How to Budget Without Deprivation – EP 349

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Financial gurus all over social media would tell you to not spend on your next takeout coffee or the food you’ve been craving for weeks, but we’re not here to tell you any of that. Being frugal is budgeting that does not have to be restrictive and deprive you of things that make you happy. This episode is going to be a great start and refresher for your values-based budgeting journey.

You are nobody’s second best, you are the only you, and you deserve to have a budget that helps you reach your financial goals and live your best life.


  • Bags. Not bags to go for a drive, but bags you can get if you refer your friends to the Friendletter. We send out our Friendletter three times a week and at the bottom of every email we send, you’re going to see your unique link to refer people or friends to the Friendletter. When you refer five people, you will get a free grocery bag from us! Not the plastic kind that you want to get rid of! It’s a reusable shopping bag, it’s beautiful, and it’s large! All you have to do is drop the referral link and ask five of your friends to sign up for the Friendletter ( If you refer one person, you can get a free frugal sticker pack, but shoot for the moon; go for 5!

How To Create A Budget Without Depriving Yourself

This article from Life Skills that Matter outlines various methods of approaching spending and saving and ultimately gives an excellent explanation of a frugal way of creating a budget that is simple and doesn’t feel like deprivation.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Budgeting is not a temporary financial punishment; it is a tool to avoid the real punishment you may face in the future (i.e., bankruptcy or ballooning debt). The frugal method is all about prioritizing your method according to your needs and wants. Start by making a list of your fixed monthly expenses (i.e., rent, mortgage, car payment, bills), then cut the expenses that do nothing to achieve your financial goals and are easy to live without.

Jill suggests negotiating not only with billers or your subscriptions but first with yourself. Going back to listing your expenses, but this time, a list of your irregular monthly or discretionary expenses. Jen says that it’s okay not to cut out your favorite video game or eat out if you truly value those things! Try identifying ‘guilt-free’ expenses that are valuable and life-giving to you.

5 Ways to Stick to Your Budget Without Feeling Deprived

This article from Whole Family Living lists out 5 ways we can budget without feeling like we’re missing out or depriving ourselves of the things we want.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Budgeting is not inherently meant to deprive you or make you miss out on things, but if it is, then it’s not a sustainable budget. Jen exclaims that a budget is a tool that empowers you to have more and do more. Implement a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-limited (SMART) goal system for your budgeting because Jill believes that being able to apply this way of approaching goals to a budget can help empower us and our mindset around it. It will help to have a partner or someone who is on the same page as you—come up with a plan together.

Trying a no-spend challenge could be a great way to regain momentum and excitement too, but Jill yells that it’s not frugal friends if it’s not fun! Make it fun! Jen fancies a good money organization with an accordion file, but if you want to have an envelope system without having to carry any cash, we highly recommend Qube. Find out more about Qube money at

Cool things we budget for

When Jill and her husband were living on a low income and paying debt, she still couldn’t take gum out of their budget. It was always there, along with takeout food. The same goes for Jen and her coffee; it was really important to her.

Bill of The Week

Thank you anonymous for sharing your bill about paying off your balance on your Lowe’s credit card! Woohoo! AND thank you Kate from the UK for sharing your bill about moving and how YNAB has helped you budget and not be surprised by your moving expenses!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. If you don’t already know, we have a Modern Frugal Living eBook that is FREE and available for y’all to grab all year round, and we wanted to give a shoutout to this friend who gave the ebook a sweet sweet review:

Helpful tips!

Your podcast and workbook have been helpful for getting my spending under control. I love the weeklong No Spend Challenge. It has been an eye opener for me. Thanks so much!

Keep leaving us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher, and sending the screenshot to And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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