The Truth About How Much Money We Spend: Scarcity vs Abundance

Scarcity vs Abundance: The truth about how much money we spend

If you want to know the truth, I personally read (and try to respond to) every single social media and blog comment that comes in. I don’t have anyone who does it for me, it’s all done by solo me-yo. Even if I someday find myself with 100 employees, I wouldn’t give that up because it’s the only way I’m directly connected to my Freebs virtually, and can be tuned in to what’s going on in your heads and hearts (since I’m no mind reader, unfortunately).

I read a blog comment recently that stopped me in my tracks.

I meant to glance quickly at new comments on my way to make lunch for my kids (I have to manually approve most, which helps me know when a new one pops up). I saw this particular comment on my weekend getaway post and it rang in my head so hard I couldn’t concentrate on anything else! It left my hands ITCHING to sprint back to the computer and reply as soon as possible. The comment is so important, I decided to dedicate an entire post on it, and use it as a chance to clear the air, come clean with some truth about how we spend money, and have a little girl talk about scarcity and abundance.

I’ve been nervous about this post because I bet it will be taken the wrong way by some. But I hope you can hear (in my ramblings) that this comment merely made me realize I needed to do some explaining, and am using it to get a conversation started – not intending to “call out” or “chew out” the person who wrote it! That being said,

Grab a snack and get comfy, this one could take a while.

**UPDATE: THE COMMENT FROM “SUSIE” HAS BEEN REMOVED! I agree with the feedback that this post has no need for the comment, especially in copy/paste form. Because the original intention of the post was NOT to publicly flog the person who wrote it! It merely showed me that I had some explaining to do because I was losing faith from some of my readers, and inspired the post. So it has been removed to protect “susie” who wrote it! ** Also, I made a video in response to all the comments since I physically can’t reply to them all! Watch it online or click and watch below:

*NOW ON TO THE ORIGINAL POST*

First of all,

I am grateful for the honest feedback.

Before I reply directly to the concerns and valid points in the comment, I want to have a little discussion about…

Scarcity vs Abundance.

Trust me this is important, so don’t skip this part.

When we were first married 8 years ago we were in a scarcity stage of life. We were new homebuyers, had our first jobs, trying to make ends meet and figure out how to live well without spending too much. Especially once we hit our financial disaster. Our mindset and actions revolved around hunkering down, working hard, and surviving. This is an important stage of life and no one should EVER be ashamed of it. It’s also important to know scarcity stage will come and go throughout your life as jobs, seasons, and life circumstances change.

We worked our tails off. We sold our car and walked everywhere. We sold our furniture (all of it) and slept on a mattress on the ground, and sat on blankets on the floor in our living room. We ate Top Ramen 4 nights of the week, had no problem taking hand-me downs from neighbors, and did everything we could to make a few extra bucks in order to get out of scarcity mode.

And we did.

Within 1 year we got out of $15,000 of credit card debt (and $10,500 of car loan debt) while only making $32,000.

But you know all of this, so I’ll just refer you to my story for full details.

We called it “going to The Ranch”, referring to the Biggest Loser Ranch that the show contestants go to, where they eat nothing but vegetables and water and exercise literally 6-8 hours per day for 3 months to lose as much weight as possible and turn their lives around. We considered our methods as drastic to our finances as going to the Biggest Loser Ranch is to someone’s weight. The important thing to note is that the purpose was to work as hard and fast as possible…

…in order to live the rest of our lives getting ahead, not just getting by.

Scarcity mode is doing what you need to do to stay afloat, cutting out all frills, extras, and unnecessaries. Keep your head down and survive.

…But what happens next?

What happens when you have a handle on your debt? You have a cushion in savings? You have a stable job and actually have money to spare each month. Now what?

This is where Abundance Mode kicks in.

Scarcity vs Abundance - the nitty gritty on how much money we truly spend! (from a frugal living expert)

Abundance is the stage of life where you have a little cushion in your wallet, so now it’s time to lift our eyes off the ground where you’re only focusing on your next step, and look ahead instead. It’s where you start planning for things you had previously nixed: vacations, retirement, investing, upgrading your home, and maybe even finally buying that non-necessity you’ve been dreaming of.

That is the Abundance mindset.

It’s thinking bigger. Using forward thinking. Using your money wisely, and maybe even risking some of it in hopes of it growing, instead of worrying about stashing 100% of it away to help make ends meet. It’s about outsourcing things that you don’t HAVE to do, so you can use that time (or money) doing something that will propel you/your family/your finances forward.

It’s about switching from “we CAN’T afford it”, to “HOW can we afford it?”

(And finding a way to make it happen the RIGHT way)

OK. So now that we know the difference between the two,

…here is my response to Susie’s comment:

  • Why I’ve been focusing on “spending” posts lately.

First of all let me say the penny-pinching money-saving posts are not going anywhere!! Heck, I just posted about how to make rundown shoes wearable again!! Trust me, they are important and are going NOWHERE!

With that being said, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in working with families it’s:

Learning to spend money properly is probably more important than learning to save money.

Here in the Page household, we are having to reinvent ourselves! We are still frugal (it’s in our bones, how could we NOT be?), but now that we’ve saved hard and accomplished our debt and savings goals, we are now having to learn to spend money – the right way. And man, it’s tricky!

My family is in abundance mode right now, and I’m going to be frankly honest…

…it’s WAY harder than scarcity mode.

Why? It’s harder to say no! To stay grounded! To not run out and spend money when you finally have it for the first time in your life! To not fall into old habits. To not make the same mistakes. To part with the money we worked so hard to earn and save. It’s harder because we’re NOT rich, so it’s hard to find the balance between finally being able to spend, while still needing to save and be super responsible. It’s more about choices than about necessity, and that is REALLY HARD! Life was simpler and easier in Scarcity mode.

It’s kind of like the Biggest Loser Ranch example. It’s hard at the ranch because they’re working out all day – it’s HARD work. What they need to do is black and white. NO sugar, NO junk food,  NO messing around. But what about once they lose the weight and get home? Living with food is harder than at the Ranch! Because sometimes it’s not so black and white. Sometimes you can spare to eat a few extra calories. Finding the balance is harder…even though the WORK is just as hard in both scarcity AND abundance modes.

For the last 7+ years it was easy to say no to things, to not get my hopes up for things, to do things myself because we didn’t have the budget to hire it out, to make do, get by, and put dreams on pause. But now my husband’s company is doing well (for right now, knock on wood), my businesses (plural) are starting to make money, we have no credit card debt, and we finally have an impressive amount in savings. It took us 8 years of backbreaking labor to get here,

…and now what?

I see blogs showing me how to get a great deal on a $1,200 Kate Spade bag…or how to DIY a rug that I have no interest in making…or how to live off of $12,000 per year. But what happens if we don’t need to live off of $12,000 per year? What if I don’t need a designer bag? What if we want to get entrepreneurial and make our money work for us? What if we want to invest in wise investments, or even start companies that make us even more money in the future? What if we want to find ways to go on (lavish or not) vacations, improve our home, experience the world, buy things – maybe even expensive things – without it killing us financially?…while still running a home with 4 little kids and trying to juggle the day to day battle we call motherhood?

I’m not saying I know it all. In fact, I’ll never claim that I know better than anyone else. All I can go off of is what WE do/have done that worked for US, share every detail of it, and hope that that it helps someone out there too.

I’ve been trying to share things we’re doing, in real time, with you all so you can learn from our successes and failures.

  • The “scrimp and save” posts are already on this blog, by the thousands.

And don’t worry, they will never stop! I am a family finance guru at heart, and bound to frugal living via DNA. But variety when blogging is important.

The only thing I knew in the first 3 out of 4 years of blogging was the scarcity way of living. Protecting every dollar like it was a living person. I have several thousand posts on this blog, all of them in some way about how to save a buck, spend less, avoid spending, budget, buy the cheaper versions of things, find things for a deal…and most of them were written while in scarcity mode.

I created a beginner’s guide page to help you find my most helpful posts, in order of how you should follow them.

I’ll admit that I’m not the best at updating it, and will work on that. But it has TONS of my fundamental money-saving and budgeting posts, so check it out and I bet it will give you much of what you are looking for! If not, please take time to look around! I have lots of categories on the drop-down menu on the top of my site (which I know is finicky sometimes, I’m so sorry about that – that’s just the nature of any kind of drop-down menu).

  • It’s time for more “Phase-2” frugality posts.

Just as this one comment is drawing lots of attention and brain power from me, all comments do the same! Over the last year I started getting more and more feedback from Freebs asking for more “what next?”-type posts. Well, if you ask, I’m going to give y’all what you want! (or try to, at least.)

I started getting many emails and comments saying, “I see how to scrimp and save, but how do we finally save for that vacation we’ve always wanted to take?” Or “how should we be smart about buying a new car for the first time in our lives?”. Since the blog is already full of the “stage-1” scarcity posts, I thought it was time to bring on the variety!

Scarcity vs Abundance: how spending money is sometimes harder than saving it! And finding the balance between the two, from FunCheapOrFree.com

  • It’s about proving a point.

Whenever I post about something abundant, it’s not about being flashy or showing off, it’s about proving that there IS a right way to live abundantly…and that there is NOTHING wrong with it! I am not in any way ashamed or apologetic about how we live!

Heck, I’m so proud of it I talked about it on national TV and in magazines several times. I have no shame. I’m absolutely proud to make myself the guinea pig of “The New Frugal” movement, and proving that Frugal DOES get a facelift on this site.

Sure, there is a time and season to live abundantly. We weren’t able to go to Europe when we were in scarcity mode, we were hard-nosed focused on getting out of debt and building up a savings. But once your T’s are crossed and your I’s are dotted, there is nothing wrong with working toward abundance.

  • I can’t keep secrets.

