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About

Hi! I’m Isra! Thanks for checking out my blog…and me!I’m a wife, mommy to 3 (boy 8, girl 5, girl 3), foodie,coffee addict and these days addicted to instagramming where I live in Boston. I also run my personal Facebook page, SIMPLE MUSLIM FAMILY, stop by and say hi!

I started blogging in June 2011 after I became runner up in the All You Grocery Challenge and was featured in their magazine HERE. I started blogging to track my progress in the challenge and found my true passion come together: writing and saving!

Want to know more about my Fancy to Frugal Story, click HERE!

The Frugalette has been featured in several media outlets, including television, radio and print publications. For a current list, click HERE.

For  media enquiries please contact me HERE or: thefrugalette@gmail.com

Here are some popular features at The Frugalette:
    • 52 Ways to Get Happy for FREE is a year long challenge. Every Monday I post a new way to get happy that doesn’t cost anything.
    • Being Frugal has tons of ways to save from makeovers to family vacations.
    • 10 Step Couponing is a FREE guide I developed to teach you everything you ought to know about couponing.

We also have a lot of chatting on my Facebook page. Just fun status updates, the way I remember Facebook in the good ‘ol days! I’d love for you to check out my blog, send me an email or stop by and say hi on Facebook!


From Fancy to Frugal in 3 years

So, you wanna know how I went from Fancy to Frugal? First the fancy part. I was born in Chicago, raised in Los Angeles and currently live in Boston. I’m a big city girl, and I lived the big city life.

I grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth..almost. My mom is a physician, my dad an engineer and I went to private school my whole life. Not just any private school, my elementary school cost as much, and in many cases much more then, universities. At one point we had a live-in nanny/maid, that was fun! :)

I don’t remember ever wanting anything that I didn’t get growing up. Clothes were all bought off the rack, department store, latest season, latest fashion.

I traveled a lot of the world before I even entered high school. From Germany to India, and even Singapore, all seemed “normal” to me.

Before I got married I was driving the latest Mercedes Benz sports edition..life was good. My husband was no different. He also grew up travelling the world, getting a fancy BMW for his 16th birthday, private schools and never washed a dish before he moved out.

Being over-indulged came with a price..we had no idea how to manage money!

Soon after moving to Boston, and pregnant with #2, we found ourselves in over $56,000 debt and scared.

I always wanted to stay home and raise my kids, and we made a decision to find a way to get out of debt on one, small income. At the time we were living in a loft-style, top floor apartment, walking distance to the beautiful Charles River. Our first-born was outfitted in $70 boots, boutique clothing and tech toys that rivaled Apple.

When we tried to use our maxed out credit card to buy diapers, we looked at each other and knew we had to do something and quick!

That was the breaking point.

Desperate to get out of debt, get our spending under control and live within our means, we moved apartments that month and cut our expense by $600, immediately! We since moved again and cut our rent by another $500. We reclaimed our power and started working as a team.

We cut up our credit cards and haven’t used them since. Our life has changed 180 degrees and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I taught myself how to coupon, all about craigslist and  most of all learned to enjoy life on less.

We have since added baby #3 and I’m thrilled to say not one diaper was bought on credit! :)

Do I miss fancy restaurants and tropical vacations..yes, of course. Do I miss not being able to afford diapers…no! Not. At. All. We are completely out of debt! No car loan, no credit cards, nothing! I wouldn’t trade this peace of mind for anything!


I get asked a lot about getting out of debt, here are my tips:

  • Write down EVERY debt you owe on a piece of paper. You don’t know where you’re going, unless you know where you’ve been. I still have the original piece of paper with all our debt written on it. It is a reminder of where I never want to be again!
  • STOP shopping! We all think we are not buying anything, but we are, otherwise we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in.
  • Use coupons for as many things as you buy, it will add to your income, instead of take away from it.
  • Sell things on craigslist.org to make extra money, quickly.
  • Stock up when items are on sale, so you are not caught buying things for a premium price when you need them.
  • Be a team. Getting out of debt is a team effort. If one is not willing to do their part in cutting spending, it won’t work.

 

I’ve been fancy and I’ve been frugal, and this blog is proof enough of what makes sense to me!