Today my guest on the Thrifty and Nifty series is Sarah from Pretty Providence. Sarah is a full-time college student and blogger who’s become an expert at living well on less, especially when it comes to entertainment.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
I’d wake up around eight thirty, head out the door with my husband in tow around nine, get some donuts and go from yard sale to yard sale for a few hours. After that we would get home, take a nap, and maybe watch a movie. Just relax. Then in the evening we’d get dressed up and go out to dinner and to a local concert or to a dollar movie. I love days like that.
Do you like your own handwriting?
Actually yes. I’ve always doodled and played around with it. My first roommate asked me to make her a practice sheet so she could learn to do bubble letters like mine. I happily obliged. I still doodle my name all over everything.
What are you listening to these days?
I love a mix of things. Right now my most played list consists of Ben Kweller, The Avett Brothers, Isaac Russell, Cake, Sharon Jones, The Little Willies, Old Crow Medicine Show, Taylor Swift and various rap songs.
If they made a movie about your life, who would play you? What would the movie be titled?
I would love for Emma Stone to play me. I have such a girl crush on her. The movie could be called “The Girl Who Doesn’t Stop Talking.”
Who or what inspires you?
Scriptures and modern inspiration from my church leaders, and music has always been a huge inspiration for me. Lyrics in particular, when they say just the right thing and it sounds beautiful. I love it.
What is your money philosophy, and how does it affect your daily living?
No debt. Right now that is the main focus because my husband and I are both students and are going to graduate with a clean slate. It can be tempting when things get really tight but we decided when we got married that we wouldn’t borrow money, and so far it has worked out great. Making that decision from the beginning, not leaving it as an option, has made other choices easy for us. If we don’t have the cash, we don’t buy. I feel more secure in my daily life knowing that we are free, and all of the money we earn is ours to keep or choose what to do with.
What sacrifices have you made to create the life you live now? What benefits have come from making these sacrifices?
We make sacrifices in how we choose to spend money every day. We don’t buy many new things, but that’s not important to us. We cut back in certain areas in order to make room for others so that we can still do the things we enjoy. For example: eating out is my favorite thing to do, and we also really like seeing movies. We decided that since movie tickets are $9 at regular theaters but $1.25 at our local discount theater, we would just wait for movies to get there. That way we save $15 every time we see a movie which leaves us more in the budget to eat out with!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, financial or otherwise?
As a wedding gift my brother-in-law gave us the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and it completely changed the way I see money, budgeting and especially debt. I highly recommend it to everyone I meet.
Any money-saving tips you’d like to share?
Have patience. You can save a ton of money just by walking away from an item at the store and deciding you’ll come back if you still want it the next day. Also, familiarize yourself with using coupons. I’m not talking about the kind highlighted on the show Extreme Couponing on TLC. That’s crazy time-consuming and no one needs that much of one item. You can save a ton of money by learning about your local store’s sale cycles and taking advantage of the deals they send out in their ads each week. Certain bloggers do the work for you by finding sales and which coupons go with which item for you so you don’t have to spend too much time getting them ready. Also Groupon and similar deal sites can help a lot in your endeavors, especially if you are looking to treat yourself to a dinner out or other entertainment. You probably get coupons in your mail for local businesses as well, or you can sign up for e-mail lists where your favorite places will send you deals that way. The possibilities are endless and if you look for a way to save money- you will find one!
My name is Sarah Skaggs, I am married to a super great man. I am a senior in college and I blog over at Pretty Providence. I love spending time with my family and friends, bargain-hunting and going out to eat, especially for Sushi or Indian food! I also love to bake cakes and throw parties, watch Parks & Rec, and am currently learning to sew and speak Spanish.
Have a Thrifty and Nifty Thursday, Everyone!