I hide nothing, and I have an inability of keeping secrets. If I’m in Paris, you’re going to see pictures of us at the Eiffel Tower on social media. I mean, could you blame me? If I never brought it up, explained it, or taught you about how we afforded it…would you ever trust me as a frugal living guru? If we do something “abundant”, I like to show you how we did it rather than leaving you judging and guessing.

  • I CANNOT and WILL NOT lie to you about how we are actually living.

Oh boy, I’m about to get in trouble for what I’m about to say. But here goes…

I have spent time looking at Instagram feeds and blogs that are kind of like watching a Victoria’s Secret commercial…you can’t look away because of how beautiful and desirable they are, but it makes you want to sit in your closet with a pack of Oreos and cry a little. With their perfect, bright photos, their impeccable houses, their perfect puppies and children, their $400 “play clothes” and $1,400 rugs in their bedroom-sized closets…

…and it’s gorgeous. All of it.

I’m super happy for them…but also have an innate feeling of wanting to find a reason to hate them at the same time (oh my word am I really saying that out loud??). It makes me want to know them. Be them. Hang out with them. Be their best friend. Follow them around and spy on them.

…But it also makes me want to roll my eyes and stay away with a vengeance. I guess following “perfection” on social media just makes me feel bad about myself, and ultimately makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Why?

Because it’s not REAL.

My soul knows it, my brain knows it, yet my eyes want so badly to believe that those perfect Instagram pictures are reality, and that I’m doing something wrong by not facilitating the same situations in my own home.

I’m sorry guys, I’ve been in the blogging and TV industry long enough to know any “perfect” blog,  IG feed, or even celebrity you’re following is staged. The industry tricks and secrets I know would totally kill the magic for you, so I won’t even go there. But just know that no matter what you think, no matter how wonderful, clean, and organized someone is, no matter how much money someone makes, or how wonderful someone’s kids are,

no one’s life is perfect. 

Yet, we PINE after perfection! We gawk at it and spend hours surfing pictures of it online! We are so curious about perfect-looking people!

While there is nothing wrong with finding inspiration from the beautiful parts of their life…doesn’t all the vague perfection make you curious?

For example, I want to know what’s REALLY going on. I want to know how much money they make. I want to know if their house is really that clean all the time. I want to look inside their toilet. I want to know if their boobs hurt when they were pregnant like mine did, and if they wears the baseball glove-sized pad for 2 weeks after having a baby like I did, or if they really walk around in a silk floral robe and Chanel slippers all day, the day after having a baby. I want to know if her husband is funny, and if her dog ever pees on her carpet. I want to know if she and her husband fight. I want to know if they ever argue about money.

I want to know what it’s REALLY like in their house.

When I started my blog I vowed to be REAL. To show, for better or for worse, what life is REALLY like in our house.

What it’s REALLY like to live on a budget. Struggle with starting a company. Fight over finances. Have bad days with your kids. I want to be the best friend, not the most popular girl that everyone pines over and secretly wishing some form of ill-will on me. I want people to follow me, good days and all, because of the reality of my life.

The truth is…

We went to Europe! We went to Disneyland with my family! I have cleaning ladies come sometimes! I want to buy an even bigger house someday! My kids are super well-behaved sometimes! Once in a while I have a good hair day!

There is absolutely no shame in that. In fact…

We are able to do those things BECAUSE of how frugal we are, not in SPITE of it.

If it happens (which seems to be rare, especially in regards to the well-behaved kids and good hair day part) then you better believe I’m going to show you exactly what the REALITY of it is, and how I accomplished it…rather than leaving you pining for it/hating me for it, and always wondering in the back of your mind if it’s all a facade. I want it to show YOU that YOU can do these things too, if you want to, and that a tough financial situation or set-back shouldn’t deter you from living the life of your dreams!!

I have nothing to hide. We worked our (boy I wish I cussed…) BUMS off to get where we are. We continue to work our bums off. We practice an insane amount of self-control, work hard, and sacrifice good things in order to enjoy GREAT things. I hope our abundance stage of life inspires you!

We all know I have no filter, and will never NOT answer a question (unless we’re legally not allowed to say so because of business or a nondisclosure or something). That’s a promise I made to myself and to YOU. (And Bubba luckily has given me the a-ok because he feels the same way. For the most part.).

So just know that whatever I post is posted with the intention of giving it to you straight, and hopefully for the better. 🙂 And if I ever have the honor of meeting you in person (which I hope I do!), I hope you find comfort in knowing I strive to be the exact same person online that I am in person (again, for better or for worse).

  • If this blog isn’t helpful, it might be because it’s not being read with an open mind.

Sorry guys, oh yes I did.

I’m not saying that to be critical, and I’m certainly not saying that my blog is the end-all, know-all, fool-proof, one-size-fits-all, best blog in the world. I’m not saying that at all. I’m more saying it as fact. If you think you can only learn from someone who is in the exactly same situation as you (kid-wise, money-wise, marital status-wise, gender-wise, generation-wise, geographic…wise?) then you’re missing out on a serious amount of life learning. Not just from me, but from anyone! All you need is a humble attitude and open mind and you can draw inspiration and helpful information from ANYTHING!

Going back to using myself as living proof, I teach, preach, and coach with love and understanding since I’ve been there, but I also do it with a “no excuses” attitude. We have all the cards stacked against us at some point. There was a time when we were making ZERO income, and had a newborn baby, and a ton of debt. Yet we bounced back. And now we’re thriving. Life can throw you major curve balls and send you straight down Hard Knocks lane. But there are thousands of people every day that defy the odds and make the life of their dreams, because of good old fashioned hard work and a positive attitude. Watch The Pursuit of Happyness. It’s one of the most inspiring movies I’ve ever seen. I cry every time.

If you feel like no one understands you or that nothing you’re reading is helpful, try to flip your attitude…it WORKS!

Get all Pollyanna on yourself! Find a way to put a positive twist on everything. My husband is a great example of this. He is incredibly humble. Any time anyone gives him advice, even if I think it’s ridiculous, he ALWAYS takes it to heart, and finds a way to apply it in his life! Because of it my husband is a very successful, happy, well-liked person. He is such an example to me and his mindset has blessed our family.

  • I believe in TEACHING to fish, rather than GIVING fish.

Did you know that I named this blog FunCheapOrFree because originally I was posting deals and coupons? I did it for a few months then quit because I HATED it. It wasn’t clicking with my soul. I felt like it was putting a bandaid on a broken femur; it might help stop the bleeding, but wasn’t going to help the core issue of finances.

I stopped blogging for a few months, then in February 2011 decided to go back to what I know…which are the fundamental principles I personally try and test, that actually seem to work.

When I write a post – any kind of post – I write it with a mindset of teaching you to fish so you can take principles from within the post and apply it to YOUR situation. Because let’s be honest, the number of you with 4 kids the exact ages and genders of mine, living in my same neighborhood, in the same state, with the same interests and abilities as mine, that likes doing the same things as me, with the exact same job as my husband are…well…zilch. I try to write so that you can scan the megaposts, take what YOU want and what YOU need for YOUR situation, and learn how to apply them in YOUR life.

  • You must remember that this blog makes money.

No lie. I don’t have secrets, remember? Read The Truth about How My Blog Makes Money for more on this.

At the end of the day I have done everything in my power to provide as much free, original, unique content to YOU as possible, and this is able to happen because of great sponsors, ads, and trade work. I don’t like being paid to say things, which is why I can’t remember the last time I did a paid sponsored post.  If a company approaches me with a product or service that I like and want to try, I will usually take their product instead of compensation so I can try it obligation-free. I love this because then I can honestly say, “I tried it, I love it, and I’m not being paid a dime to say whatever I want about it.” If I try something and don’t like it, you’ll never hear about it. Ever. But if I try it and like it, you’ll hear about it AFTER I find a way to make it as affordable as possible for you! That’s just how I operate. So keep that in mind. Not that it should matter, but sometimes we don’t pay out of pocket for some of the things I own or do, but I will never blog about something that I wouldn’t pay for with my own money.

Pinky swear.

_______

Wow, can we say tangents?

Again, I can’t thank Susie enough for the feedback. I hope I didn’t offend her or anyone else with this novel. I just feel it’s important to clear the air and make sure you trust me, and know that I have your best interests at heart.

I honestly love you all, in a totally non-creepy way I promise.

Thanks for reading, and please keep the feedback coming! (…just pretty please smile while you type it? It makes it come out less harsh.). AAAH I feel better getting that off my chest. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to the 10,000 things I just neglected by writing this.

GROUP HUG

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Comments

  1. I am so thankful that you open your life and frugal methods with us. I know that because you do, there will always be negativity that comes along with it. I hope that for every negative though, you know that there are a hundred of us that read your blog with our coffee and love every minute of it! You and your sweet family have worked hard to get to where you are and, just as you posted, ain’t no shame in that. 😉 I hope you will never change- that you continue to be a light to people who are in the dark (one way or another) and not let the naysayers take any of that joy away. God obviously has big plans for you and I pray that you will continue to follow Him…and in that journey- know that we love you!

    • Jordon . . . sorry for the criticism, but please just admit you’re smart, hard working and rich. The sad truth is many, many smart and hard working people are also poor. So poor that no amount of budgeting, coupon clipping or price matching is going to help. A living wage, universal health care and low cost quality childcare is what the poor really need. You have had many advantages in life which place you firmly in the 1%. I recently listened to NPR radio program This American Life episode called Three Miles and it was eye opening. I still love your blog!

    • Hey Jordan, it seems like my opinion may be a bit unpopular as I read the other responses. But here goes….I for one do not feel like you need to apologize for you & your husband now doing well! You went through a bad time & came out winners. What could be more inspiring than that? What you have to still remain living below poverty level in order to be inspiring? Anyone who isn’t happy for you is just jealous & vengeful, & do you really care what they think? Keep being true to yourself & your family.

