, making extra money, and more.
Jane covers all the basics of living more frugally, which is super helpful if you are looking for little ways to start saving your money. Browse through lists of unnecessary things to avoid buying, ways to save money during a move, and ideas for homemade cosmetics.
My favorite part of this blog is definitely her tips on budget travelling. This blog is mostly designed for UK readers, but features information that can totally be applied no matter where you’re going.
Want more tips and tricks for vacationing on a budget? See how I managed a Key West trip for less than $600.
Does the Guardian really count as a frugal living blog? Okay, maybe not, but they have really awesome resources and they write words, it’s close enough for me.
The Guardian is a well-respected newspaper and online news source, and they publish articles on a wide variety of subjects. Helpfully, they then categorize their articles and make specific pages to log them, making it easy to just get to the articles that interest you.
I love that their articles are always very-well researched, which is sometimes lacking in personal blogs. They hit on the bigger themes of budgeting and saving money, and have access to information that you can’t just find with a Google search. Learning how to spring-clean your bank account and save money on your household bills. Getting these skills down can make a huge difference if you’re trying to live a more frugal lifestyle.
Extreme Frugal Living Blogs
For when you already know to buy secondhand clothes and not rack up credit card debt. If you’re ready to get more in-depth with your budgeting, get ready for some of these extreme frugal living blogs.
This small blog is one of my absolute favorites to read, and it is really inspiring for my own frugal lifestyle. The anonymous author lives in Toronto, which is one of the most expensive places to live in Canada. She’s a mom of several children with special needs and health complications, making frugal living a necessity for her.
She takes a clear-eyed approach to living extremely frugally, and is brutally honest about her financial situation. Her willingness to share the specifics of her life (weekly meal plans, financial wins and losses, specific figures about her income) set this blog apart from some of the more general frugal living blogs that don’t give personal examples or anecdotes to back up their claims.
Get insight into the creative ways that the author makes money from home, and the challenges she faces in taking care of herself while providing for her family. A bonus: she is an excellent writer with multiple articles published in online newspapers and blogs, so you know you’re always getting high-quality content.
We all know how much I like travelling to Disney… that’s why I live a frugal lifestyle to begin with! I really love checking this specific blog to get inspiration for budget travelling. Nora Dunn sold everything she owned in 2006 and started travelling full-time. And then she did that for 12 years.
When I first heard of this blog, I thought to myself, how is that even possible? You can definitely travel cheaply (like when you are going to Disney), but full-time travel sounds like a dream to most of us. This blog is on a mission to change that assumption and spread some really sound tips on traveling in a financially sustainable way.
Is it possible for everyone to do what Nora does? No, it’s not. I have no desire to sell all my positions for a life exclusively on the road. However, she does give many, many, many excellent tips for travel that you can use no matter your destination or duration. Avoid travel mistakes, find exclusive deals, and explore resources.
Another cool feature of The Professional Hobo? Nora features Financial Case Studies on a regular basis, in which she chats with other people who live extremely frugal lifestyles and gets their weigh-in about getting the life you want on a budget.
Even if you are not a mom, you can still benefit from this amazing blog. This is almost universally recognized as a top blog for frugal living, especially if you’re looking for some more extreme, in-depth money saving hacks. They have a strong team of writers who work to produce a lot of content all the time, letting you in to the latest coupons and lifestyle tips.
The front page of this blog is mostly filled with coupons and paid promotions, so the trick is knowing how to navigate to the good stuff. Steer to the “managing your money” tab to get resources on paying off loans and debt. My favorite posts are an entire series of 52 posts to save $100 a year. That means if you followed each and every one, you could save up to $5,200 each year!
Another great resource on this blog is the massive coupon database. I’m not an extreme couponer and probably never will be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from using coupons when you can.
If you feel like you are ready to go the distance with extreme frugal living, then you should definitely check out this blog. Run by Anna Newell Jones, you will get the free tools to go on a long-term “spending fast.” There are all sorts of money “diets” out there to help people manage their debts, but this one is by far the best I’ve seen.
The basic idea is that you completely cut out all expenses that are not necessary to life (i.e. everything but rent, food, utilities, etc.), and then keep doing that until you pay off your debt/ become financially stable. Sound daunting? I get it, me too. Fortunately, And Then We Saved has hundreds of articles available on the blog to send you in the right direction.
A Small Side Note:
I’m a fan of this blog not only because doing a spending fast (and then a spending diet) is something I really want to try, but also because it works hard to kill the idea that living a frugal lifestyle is depressing or boring or painful. Being smart with your money or living on a tight budget doesn’t necessarily mean you have to deprive yourself of the things you really love. It just means that you can learn to be smarter with your money about all the things you love, like, and don’t care about.
Financial Planning Blogs
If you are interested in extreme frugal living, then being smart with your money is obviously extremely important. Check out these blogs to learn more about being financially efficient within your frugal lifestyle.
This blog (or rather, their YouTube channel) is making major waves in the financial world, especially for millenials. Their staff makes complicated money topics easy-to-digest, particularly for those of us trying to live on a tight budget. Saving money to own property, figuring out how to pay off debt, or learning to responsibly invest in the stock market are all covered on TFD.
I’ve followed the awesome ladies running this blog for a number of years, and their tips are unexpected and helpful. There is no shortage of information for you to explore, and it is incredibly user-friendly (the same can’t be said for the vast majority of professional-quality financial resources.
I really appreciate this blog because it is not only filled with great money-saving tips, but it is also funny. It’s great if you’re looking for a no-frills, hard-core approach to personal finance and frugal living. Mr. Money Mustache is written by a man who dropped out of corporate life to pursue a simpler lifestyle; in so doing, he was able to take a very early retirement (he stopped doing real work during his 30s).
A lot of his posts are focused on early retirement and living within your means, which goes hand in hand with a frugal lifestyle. His entire message is about living frugally and not buying more than you have to. It goes back to having a simple life, one that is more fulfilling than participating in the rat race.
Fair warning: this blog is not entirely family-friendly and the author does not hesitate to express his opinions strongly. The information is solid, but may not be everyone’s style.
If you haven’t heard of Mint.com by now, you should definitely go look into that. Mint is a financial planning website that helps you balance the budget, pay your bills, and manage your credit. Why am I putting them on this list, though, if they’re all about services and apps?
Because they have an awesome blog that I reference all the time to get expert-approved info on a variety of budgeting questions and topics. The Mint blog teaches you not only about living frugally and within your means, but also how to do so in the smartest way possible. How to manage your time to get the best couponing deals? How to afford your first house? Why saving for retirement is worth getting on top of as early as you can? There are articles that cover all of that.
A lot of the Mint articles that I have seen are particularly geared towards parents, but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t relevant if you don’t have kids. With hundreds of free articles right on the Mint website, you can teach yourself quite a bit about personal finance and budgeting.
This guide gives just a sampling of frugal living blogs– there are so many out there that give great information and resources about saving money. Traveling on a budget is much easier if you already frugally. And trust me, pinching pennies here and there does add up to big savings.
Maximizing little opportunities for (sometimes extreme) frugal living helps me reach my goals and visit Disney as many times as I possibly can. Looking for more great frugal living tips? Check out some other lists of tips and tricks that I’ve put together to help you get closer to affording your dreams: