The government shutdown last week has had many in the community out of work.

The government shutdown last week has had many in the community out of work.

In a community filled with federal employees, it is almost impossible not to either be personally impacted by the shutdown or know someone who has been impacted by the shutdown.
I know for my family it has really forced me to think about how I can step up our frugal lifestyle.

If the last week has taught you anything, I hope it has taught you the importance of living the frugal lifestyle.

This week has reminded me that you never know what the future holds and it is so important to save in case the unexpected happens and you find yourself without income.
One of the keys to living the frugal lifestyle is by being content with what you have.

My favorite saying to my children has been, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." How true this statement could apply to our grownup lives.

So many times we want to keep up with the Jones.
We are always looking to get the latest and greatest piece of electronic equipment or newest gadget. However, how much do you truly need it?
To have a good time does not have to cost money. A perfect example of this is how my family spent their weekend.
Last weekend my family and I had a wonderful time going to the Weston Applefest.

We had a great time walking around watching the vendors make the apple butter and miniature hay bales.
We were also able to enjoy a portion of the parade.
We did not spend any money attending the festival. Our family was content simply to be together.

If you have trouble being content with what you have then I would recommend the avoidance technique.
Avoid catalogs, commercials or stores that will tempt you to buy things.

I would also encourage you to remember to live simply.
It helps you know what you have. In the last month, I have purged my children's closets three times.

The first time was for clutter, the second time I purged was for unused clothing items, and the third time was for unused toys.
My philosophy has always been that if you have not touched or used the item in six months, it is probably time to get rid of the item.
In these tough economic times, I would encourage you to look for ways to cut corners. Make a budget and sit down and look at ways you can decrease that budget.

Can you carpool to work? Can save on meals in any way?
Are there any extras in your life that you really do not need? (Cable, outside activities, etc.)

Can you save on gift purchases during the upcoming holidays? These are just a few simple questions you can ask yourself.
I hope this week has been a valuable lesson to all of us in the area of frugality.

Do not try and keep up with the Jones. Make sure you are saving and living within your means.
You never know what the future holds.

Do you have frugal tips? E-mail them to