  2. Sometimes it can be hard for people like Susie and I who are living in scarcity mode to see others who are not. I remember once being upset and embarrassed because the woman ahead of us paid for her groceries with a $50 bill while I had a pocket full of dimes and nickels that was going to pay for mine. I had to unfollow a lot of Pinterest boards when I realized how much I was comparing myself to others. The big problem wasn’t that I was comparing myself to individuals but to “the Pinterest woman” a conglomeration of every pinner’s and blogger’s best traits. This superhuman I created in my mind is literally impossible to live up to. Like you said, no one has a perfect life but I am very grateful for you that you are open with how you make your dreams happen. That way I’m not just seeing “now the Pinterest woman went to disneyland” but I get to see how that happened, I can see how someday I can do that too, not in some far away dreamland but in my real life.

  3. This post started out great, but to me, you lost a lot of legitimacy by saying this:

    “My family is in abundance mode right now, and I’m going to be frankly honest…

    …it’s WAY harder than scarcity mode.”

    Seriously? I’m no longer in scarcity mode either and I’m glad this rings true to you, but this is SO untrue for most people. Being poor is so much harder in almost every way than being well off. I think you’re a great person from reading your blog, but what a slap in the face to people who are just trying to make ends meet. There have also been tons of studies that show people who make over a certain amount a year are actually happier because life is EASIER. I’m sorry your wealth is a struggle for you, but You are really BLESSED. Period. I know you are smart and wise for your age but I’m sad that maybe you were having a prideful moment and came off as a a sheltered Utah girl who knows nothing about the struggles of other people.

    • My goodness! I think she just meant that it was harder to spend wisely, not that her life is SO hard.

      • Jordan’s post was in response to a women clearly struggling with money who critiqued Jordan more tactfully than Jordan responded. I felt that the part I quoted and other parts showed how out of touch Jordan is with people who experience true hardship. That’s it. Poverty is horrible. I know Jordan doesn’t want to be judged but her response came across as arrogant to me. I know we can all get defensive when people criticize us. I personally could care less that Jordan’s recent posts have been all about her abundant life. Good for her. What I took issue with was her response to a person in peril. Jordan’s really long winded response was purely about vindication and that’s a real bummer and missed opportunity.

    • Laura,

      While I can see see and understand your reaction to her comment I don’t feel like you really did what she genuinely asked you to. To read this post (and all her posts) with an open mind. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Paige is clearly a very strong and dedicated person. When she put her mind to pinching pennies and saving money it became a way of life for HER. So when they were blessed with making money it was extremely difficult for HER to spend money THE RIGHT WAY. I am not or have I ever been in abundance phase. But this post especially has inspired me to take hry advice so maybe one day I can be. She clearly knows what’s up. She just asked you politely not to judge too harshly. So, please, don’t.

    • I think she means now that she has more flexibility, it is hard to have self control and spend wisely. It is harder to be frugal when you don’t really “HAVE” to be frugal. Just like the hardest part of losing weight is actually KEEPING IT OFF. Resisting the want to buy all the things and stay on budget when you have money is hard.

      • My current struggles are more similar to Jordan’s than the woman her post is responding to. I get that sometimes it’s hard to have self-control. I admire Jordan for working hard to get out of debt, but like another reader, I believe Jordan is shaming the lady with a legitimate critique in a really less than mature way. “My current struggles are harder than yours…” And then there was that awesome diatribe about teaching people to fish??? Ha. Really hard to read through. Great ideas Jordan but really bad timing. Financial struggles can destroy marriages and hope for the future among other things. I think she should’ve handled the reader’s comments with a lot more grace than she did.

        • I agree in a lot of ways with Laura. And even Susie for that matter. I’m really put off by the claim that it’s harder to be conscientious with your money when you have plenty than when you don’t have any. We’re not in scrimp and save mode and have enough to meet our needs, plus a little extra.

          But those days of having to choose between pears or socks for your child? Those are hard days. Those are HARD decisions. Much more so than trying to choose whether to save for a vacation or another start-up business or paying for a cleaning lady every once in a while.

          I really dislike the “I want you to trust me as a guru” thought that you mentioned a few times. I think it’s AWESOME to share what’s worked for you, Jordan. I also think you’ve helped a lot of people change the way they think about their spending. I think it’s great to share multiple “phases” of frugality and financial savvy because there are all kinds of budgets and needs out there, and we could all use some ideas for spending well and making some of those big and small decisions that lead to monetary success and a healthy financial life.

          I realize that you said people’s situations don’t have to be identical for them to learn from each other. I totally agree. But I think that you do take a lot of pride in the sacrifices you made to save. And what you did was INCREDIBLE. But not everyone can make those same sacrifices. Food allergies and dietary restrictions that prohibit a “ramen 4 nights a week” or a” $100 per person grocery budget” approach, or a child has special needs and requires therapies or accommodations that are costly, or even that some people find they can’t sit on their floor on blankets instead of using furniture.

          It’s hard to trust you as a guru when your experience was so narrow. 8 years of backbreaking saving is an incredible feat. But it isn’t the only feat, and you aren’t taking other people’s real life experiences (that aren’t excuses but REAL needs and concerns) into account. I admire you as a girl who knows how to save, and who got her family out of debt and into a stage of abundance. But as long as you continue to say things like “if I’m not being helpful, then your mind isn’t open” and “no excuses!” stances, you cannot be a guru. A guru understands and respects a variety of circumstances.

      • I agree with Annie, we are doing better financially than we were a few years back and I honestly feel like we have to work just as hard to continue to spend smart now as we did then, so that we can continue to save and not just buy whatever we want whenever we want. It takes more self control now than it used to because technically we do have the money- but that doesn’t mean we should be constantly spending it. Also, I think it’s very clear that the community who follows this blog is one of support and you don’t need to be so harsh and critical, we are all in this together regardless of what stage we are in and no one is saying that your struggles are not valid, we all struggle with different things and in different ways. I appreciated this post and feel encouraged to continue doing my best to implement these ideas in ways that work for my own personal situation.

        • I don’t need to be harsh or critical? Really? Jordan used a sincere response from a reader and just made an example of her to thousands of people so she could feel vindicated and I’m the one being critical? Maybe you need to rethink that one. To me, this post was a sad misuse of Jordan’s public platform. She could’ve gone about that so differently. I can see how someone struggling to make ends meet would take issue with a lot of Jordan’s recent posts. That’s ok. It was also ok of her to give Jordan honest feedback. Jordan has decided to be in the public spotlight. Jordan is a talented young woman doing a lot of good with this blog, but she’s just that, a young girl who may lack in life experience. Maybe ya’ll need to take a trip to a foreign country and see what poverty can do to generations of people before you condone and defend sweeping statements that can hurt people.

    • I think you should read all of her posts before coming to the conclusion that she doesn’t know what struggle is. She obviously does. I also do not think everyone needs to live at the poverty level for a time to understand how difficult it is. I did with my mother for several years and would never put my children through that so they could “experience struggle.” Her point about living in abundance was to say that it is easy to feel like you deserve to throw the budget away and have a good time since you have worked so hard. It takes extra will power to make good choices when there is a choice. When there is not a choice of where extra money goes, then it makes life much simpler.

    • I actually have a similar history of living about 7 years in utmost poverty and then gaining momentum in income and quality of life. I think you can easily miss understand what she said and think she is saying having money is harder. If you take a deep breath and try to let yourself absorb what she meant you might hear it differently. In my experience she is absolutely right. When I was extremely poor I didn’t even look at the shelves at the store and life was more simple that way. Now I find myself buying all sorts of “make my life easier gadgets” and then hating myself because I just spent all our money and our budget is way more out of control then when I was counting my pennies. It is like growing up.. and eating out of the bucket of ice-cream because you can finally reach that shelf, but then to your dismay you have lost all self control to be self disciplined and you eat the whole gallon and the gallon behind that one and you are obese and broke – or even worse crazy in debt but you just can’t stop!!! Because you have tasted the good life- the easy way.. and the question in your head becomes “why am I limiting myself when it is so easy to reach out and have relief?”

      I find myself in trouble and hating myself waaayyyy more living in abundant mode.. Guilt Guilt Guilt.. What did I just do???

      • Of course I can guess her reasoning might be the same as yours. I think all of Jordan’s groupies should “take a deep breath” in your words, and imagine that you are REALLY struggling financially. Then imagine your really well off acquaintance telling you in the midst of your struggles, that it’s harder to be rich than poor. How would that sound? On top of that, you get all your buddies to agree with you, so the person struggling feels even more isolated. I’ve already stated that I strongly disagree that being poor is easier than being rich, so I don’t need to rehash that. But, maybe, just maybe, it was wrong of Jordan to make an example out of this woman. She could’ve written this post without making it about her being “right” and her poor reader being wrong. All these people defending Jordan can continue to try and “explain” how Jordan feels, but the fact is, this whole thing was raunchy when Jordan decided to seek vindication with her buddies online by posting the woman’s fair complaint and then an essay to defend herself. A simple email to address the women’s fair critiques privately would’ve been enough. It’s so bizarre that sticking up for this other lady is considered attacking Jordan and being an aggressor when Jordan started used this woman to start to publically debate in the first place.

        • Sorry typing on my phone and the end of that didn’t make sense. My point was that if you pubically criticize someone to thousands of people you deserve scrutiny because you become an aggressor. This lady’s complaint to Jordan shouldn’t have been a big deal. Jordan made it that- not the people disagreeing with Jordan. I completely believe Jordan’s a sweet girl. I’ve read her blog for a long time. This post was just unfortunate.

          • I see what your saying about feeling bad for the person that had her comment paraded and ripped to shreds.. but I would have done the same thing as Jordan. And this is Why:

            It’s like being a doctor and having someone call your credentials fake.. it will destroy your reputation if it is distributed publicly to everyone- basically calling your blog useless, now she has to prove it isn’t useless and that might take a lengthily explanation especially if anyone else felt the same.. she has to take that into consideration as well and address it head on or face an even larger problem of losing the faith of the people that follow her, Because her lifestyle is not going to change (a good income but being frugal to make more of her income), nor does she want it to.. then she needs to touch base with everyone and clear the air.

