Personal Finance Basics | What You Need to Understand & Care About to Thrive Financially – EP 42

The frugal life is not just about spending less, it is also about financial responsibility and planning well for those beautiful financial goals we know you all have! In this episode we get back to the basics, and talk about those fundamental aspects of personal finance; where you should be focusing your time, energy and resources to make the most of your life and earnings! Whether you are completely clueless on the things you ‘should’ know, or you need a refresher course on ‘the big picture’ – this personal finance podcast is for you!


ModernFrugality: The shop at Modern Frugality has free and low-cost printables, resources, and ebooks to help you reduce your spending, minimize your stuff, organize your life, and meal plan efficiently. Visit the shop to see what might work for you at Also, Frugal Friends listeners get 50% off your purchase with code FRUGALFRIENDS19.

Refusing to reward bad behavior: it’s an age old parenting technique but it also applies in many other circumstances! Take for instance the area where I live – we have nothing around – no mountains, no lakes, no oceans, no sweet parks, and every other building is abandoned; and yet the property taxes are astronomical! What’s a girl to do?? I am REFUSE TO REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR – by NOT buying or renting in this area, but rather living in an RV. This can also be done at work, at home, when out with friends – if someone misbehaves, don’t give in! Try it out – refusing to reward bad behavior – it works on kids and adults!

Notable Notes:

What the Internet has to say:

  • This article from The Balance provides an introduction to the most important aspects of financial planning. For those of us that are completely in the dark on this topic, or in need of a reminder of the building blocks – this article is great!

What Jen and Jill have to say:

  • In order of importance: Budget → Cut Expenses → Get Out of Debt → Save For Retirement → Be Insured
  • It is good for a budget to be detailed, AND written – this can’t just be ‘in your head’. It doesn’t work that way.

More from the Internet:

  • This article from The Simple Dollar also outlines the foundational items that make up ‘personal finance’, but they also provide pictures! What more can you ask for!?

More from Jen and Jill:

  • We like (and agree with) the basics: Spend Less Than You Earn → Earn More → Learn Frugality → Manage Your Money → Control Your Destiny
  • With spending less than you earn the goal = making the gap as big as possible
  • Figure out ways to earn more (get more education, start a side hustle, move towards passions, don’t burn bridges!)
  • Live frugal! Obviously we love this one! Maximize every dollar, and recognize that habits of all kinds are dangerous!

If you want to submit your bill of the week visit to leave us a bill

Lightning Round 🙂

The Great Debate: What should we focus more of our energy on, spending less or making more?

  • We landed on BOTH – if a good combination can be find, do both! However, if we are going to lean one way, it will be spending less. It is a much better practice and character builder to learn to spend less.

Frugal Friends Book Club
It’s February and we’re reading Meet The Frugalwoods by Elizabeth Willard Thames

  • If you want a free copy, leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, screenshot the review and send it to
  • We’ll select the winners at the end of the month to send them a book!

Thanks for hanging out! Come join us throughout the week in our Frugal Friends Facebook Community!

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