How does a compulsive shop-a-holic turn into a frugal homemaker? With discipline and a plan.
Danielle Wagasky is a former second-generation shop-a-holic. The realization that her compulsive spending was destroying her family and her family’s future ignited her determination to change her lifestyle.
Her awakening came with her husband’s second tour in Iraq, when she recognized she shopped out of boredom and loneliness. Using the book “America’s Cheapest Family” by Annette and Steven Economides as her guidelines, she learned to set financial goals and stick to them. She said the first truths she had to face were to stop making excuses and accept responsibility for her excess shopping.
Now a confirmed frugal homemaker, Wagasky shares her journey and encourages others to learn to live within their means. “Living a Beautiful Life on Less” is practical and written in a personable tone. The book contains tons of ideas, such as “One Hundred Fun Family Night Activities” and “One Hundred Date-Nights Ideas,” which are worth the cost of the book alone — or worth a trip to the library, in keeping with her philosophy.
She pulls no punches regarding debt. She insists you must admit you’re in debt and know why you got there in order to change your behavior. She encourages homemade everything, from food stuffs to gifts. Offering recipes for cleaning products and packaged spices, she demonstrates just how much product packaging is costing your food budget. She also notes what to stock up on seasonally, such barbecue items in the summer.
Some of her lessons learned:
• The overuse of credit lowers your standard of living.
• It is important to live below your means.
• Teach your children the difference between needs and wants.
Wagasky has written an enlightening and knowledgeable book to help families learn to live on less. She is a strong writer and very readable. Despite the somewhat hokey title, this book would be a great wedding shower gift for a young couple.