            I actually learned a lot from her responding post and it helps me better appreciate the process of either living in Scarcity mode or Abundant mode as well as understand the context of the blog as a progression or variety of advice in both categories so that you can learn no matter what your budget.

            If someone else attacked my foundation then I would have done the same. Only someone that didn’t truly care about the people following, and was only trying to make money would hide the comment and post only what they thought people wanted to see even if it was un-authentic to the author.

        • I’m responding to Catherine below since there’s no place for me to hit reply. I never said Jordan needed to hide her reply. I said an email would’ve been nice or she could’ve responded in the same thread the comment was posted in instead of devoting an entire post to this. That’s unfortunate, that given the same situation, you would’ve responded the same way as Jordan, Catherine. I think there are so many ways Jordan could’ve stayed “authentic” responding differently. How about for starters, “I’m so sorry you are having to make such tough financial decisions in your life” or “I’m sorry you’ve felt like I was bragging but that wasn’t my intent.” How about “every situation is different and this is what worked for me” instead of a preachy post about what an expert you are? How about a way shorter and more sincere post instead of one that sounded like she was rallying supporters and not talking to a human being? I think people can justify doing mean things in the name of needing to be “authentic.” What this post felt like was when someone gets really mad or insulted and writes a super long response to someone, that just winds up sounding vindictive and high schoolish because they didn’t wait until their emotions died down to respond in a rational manner. It’s amazing to me that you think that one comment that wasn’t even that critical could hurt Jordan’s reputation. If anything hurt Jordan’s reputation, it was her own words in this post. Of course not every blog is going to appeal to everyone. That’s called life. All of you really sound like you’re trying to rationalize this post because you like Jordan. Group think does interesting things to people. But whatever…the only reason I keep responding to people commenting on my comments is because if the reader comes here, I hope she gets lost in supportive replies and misses some of the mean ones. Anyways, like another reader said, I think if someone really thinks that being rich is easier than being poor, than they really haven’t experienced true poverty. Besides thinking this post was ill-timed, I just fundamentally disagree with Jordan. The end. You people probably won’t change my mind, and I won’t change yours, so unless you want another response supporting the reader, I will end here. Thanks.

          • Hi Laura, thanks for the compassionate responses. You made this embarrassing situation a little more bearable with your kind words. So thank you.

  4. O my goodness, I can relate to this SO much. My husband and I scrimped and saved while he worked on his degree. We lived with my parents, never took a vacation, and paid off thousands of dollars in infertility bills. We drove beat up cars, never had smart phones. Now that we are doing WELL, now I’m finally a SAHM, after working multiple jobs full time and part time (library work, cleaning houses, substitute teaching, babysitting at 27 years old, I did it all), now we have a new (used) minivan, NOW we have smart phones and he has a great job. So if people see us NOW sure it looks like we are doing so well, but just like y’all we worked our butts off! As a blogger, I totally understand needing to explain yourself and reply to comments. But I also know people can judge us on today when they have no clue what happened to us yesterday. HUGS Jordan, you are awesome!!!
    Whitney recently posted…Tell Me About Your Town: Regional FoodsMy Profile

  5. Jordan, I LOVE how real you are. That is one reason I follow you. I am GENUINELY happy for you and your success. It gives me hope knowing you are able to have a Frugal Fab life. I know you do your best and I am GRATEFUL for all your efforts! Thanks!

  6. Wow! I can’t believe Susie even commented that way! I haven’t been following from the beginning, but I’ve followed long enough to know that you deserve any vacation you take. You work hard for your money and you don’t waste it. I appreciate the travel posts, I’d like to do more and helps to know someone has done the research for me. Thank you for all you do!

  7. I made it through the whole post! 😉 I’ve been following you for several years now and admire you greatly! Thank you for being so real! 🙂

  8. Hi there, I just wanted to give you some honest feedback – I have been feeling exactly the way Susie has – and unfortunately, I think it’s time for us to break up. (It sort of feels like a break up since I’ve followed you for so long haha) We are just obviously in different places in our lives. I Think it’s great that you are in the abundance phase, but frankly, if you aren’t posting about anything that is attainable to my family – it doesn’t make sense to continue following you. Also, I didn’t really appreciate the way I feel you shamed Susie. While you acted thankful, you mentioned a couple of times your issues with the way she delivered – I feel like she was very respectful and honest. I think posting in the defensive is never a good idea. I wish you all the best and will find a more relatable frugal blogger to follow.

    • I agree. I’ve been feeling all those things Susie said, and I feel like she said them very tactfully and not at all sharply or unkindly. Maybe just as your readers don’t have open minds if they’re finding your site unhelpful, you are feeling guilty if you’re getting defensive. Sad to have to break up.

  9. I actually just barely started following you and I already want to be best friends with you. There are so many people and blogs to follow and I get so annoyed/frustrated when it’s just another thing they are promoting and making money off of but you really don’t know if it’s that great or not. Everyone wants more honest and real people in their life. And you deserve to make money off of what you do-you spend a lot of your time sharing your knowledge and talents and I sure appreciate it-especially since we get it for free (and since most your readers most likely want to be saving money/have more money). Anyways I just wanted to thank you for being real and honest! I’ll definitely be stalking your stuff now knowing I can trust and learn from you!

  10. I appreciate this post! Sometime I did have the same thoughts as Susie but more along the lines of “will I ever be able to afford a Disneyland vacation, let alone 4 children?” But your totally right, it’s helpful to get tips on HOW to spend well because for people like my husband and I who aren’t in debt but have a very modest income it isn’t realistic that we never go out and do fun things with our family. I love your tips on HOW to get the things that you want! Thank you for sharing and please continue!
    -Hayley

  11. Love the post, love your honesty! I am a fairly new reader, maybe a month or so? But have gone back and read many posts. Love your videos for makeup tutorials. I have changed my mindset after following your blog. I have been taking time everyday for myself, doing my make up and excercising. You made me feel much better about our upcoming Alaskan cruise with our 4 kids, 2, 4, 6, and 8. We will survive and have a ton of fun!

  12. Loved the post! Love the honesty! Love that you are who you are and what you are all about! Thanks for sharing. (Typed with a smile)

  13. I have been following you for a while and honestly, I LOVE seeing how well you are doing because I KNOW you worked for it. There is a huge difference seeing someone on instagram who just gets handed everything on a platter, or who you just know is full of (rubbish)… but with you, I find it inspirational seeing you living the dream. It makes me think “well…if she’s gotten to this point through WORK, not inheritance or daddy’s moolah or being “instagram-famous” or “modelling”, then surely I can too. It feels like everyone nowadays wants maximum income for doing minimal work and it drives me mad…! I am also in scarcity mode now.. I’m a postgrad student, trying to pay tuition. But I can clearly see from you that Frugality pays and I know someday it’ll be worth it. If you were still telling us you live off Ramen 8 years later, I’d probably be pretty hesitant to follow your teachings! Spreading good vibes always, from Ireland! <3

    • Avril, you hit the nail on the head with this comment:

      “If you were still telling us you live off Ramen 8 years later, I’d probably be pretty hesitant to follow your teachings!”

      Exactly!

      I personally wanted to know how she handled her finances in these later years. These posts are relatable to me, no matter if they were in the “early” years or these later years.

  14. Thanks Jordan! LOVE your honesty, drive, and focus in the midst of a very busy family life–reminds me I can do it, too. I love that you are doing YOU. Whenever we’re successful there’s always someone to drag us down–thanks for choosing to look forward and continue in your journey. Also, I find your veiny leg transformation fascinating. Sorry, that totally sounds creepy, but whatever it’s true. From one Oregon girl to another, don’t let the rain stop you from living life abundantly 😉

  15. I am eye rolling and LOLing at those who are mad/unfollowing/whatever. You have YEARS of posts dedicated to the basics of budgeting, grocery shopping, getting out of debt, etc. The reason you have moved past those debt 101 posts is because you followed your own advice! Of course you are going to show how to use those principles towards other things like making money on the side and vacations. Are you supposed to do basic debt posts forever? If so you would alienate folks who are closer to getting out of debt (or already are) and need to know how to make it lifestyle and not blow their new found abundance. I would be shocked if I followed you for years and it seemed like you were still in phase 1 of a debt plan- and I definitely would not value what you had to say. If people have been following for YEARS and still need posts about the basics that says more about them then it does about you. The goal is to get out of debt, remember? Don’t be ashamed of the money you have now because of the hard work you put in for YEARS.

  16. Jordan,
    Girl. Virtual hug. High five.

    I think you need to play “Shake It Off” on repeat today, sistah. 😉 For. Reals.

    I love your honesty, and I love the way that you share you life with the watching world. You are a great Mama, wife, and you and Bubba have worked your TAILFEATHERS
    Laura recently posted…How to Get Plugged Into Church; Why It MattersMy Profile

  17. I feel like the title of your post was misleading- The truth about how much money you spend? After reading this I have no clue how much money you spend- not that it’s my business. I also feel like this was a really self indulgent, preachy post. You spend paragraph after paragraph defending yourself. I would have been MUCH more impressed with you if you would have responded to Sabrina by saying, “I’m so sorry I made you feel that way! It’s important for me to relate to every reader no matter where their finances are. I see that I have been lacking in the frugal posts for those who can’t even dream of a vacation and I’m going to remedy that. I’m going to start having a weekly column on going back to the basics, the nitty gritty of savings for when you’re really strapped. Thank you for your feedback!” Humility is always best, and it’s best to learn from your readers and adjust accordingly, not go on the defensive. One final note (geez, this comment is going to be as long as your post!) saying that abundance is harder than scarcity is incredibly naive, and makes you seem completely inrelatable. Obviously you’ve never known real scarcity.

