My Story: Small Steps to Big Dreams

contributed by Stephie

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Simple Living

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I'm a French reader. I discovered frugality very recently thanks to the net, since this is not a concept that exists here in France yet. On the contrary, people would be ashamed to talk about saving money and a more common belief seems to be "I buy, therefore I am!"

Not only does frugality suit me because my dear husband and I want to reach our goals. We need to save money or at least to use it as we really want it and not as society tells us to do. I'm also very attracted by simple living as a lifestyle because I can't be satisfied in a consumerist way of life, with all its environmental, ethical, etc. consequences. So thanks for offering so many tips on your website!

I just wanted to share a tip I've found. I've read several articles about the importance of having goals in your life and especially of having them written down, so that you know where you're heading. So we did it. Dear husband and I spent some time talking about our priorities and what we wanted to achieve. Basically, what we want is to be able to move south (thus find a new job and a new house), to have a baby (we both think it would be better if I could afford to be a stay-at-home mom) and to enjoy a simple, frugal, happy family life.

We then made a list of mini-goals, i.e. what we had to do, change or find in order to attain our major goals. Saving money is our number one goal, since we won't be able to have a baby or to move to another town if we don't change our way of spending. Moreover, if I become a stay-at-home mom, it means we'll only have one income instead of two.

Ok, so we knew what we wanted and had listed a few ideas to help us reach our goals. But we wanted to find a way to think of it every day. I mean, sometimes you think you can afford to buy something and you don't realize that this expense may well delay your goal, and then when you do, it's too late. So, in order to make our goals more concrete, more visual, here's what we've done. We took a binder and began to write down every day what we had done in order to attain our goals, even if it's a very small step: money savings, search for a new job, change of a habit, etc. I've entitled this binder "Small steps towards big goals." It's so agreeable to see that more and more pages are covered and that, little by little, we're heading towards our goals!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it by

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