    • I think she was saying it’s harder to spend money wisely when you are in the abundance stage of life, which is completely true. When you have an excess (whether it’s a little, or a lot), you are more tempted to make impulse purchases, not look for deals, etc. When every penny counts, you stretch your money as far as possible. Jordan is great, and it’s sad you would post judgmental comments such as stating she has “obviously” never known what it was like to really be broke. They made HUGE sacrifices early on because of their financial situation, and now they are reaping the rewards of those sacrifices.

  18. I am eye rolling and LOLing at those who are mad/unfollowing/whatever. You have YEARS of posts dedicated to the basics of budgeting, grocery shopping, getting out of debt, etc. The reason you have moved past those debt 101 posts is because you followed your own advice! Of course you are going to show how to use those principles towards other things like making money on the side and vacations. Are you supposed to do basic debt posts forever? If so you would alienate folks who are closer to getting out of debt (or already are) and need to know how to make it lifestyle and not blow their new found abundance. I would be shocked if I followed you for years and it seemed like you were still in phase 1 of a debt plan- and I definitely would not value what you had to say. If people have been following for YEARS and still need posts about the basics that says more about them then it does about you. The goal is to get out of debt, remember? Don’t be ashamed of the money you have now because of the hard work you put in for YEARS.

    • Amen! I agree 100% with your comment. If she was still having to post about “the basics”, I would be concerned about following her advice. Because obviously, it doesn’t work.

      PS. I have met Jordan while she was out with her little ones and she is as genuine in person as she is on her blog.

  19. Hi jordan, I have only started following your blog recently and think you and your family are fabulous!! I’m a little obsessed with u guys in a non creepy way lol!
    I think that you and bubba are a fantastic couple who live their lives with total honesty and transparency with your readers . I enjoy all the posts and admire your restraint with your spending. Looking forward to more posts ! X

  20. Jordan,
    Girl. Virtual hug. High-five.

    I for REALS think you need to play “Shake It Off” on repeat today. 😉

    Here’s the thing: you’re a great Mama, and wife and you and Bubba have worked your TAILFEATHERS off to get where you are. Hats off to you.

    I so appreciate your transparency; the way you keep it real and don’t hold stuff back. I adore your “how to pinch pennies” posts, but also how you keep costs down while going on your trips. Because, like you said, if you do keep your head down and are super intentional about finances, then things will most likely turn around.

    I love that you’re doing variety. I love that you’re honest about where you’re at in life. And while I have not entered into that “having money” phase of life yet {hi, heads down} ;), I have heard from people time and time again that living with more money is harder, because although you may feel happier at times, that isn’t where ultimate satisfaction and joy comes from anyhow. Having more money could make you feel like you have to have ALL the things, and leave you striving for that picture-perfect life all the more.

    Girl, if we lived close we’d be friends. I am totally gonna keep following your blog, because I know that you keep it real {aka speak my language} and are on a mission to help people with their fiances.

    Everyone’s not going to like you, people are gon’ hate, say super mean things and stop following you. BUT – you’re creating a community of women who want to be here…who appreciate what you have to say and YOU. So shake it off, sistah friend. Keep being you, remember all the people who love what you’re doing. No one person can please everyone: simply not possible. Keep it up, girl. I can’t imagine the thick skin you have to have right now, but I know you can do it. <3 XO
    Laura recently posted…How to Get Plugged Into Church; Why It MattersMy Profile

  21. I have actually loved reading your more recent posts. I guess I am just interested in saving money in general. Even though the trips you posted are not in my budget now. One day they will be and I will know how to enjoy a great vacation on the cheap.

  22. Everything about this post is true to a T. This is your lifestyle blog – there are plenty of blogs out there to fit every situation. People blame you for “bragging” but I think they can be seen as jealous- judging is a 2 way street. I read what I like and skip what doesn’t apply to me. You can do so many awesome things for less and that’s the point – if you couldn’t then most likely you would wouldn’t have done them in the first place. I’m sure there is so much you want to do but until it hits your price point you won’t.

    I find it so cool that a girl from The Dalles is doing such great things!

  23. I love love love this post! Your honesty is great and is what makes this blog awesome and REAL!

    I think living in the abundance stage IS harder it’s no longer eye on the prize say no to everything, it’s more let’s enjoy but not enjoy too much and still save and plan…it’s a hard balance!
    I enjoy the vacation/ money spending posts, I use them as motivation to help my family get to that point, and to keep on trucking until we get there! Plus, you have to do both or you’d lose all of the people that are in that abundance stage and no longer need the penny pinching tips daily!

    Not every post will speak to everyone, and you will never make everyone happy..heck there are some of the frugal posts I could do without, BUT that same post could have been just what hundreds of others needed! Keep doing you! For some it will make sense and be helpful, for others this may not be the blog for them, and that’s okay too!!

  24. I have to agree with Brittany W. on this one!! You rock, Jordan, don’t ever change. You inspire me to live frugally now while my husband is in school, so that we can live in abundance one day in the future. Your posts on how to SPEND money don’t make me feel BAD- they make me EXCITED…for what is to come!! xoxo

  25. Jordan,
    I appreciate your “abundance” stage of life posts! It would be entirely unrealistic for you to post merely about being in the scarcity phase when that is not where your life is at, at this moment. Truth is, you got to a better place by applying those principles that you wrote about in the beginning. Your blog shows your followers your journey to a better financial state and it’s inspiring to see the way life could be if one is frugal. In my mind, it’s like a blogger that writes about their weight loss journey. Obviously, they have more work to put in at the beginning, but who’s going to believe it if they still write like they have weight to lose, when in fact, they’re completely at goal. It’s a little unhealthy! 🙂 You have to journal the progress and switch things up a bit to fit where you are at!

    Thank you so much for being real with us! 🙂 I am an unashamed archive creeper who loves applying your frugal tips and I equally love your new posts and see them as a “Wow! Look what I could do if I apply myself” thing.
    Cate of The Fabuless Wife recently posted…How To Score Cute Maternity Clothes For LessMy Profile

  26. I’ll be honest, there are a ton of blogs and websites that make me feel envious/jealous/bad about myself. Yours NEVER does. I think you are great and I appreciate all of the time that you take to share your life’s adventures, experiences and lessons with others in an effort to help. Thank you!

  27. I LOVE the honestly of this post! I have been a follower for about a year, and I am loving all the variety and tips. I used to be a couponer, and I quit several years ago, because I didn’t really think it was sustainable. You post REAL tips. Things that help in REAL life. Love that this blog (and your IG) is so REAL. Thank you for being REAL. Can we be friends IRL? Please!! 🙂 Again, bravo for this HONEST post. You go girl!

  28. You win some, you lose some right? It seems like your blog works for some, but not for all. Thankfully, it works for me. I appreciate the posts about how to afford Disney and trips to Europe. I’m in the scarcity mode, married to a spender, and that might be one of the most difficult things but we are trying. I am happy you are in the abundance mode, and I’m glad you share how you do it because one day I want to be there too. I really appreciate how while you might want to hate the instagram post that look perfect, you guys still look put together and then you tell me how you thrift the clothes and things you own. Just keep being you, it works, and thanks for sharing!

  29. Thank you SO much! I really appreciate how honest you are. The scarcity and abundance comparisons were perfect. I feel that we are all in one stage or the other at some point so thank you for sharing what has worked and is working for you in both stages. You have the cutest little kids and I love watching your little “dance parties” we enjoy the same thing with our kids!

  30. I am new to the website, about a month in. Keep up the great work! Ignore the haters! YOU should never feel bad or feel any sort of shame for winning with money, and handling money God’s way. And those people who have a problem with it are just sad, jealous and envious. Never once did I read or feel a tone in your blogs that you think your better than anyone, especially people who may not be as financially well off, or did I feel you were rubbing it in our faces. Some people can just be so narrowminded. Shame to all who judge ANYONE! What are we in high school?? Last time I checked, as a Christian believer, the only one worthy to judge any of us is God…. To Suzie, if your family is chosing between socks and food, try delivering pizzas at night….most people make $1000/mo doing that 5 nights a week. Also, if times are that lean, maybe cancel your internet, mine alone is $64.99 which isn’t much less than my weekly food bill of $75….

  31. I love your blog and find it super helpful. We are in the “saving mode”. I have end stage renal failure and am hoping to find a living donor soon. In the meantime, I will be getting a port placed next week so I can start dialysis. I still work full time since I carry the health insurance.
    All of your saving posts are so helpful to me, especially saving money with food! I have 3 kids and they all eat like horses (I’m not sure they’re human sometimes! lol) I eat a low salt diet due to my kidney disease, so cheap ol’ boxed and processed foods don’t work for me. I love your crockpot recipes too! You’re the best…keep it up!! Love your honesty!
    Glori Alexander recently posted…Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache PieMy Profile

  32. I really appreciate this post. I have to say, before reading this explanation I was feeling a bit like Susie. The main reason I fell in love with your blog is because you’re so relatable. And let me say, I have no children, it’s just me and my husband but I still lean so much from your blog. But like I was saying, I was feeling a bit like Susie because lately, your posts have been about more extravagant purchases. Those types of posts are very helpful, but I could see how someone in “scarcity mode” not see the value in them, quite yet.
    My husband was unemployed for a couple years, we lived solely on my paycheck, in California, which isn’t easy to do. Thankfully, he started working a few months ago and we’re working on paying down debt (it’s not a lot), but we also have a lot more wiggle room in our budget than we used to. In reading today’s post, a big light bulb went off! You are 1000% right. I didn’t realized until you said it, but living in abundance mode is very tricky. When you’re in scarcity mode, you have no choice but to not spend. But when you’re in abundance mode, it takes a lot of willpower to make the right decisions. It’s so easy to get off track when you have a little more money in your pocket. Some people may find that statement offensive, but it’s true for some of us. I think that in the back of my mind, I knew about this dilemma. I started reading your blog right around the time my husband landed his job. I think there was a little voice inside my head that knew that now that we had more income, it meant that we had to be more responsible and try harder. I started to read your blog to keep myself focused and grounded.
    Anyway, yes maybe all of your posts don’t apply to me. Our lives are different, but I still learn so much from you and inspire me to be a better version of myself everyday.

  33. I’ve followed your blog for quite awhile. Appreciate you being who you are. I know you have worked your tail off to get where you are, no shame in that. I’ve actually really liked the broad topics you have talked about….vacations included.

    LOVE that you took your infant to Europe…truly inspirational!

    -Brooke

  34. Unfortunately, you cannot please everyone. You’re not graduate students with debt. You’re in a different place and your blog reflects that.
    If I were undecided as to whether I should buy pears or new socks. I would a) not buy new socks; they can be found cheaply at garage sales or used children’s stores or friends and b) only buy pears if they are in season or on sale. I would then take any small amount I saved and save it! I know people will respond with but I don’t have garage sales in my rural area or I don’t know anyone to give me hand me downs or pears are already cheap or whatever. There is no exact solution for anyone but to be creative, think outside the box and never ever give up! One day you will be in abundance mode too! Hopefully! Especially if you’re graduate students! 🙂
    You seem to be a very fun and interesting person, Jordan!! I am in my forties, my kids are older than yours and I live nowhere near Utah but I have found lots of useful info and enjoy the blog a lot!

  35. Love this post, and obviously your blog, I too was beginning to wonder if it is really inauthentic. I would be lying if I didnt say i thought “thats weird, jordan posted a picture on instagram about how bubba went out and got sushi to take home. i thought jordan said “we never get take out, like ever. its just not worth the money”, and then i see you eating take-out. There are always circumstances and special occasions and “just this one time because x” and that is FINE, but you stressed “never, never, ever”, so that made me feel a bit deceived.

    As far as the trips, i think it is GREAT how you post how to do things that are a luxury/not necessary to survival. If no frugal living blogger/guru ever discussed that, people may think trips to disney and europe are for the wealthy and spendthrifts. We aren’t in a place to go on those trips just yet, but i love how you break costs down and skimp on things that are money-suckers and dont bring you any joy. Going to disney parks are super expensive, but they are fun memories that are cherished forever. Getting starbucks and burger king and a diet coke a few times a day at a rest stop gets expensive, and doesn’t really make anyone happier. Great posts!

  36. I’m going to have to disagree with you about abundance being harder. My family is comfortable financially now and it is much easier than having to make decisions like whether I should buy groceries to feed my family or pay the electric bill so the power doesn’t get turned off. Being poor is awful. It is not easy living in poverty. There were days when my husband and I would go hungry just so our kids would have food to eat. Life is much easier now that we are living an abundant life. Having to make a decision to buy a $100 purse or save that money is a much easier problem to have.

    • Lauren, you do realize she never said her scarcity stage was not being able to keep lights on or groceries. Neither did she say struggling with luxury decisions like buying a purse or saving is more difficult than figuring out what bills to pay and what ones to become past-due. That wasn’t really her situation. She had a lot of debt, they cut everything that wasnt absolutely necessary. She wasnt in a good place financially, however scarcity mode isn’t always synonymous with utter poverty.

      It is easier to say no to all luxuries then to determine which ones are worth the money when you do have the money. She didnt say she is envious of the poor because it is easier to be poor than to figure out which fun things to spend money on. You have completely missed the point. Someone always has things worse, but that doesnt mean you dont struggle. After three years of law school for my husband and I, we have a good paying job. I went a little crazy at first. It was hard. I was so used to ZERO income, and all the things i said “oh, someday” i demanded in the first few months of good paychecks. Im better now, but honestly, it really is harder. We always had a stocked fridge, utilities, a nice dinner out or small weekend trips to places just a few hours away. Hand me down furniture and housewares were wonderful then, but now not so much. I never struggled with spending v saving then the way do now

  37. Good good stuff, my friend. I lived in the scarcity phase for a loooong time, and finally enjoying some abundance, and yes it’s hard because I feel guilty over a $38 t-shirt (or two) I bought from an Instagram shop I follow. I kick myself b/c I know better, but it also feels good to be able to do it every once in a while because I never could even entertain the idea before. You will never be able to cater your site to just one person, but each person can take what they can. That girl that wrote can look forward to the time she can take a fun trip, because she is living frugally now. You explained yourself well.

  38. I have learned that some people are just not happy when they see others thrive or success. It takes discipline, hard work and long years to get to a good place in which we can truly enjoy all the blessings of living a good life and being smart about our money. I do appreciate all of your tips, your honesty and I am so happy for you and your family for being able to afford all of these fun vacations, outings, etc. At the end of the day, it’s just us and our family and that is what matters most. We bless and help others too on the way and blessings of any sort come our way when we do that. Keep having fun and sharing it with all of us! Thanks.

  39. You rock, Jordan. I love that you post on a variety of topics. You are proving frugal living isn’t just for the poor, and also that “frugal” has different definitions during different stages of life. Nothing wrong with that! Keep up the great work. Hopefully, some of those leaving negative feedback will learn how to provide their honest opinions in a kinder way.

  40. Hey Jordan! I’m just laughing right now! I haven’t even read through the whole post now but I can just imagine you (maybe I’m just imagining myself) talking about a mile a minute about halfway through it as you gradually get more and more passionate. I am hearing you, girl! I have really enjoyed your blog and you are even answering one of my comments, so thank you. We are at the “abundance mode” point in life, but we all know that can change in a minute. We do not take it for granted and my husband and I also keep things “in budget” (once one of our daughters told me, ‘I hate the budget!’ in frustration) even if we are going to bless our family with a vacation or something that would’ve been seen extravagant in our early years. All I know is “all glory to God” in whatever circumstance we are in. He has never allowed us to go without. He has blessed my husband with favor in his job and He truly deserves all the praise for it. So preach on, Jordan and keep blessing your Freebs with insight to good stewardship!

    Patty 🙂

  41. Keep doing what you do best. I appreciate your honesty and admire all you’re doing for your family. Love your posts!!!

  42. Started following you a couple of years ago BECAUSE you were (to me) the shiny, perfect (house, life, hair etc) on the internet. I was curious (non creepy way, lol). My hubby and I were once in scarcity mode. Had to say no to a lot while I watched others around me say yes. Now, after 16 years of saving and scrimping and saying no, we can say yes. And we do. A LOT! Do I feel bad. Nope! Even when people post on my FB feed “going away again, did you guys hit Lotto?!?!” I do not feel bad. Because I watched these same people drive way too expensive cars and pocketbooks and say they can’t travel. My response: everyone spends their money differently. I would eat Top Ramen for five years straight and never own a designer pocketbook of it meant I could finally go to Europe. It’s all perspective. And I know exactly what you mean by it’s harder with abundance. For one, once you know what it’s like to struggle and then finally get a taste of abundance, you don’t want to go back in life. And so yes, you do have to make smart choices going forward, so that you don’t end up back on struggle mode. I Remember reading Madonna say once that no matter how rich she got she always had a hard time sending her clothes out for dry cleaning because there’s always that fear… Bottom line. Keep doing what’s best for you and your family. The point of working hard is to enjoy! So enjoy! Love you and your beautiful fam (no creepy way, promise!) thanks for putting it all out there. And I make no apologies that I just go to your site for the shiny, happy stuff.!

  43. I have no problem with your posting of trips and how you pay for them. I also think your budget friendly posts are also great. Where I think you went wrong on the last post was stating that this was an affordable vacation. Affordable means different things to people depending on where they are financially. To someone struggling to get by this seems like a very non afforadable vacation. Even for someone like me who takes big vacations once or twice a year this does not seem affordable. It just seems like a waste of money so you can say you stayed in a big house. My family takes a big vacation evey winter and we split the cost of a very large home to make it more afforadable. And that is where you should have put an emphasis on. That this is a way to make a vacation that seems completely out of your reach MORE affordable than if you just did it one your own. I think people would have taken it better. It just seems that the word affordable is something that everyone should be able to spend not just the really well off.

  44. Hi Jordan ! I have never commented on any of the blogs I follow until TODAY !
    I truly believe that you cannot make everyone happy, you have to live your life, love every minute of the craziness, and enjoy the ride.
    There will always be people who cannot relate to others successes. It takes ALOT of work and sacrifice to reach this point in your life, and most of us can see that.
    I love reading your blog, you are so funny, honest and most of all positive.
    People will come and go, much like real life.
    Keep your head up, you have a great thing going here. xo

  45. WAY TO GO! love the blog, love the Transparency, love the content!

    now go drink a extra large dr pepper and relax! you’ve earned it!

    I can’t imagine the (wish i cussed less) crap you get when you literally just asked for people to have an open mind and then wham you get the wave of rudeys (people who are rude) just commenting an critiquing up a storm! God Bless You and your (Beautiful-I mean look at Daivy’s cheeks!) Family! xoxo

  46. Thanks so much for this GREAT post! I don’t think the comment from “Susie” that sparked it all was necessarily rude (maybe just the use of one word). I’ve been on both sides of this too. I remember the graduate school-toddler-baby-no-money days like they were yesterday even though they were 18 years ago! We are now in the abundance phase of our lives and I think you described these phases really well. I especially LOVE your word on those “perfect” Instagram accounts. I was just observing this today and I’m so appreciative that you discussed this with candor. We ladies need to stick together in all phases of life and be gentle with each other. Thanks again!

  47. I wanted to throw my 2 cents in (if even worth that) about this post. This is my first comment ever on any blog. After reading Jordan’s posting and the comments I felt compelled to go against my better judgement and put my thoughts into words for all to see. I have been following FUNCHEAPORFREE for a little under a year. I have heard Jordan’s story of her time of “struggle” and though I have not had it as bad as she did, I have been close and am working on my self to get to the stage of always having secured “abundance”. There are quite a few posts that I feel don’t apply to me because I don’t have any kids yet, but I am glad they are posted because one day I hope I will. Just as some of the posts of “abundance” are not seemingly relevant to all they are still important. They are important because it shows that Jordan’s methods and advice for overcoming the “struggle” period of life actually work and pay off. If there were never any success stories, why would we continue to follow the blogger? This provides me hope that if I put forth the effort and be smart with my finances during times of “struggle”, the rewards of “abundance”, in some shape or form, will come.

  48. Jordan,

    Kudos to you for having such a gracious response. I’m sure it is unsettling to read the critical comments you receive. I encourage you to keep on blogging and keeping it real. Readers need to remember we are all at different stages in life,including financial stages. As a blogger, you are never going to make everyone happy, nor is it your job. Thanks for being your genuine self!

  49. Your blog is a breath of fresh air compared to what is out there in the blog world. Keep keeping it real Jordan!

  50. I am a new follower, but think you are doing a great job. People that like and can gain something from you, should do so. Those who don’t, should take what they can glean from you and discard the rest. If it is too difficult to sort and sift through it, then they can move on to more applicable blogs. Keep you chin up. I think that you are great and I will say that I am waaaay jealous that your husband will Bachelorette with you. Mine hates when they come back on, but it is my guilty pleasure. Basically a waste of time, but when else would I fold my laundry?? ha. I think that you are wonderful. Thanks for your help in so many areas.

  51. I’ve been following your blog for a couple years now and love it! Thank you so much for all the time and hard work you put into it. While my family cant take a trip to Disneyland yet, your posts got me excited for the day when we CAN take that trip. Such great ideas and advice, I truly appreciate it. What fun would life be if we didn’t believe and know that things were going to get better! Having hope for a brighter future and an excitement for things to come is what keeps me motivated! I need hope for brighter days, haha! I look forward to our future Disneyland trip and I am excited because of the great information I got from YOU! Thanks Jordan!

  52. OK ladies, I’m calling BS down here in Texas (sorry Jordan, I know you don’t cuss)…Can I be the one to call “TIME OUT!” from the extremely serious, life-or-death nature of this contentious discussion about Jordan’s lifestyle/frugal living blog to point out that watching Jordan and the Page family is FUN? Seriously everyone, I ENJOY watching/hearing/reading about Jordan and her family and all that they get up to. That’s why I keep tuning in. Almost daily, for almost 3 years now. Don’t you all have fun around here, too?

    And I should add, my husband and I both work in the “service” professions, which are highly undervalued and underpaid by our society, and we live on a super tight budget that we’re working to make better all the time. We have very little, except a lot of love. There have been hard times in my house – grad school and one income and surprise babies and a chronically sick child and never-ending medical bills, you name it, we’ve weathered it. And you can sit around feeling terrible, or you can put your chin up and look out and ahead. That’s why I love all of Jordan’s info – the advice on how to live on little and pay down debt, how to get your hair done for cheap, how to make broccoli in the microwave, how to price match at Walmart, how to thrift sale shop. AND…wait for it, I also enjoy watching those cute Paiges do their “Where in the world are Bubba and Jordan?” type travel posts. Otherwise, I would be BORED and stop watching.

    And to all the criticizers – yes, Jordan talks a mile a minute. Yes, she’s going to talk a lot about herself because it is (duh) her blog. She’s like my super fun extroverted friends who totally hold court at a party. As a more quiet gal, I love my friends like this because they entertain me and they’re totally from the heart. Let ‘er go – that’s why we love her so!

    And yes she’s being real about what it’s like to live a good life of abundance and not be an idiot the whole time. She is not trying to make you feel bad, she is sharing a good thing that can be inspirational. The funcheaporfree brand should include all and I think Jordan does a good job transitioning.

    Jordan, is it time for a restructuring of your blog/brand? So new Freebies could go straight to the stuff they need (or a review for those who find themselves in a tough time and need the encouragement)? And others could head over to “The Fun Stuff” if they’re looking for travel tips, etc? Whatever you do next, I’m in – because you’re fun, and honest, and spunky. AND the great times you are having now are so well-deserved. And I’m happy for you, and having fun watching you, and I do not believe you are trying to make me feel bad about myself.

    Now let’s all say together, “This is FUNcheaporfree, not the 2016 Presidential Caucus Debates..” take a deep breath, and get on with our days (:

    • My husband and I both work in service professions (high school teacher and nurse) and I agree wholeheartedly with your comment! Props to you for doing what you do!!

  53. Yes! I loved this post. I think it was a good reminder too that you have tons of great posts already written on your blog. I get in the habit of just reading what shows up in my reader. I need to go back and see what old posts may pertain to me right now. I also like the vacation posts because there are helpful tips in those even if you are just planning a weekend trip to wherever. And like you said, a good idea of where you got from being so focused on paying off debt and saving.

  54. My husband and I live furgally compared to most people today. We budget for everything, shoes, clothes, groceries, school lunch money, kids sports, fields trips, recerations, walmart trips, haircuts, gas, you get the idea. Planning ahead helps save for trips we take. We can put money aside each month and let it add up. Sticking to a budget helps allow to have fun. You are doing a great job.
    Love the blog

  55. all very good points, from both ladies. i loved her comment though b/c it definitely felt sincere. i just relate in a sense that i remember when i was struggling and all thoughts of money stressed me out that one time i made such an off comment to one of my best friends — like a realllllly bad comment. i mean the words flew out of my mouth so quick that i honestly didn’t feel like that was the real me talking. i instantly felt like a douche-bag…instantly! but i NEVER forgot that moment; it really humbled me. i refer back to it very often. i realized that i thought she had more resources than i, more “luck”, blah blah blah. even if that is true, it still doesn’t contribute whatsoever to my goals! it only retracts me. it was a defining moment for me. just wanted to share =) thank you for your candor, but most of all, thank you for stressing the importance of feedback. it’s a characteristic i hold dear to myself!! once i realized the value in feedback, it has changed my life for the better!! =D XO from california

  56. I’m not usually much of a blog commenter, but your post has had me thinking all day since I read it this morning!

    Might I suggest that there is a happy medium in between scarcity and abundance? You seem to have lived life in two extremes–first, spending absolutely nothing or the bare minimum to scrimp and save on a low salary, to now having a lot of financial freedom to buy a ton of clothes, live in a huge house, and go on nice vacations often.

    My husband is a high school teacher, and I’m a nurse. We have two small children, so I only work very part-time currently. We have never lived in scarcity (not even while we were both in school, thanks to good jobs, scholarships, and being taught good saving and frugal living principles by both of our sets of parents), and we will never live in abundance, given that my husband is a public school teacher and we hope to have several children that will limit my ability to work for a season (and increase our expenses, of course!).

    But we live a very happy life. We may go on a reasonable vacation every 5 years, and in between do fun, memorable but inexpensive road trips together. We live in a small home that we put a large down payment on so that we could have a small monthly payment and contribute extra with our mortgage each month. We have saved plenty in the bank for unexpected expenses (and expected ones, like having babies, buying cars, etc.), we avoid debt, and we live within our means. We have the financial flexibility to buy food or clothes ahead of time when they are on sale. But we won’t ever have a lot of the things you do because our income will never be large. And we’re okay with that! It has been such a blessing to be stable, but also not have to make decisions about how much to spend on clothes, vacations, homes, etc. We buy what we need when we need it, and try to buy quality and used when we can to keep our stuff lasting as long as possible. What we DO buy, we look forward to and enjoy (and, in my opinion, far more than people who get new clothes frequently or go on vacation more than twice in a decade!). We keep our house clean and less cluttered because there just isn’t space for extra stuff!

    We both LOVE our careers and feel like we make a difference in the lives of our students and patients, as well as have the flexibility to be together as a family. And that is WAY more important to us than stuff!

    I like your blog for the ideas about getting the most out of your dollar, finding good deals and your open, honest sharing about your life. Thanks for that! However, sometimes I can’t read it too often because I get envious of your enormous closet, your huge house, your vacations, etc, when no amount of saving will get me there. I get distracted and forget that I have learned to be happy with my life as it is, and knowing that less is so often more.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen – Yes, thanks for saying this! This is exactly how I feel. We by no means live in “scarcity” right now (although times are a little lean as my husband will be quitting his job soon and doesn’t have another one lined up…yet) but we’re definitely not at “abundance” level and it is HIGHLY unlikely that we ever will be.

      I am a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom. I do some freelance writing for a number of websites and could make more money than I do but that would require to me work more, which basically negates the idea of me being a stay at home mom, right?

      It is *not* just hard work and sticking with it that leads to abundance. Some people will never reach the “abundance” level that Jordan writes of, and frankly it makes me a little upset when people say things like “all you need to do is work hard!” Nope, that’s not always it. My husband does not have a college degree and doesn’t plan to get one, so unless we take a big risk and start our own small business it is likely that he will not make a bunch of money…ever.

      And seriously, I am A-OK with that. We are fine with where we are, but I do get a little envious sometimes looking at Jordan’s big house and her closet full of clothes and her vacations to Europe, Disneyland, etc. That just isn’t in the cards for us…ever.

      So yeah, I feel like I’m rambling but I just wanted to say that I share Karen’s perspective. 🙂

      • Thanks, Laura–it is so nice to know I’m not the only one working hard and living a simple life of moderation! Your reply made my day. = )

  57. Love your blog! My husband and I were just talking about this the other day! We just paid off our last bill and are debt free except for our house. My husband said, jokingly, it’s easier to have no money because the you don’t have to decide what to do with it. now we have to make an effort to still make wise choices with money. Now with extra money, we find ourselves wasting so much on out to eat. I have read some posts and felt a little jealous but realized you guys are farther along in your journey then we are and we will get there if we prioritize our money choices. Keep up the good work!

  58. Wow, have just finished reading all these comments. Can you, me and “Julia P. ” just be best friends already! Seriously love her comment. I started typing my own long comment but find i keep erasing it as i cant quite find the right words, so i will just keep it short and sweet instead. Love your blog, love you, love your family. Don’t change a thing. End. Of. Story. Mwah xx

  59. I love this, you are awesome. Me and my husband had went trough a similar time frame with debt and now that we are in a different mode now I love being able to added things we once thought would never happen and don’t get me wrong we are still super frugal (this gal will always be) but I love your posts and I had found out about your website after I signed up for MECCA me and my best friend went and in the dating divas class we sat next to your husband and not only is he super hilarious I remember hearing him and then you speak and goin home to tell my husband they’re the kind of people We would be friends with. So don’t ever apologize you are both awesome and I love all of the posts

  60. Jordan, I love your blog, your honesty, and your willingness to lay things all out. It’s refreshing to me in a blogosphere that does tend to present only the shiny and pretty. I doubt I’ve ever read a more honest blog, and I love that about FCF. I think you have done A TON to help families be frugal. It’s about choices. And you can only be relatable based on your own experiences. If you were preaching Ramens while getting to lead your abundant lifestyle, everything would feel very phony to me. Are there things I don’t agree with? Sure. That doesn’t mean I criticize or can’t relate. I’ve also sent direct questions on things Jordan would have an answer to a couple times with no response, but I know you’re a super busy woman (I couldn’t manage all you have on your plate and keep a happy face) and the big thing to me is that you are not OBLIGATED to help me. Yes, your blog makes money, but I also feel that because you are so open and honest you do this because you want to help. You can’t save, fix, help everyone. But I sincerely thank you for the times you’ve inspired me.

  61. Thank you for your honesty! As a fellow blogger I know how difficult it can be to be real. We aren’t going to please everyone, are we!? Keep it up! I enjoy your tips and advice 🙂

  62. I think people like to be offended about things no matter what. Someone will always have a problem with you no matter how frugal you spend or how detailed you are in a post. People are jealous and don’t like to see others that have more than they do. I agree with your point about it is harder to live in abundance…it is hard to find the willpower to continually make smart decisions about spending money. My husband and I cleaned up our act and got our finances together. As soon as we did we stopped budgeting and doing all the extreme things like no eating out, no hair cuts, no shopping, etc…We ended up needing to use our savings one month because of how badly we over spent because we felt we deserved it. Lesson learned. In phase 2, you have to learn how to appropriately spend money on the things you want now that there is money for them. I guess there will always be a difficult part of whatever phase of life a person is in and that means adjusting and adapting…..anyway I think everyone reading this post should do what she asks and read with an open mind. Understand the Pages are in a different stage of life than you or I. They have worked hard and want to celebrate their success. Her posting about these types of things is not inauthentic. It would be that way if they were not financially able to afford this lifestyle but acted like they could. Maybe use it as a motivator to keep pushing on through the difficult times. It’s not a show off or a rub in your face kind of thing. Also, I do not think the commenter was very tactful and Jordan has a right to explain herself and defend herself as well, as the comment was not said with grace or an actual interest in being answered, kind of felt like she just wanted to be rude.
    Sorry to be so long! Thanks Jordan, will always love reading your posts!

  63. Sweet Jordan

    Thank you for taking the time to share your life on the web, especially on this sensitive topic. I have been living in scarcity mode for the past couple of years and are on track to being in abundance mode in a couple of years. So I can completely relate with your point of view and how you were able to justify and clearly explain living from one side of the lifestyle to another. We look forward to being able to live in abundance mode but am personally fearful of going back to old habits so it is absolutely necessary to have some one to hold you accountable for those actions. Please keep sharing and continuing to keep it real. I’m so proud of you, I’m so happy for your success and pray for many years more to come!!!

  64. I have enjoyed your blog, youtube videos, instagram, etc. because it is YOUR life, not mine. I feel sad that you have to deal with negative comments like these. Haters gonna hate! My feeling is this is YOUR blog to talk about YOUR life and if people feel it isn’t relevant to them or jealous of your financial stability after years off hard work, they need to stop following you. Why read someone’s stuff if it makes you upset to the point you need to give them a negative comment? Really? Is the problem really them, or is it how you let them affect your attitude. Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching? You keep doing what you are doing Jordan! 🙂

  65. I completely understand where Jordan is coming from. My husband and I haven’t reached the abundance phase, yet, but when we have a little extra spending money find myself perusing the boutique shops on Instagram for a new top or shoes. I think a lot of you are taking what she wrote out of context. I did not think for a second that she was purposefully trying to shame anyone. She’s got this blog to share her real life experiences with all of us. Don’t hate on the girl because her phase of life is different than yours. I know, if anything, I’ve got more respect for her for being so brutally honest with all of us.

  66. Oh man these comments are hard to read!! We live in such a critical world don’t we?! I think it’s only natural to defend yourself when you are feeling attacked. I have lived in every financial phase (more than once) so I totally understand how difficult it is to stay grounded and frugal when you’re in the abundance phase. I think several people missed what this comment really meant. Like other people said there are plenty of super frugal tips from earlier posts for those in the harder financial positions it’s pretty silly to throw a fit and quit following. I think your blog speaks to all different types of people. I wish people were less critical with those around them and themselves. We are all fighting our own battle.

  67. I love your trip posts! They give great ideas and even fun places to stay. Thank you for sharing about your vacations. My husband and I are currently saving for Europe and Disneyland and I love the tips!!!

  68. I have been feeling the same way Susie has for the last several months. Mostly, I have just stopped reading your posts unless it is something relatable to my family’s situation. I think it is wonderful that your family is living in abundance. I just don’t know if you understand how truly abundant it is. Most of those following your post will never live out of scarcity. They will never live in a big home on the hill. They will never take a trip to Europe within weeks of taking their entire family to Disneyland. Most of those following your blog will always have to make a decision between choosing socks or fruit. Their life of scarcity is not because of their lack of hard work, but because of life. Sickness, death, job loss, divorce. Those things are hard. And things those are life. Others have chosen a life of scarcity because they are passionate about their career. Or because they don’t feel the need to have all the things a life of abundance brings. I grew up in a family of 7 kids and a self-employed dad. We have many years of scarcity and many years of abundance. I am now raising my own family with a husband in graduate school. We are blessed, so very, very blessed, but our abundance is much different than yours. Most people live a life much different than yours. My life is abundant because my husband loves me, because my children are healthy, because we do have food on the table every night and because sometimes we can take trips to Disneyland. I would hope that we can all be grateful for the abundant life the Page’s are living and look for the abundance we have in each of ours! It will look different for everyone, but most certainly it is there for each of us. On a lighter note, Jordan, you’re remarkable at what you do. Keep it up! Readers, take what you want from her blog and disregard the rest!

  69. I didn’t read all the comments, so sorry if this is a repeat!
    I love your blog because right now I am in scarcity mode-student loan debt, small kids, husband just got a decent job- we have been scrimping and saving our tails off. BUT we don’t plan on being here forever. I see your trips and vacations and it only makes me plan better for the future. When I can do that kind of thing, I want to do it the way you do. Yeah, we can’t do that now, but we will someday! Might as well get in the mindset now. It’s not a waste of time to read things that don’t relate to my present financial situation because someday we will be out of scarcity mode. Thanks for your awesome posts on EVERYTHING!
    HUGS

  70. Way to go Jordan!! You live your truth and that is all you can do. I’ve gone back several times to your older posts to keep myself in check when I have made some spending missteps, but I relate to all your current posts too. It’s great to see the different ways people do things to save money. I must protest on one thing and that is your hair is rocking more days than not!!! Keep doing what you are doing!!

  71. I totally agree with Sara’s comment- it’s kind of depressing to see how critical people are:(. I think you were tactful in your response, and most importantly- real!! That is one thing I love about your blog- you are very real:). I think there is value in sharing everything that you do- the good, the bad, and the ugly;). I love what you said about having an open mind- with every blog I read (or really anything in life!!) you have to keep an open mind and learn to apply what you can to your personal situation. We are all different with unique situations- the value of blogs like this is to share what you know so that people can take what they need and conform it to their own situation. You keep doing what you’re doing Jordan;).

  72. Jordan! First off I usually never post comments…like ever. However, I just had to let you know how much I appreciate how real this last post is. I recently found your blog and love it. I love that you are determined to keep things real and that’s why I love you. I too can relate to reading blog posts and Instagram feeds and find myself coveting the things they have and hating myself or life for a short moment and wishing I had those things or could be that great of a mom, wife, housekeeper or Latter Day Saint. Once I deleted my Facebook page and limited the feeds I follow on Instagram I could then appreciate the beauty of all the blessings I already have. My house is usually clean but not magazine perfect and that is ok, as well as everything else in my life. Thank you for sharing your insecurities and keeping it real!!! This totally made my day!

  73. I am sorry that “Susie’s” comment came across as rude to you. I thought she actually worded it respectfully. However, I know how it is to have something said to you versus being on the outside. It feels so much worse to have it directed at you. My sister has written for Thought Catalog and while 98% of her feedback is SUPER positive, she concentrates on the 1 slightly negative comment.
    I personally have been following your blog for a while now. I don’t find your newer content upsetting in anyway. I wouldn’t say we are in scarcity mode or abundance mode. We live a fairly comfortable life, but we don’t have a lot of extra money. So, I definitely don’t find those posts relatable. Honestly, I don’t get your e-mails anymore or follow on bloglovin’. I just come back occasionally and scroll through your home page and see if there is anything I want to read. I love your energy that I can feel through your blog. Keep staying true to you. You can’t please everyone.

  74. Was this post rewritten since this morning? I can no longer find some of the parts that I found problematic earlier. Cool if they were taken out but weird to not say this is a revised version if it is.

  75. I’ve been following you for a while and I have to admit I agree and have been having the same thoughts as “Susie”. No disrespect, but most posts I find myself thinking “seriously? How is this supposed to be helpful to normal people?” I don’t mean to bring more drama, it my choice to follow or not. just tossing in my 2 cents.

  76. I once wrote a blog post named “stay at home mom’s are lazy”. It was meant sarcastically but it makes me laugh when I see how many people daily search that phrase and feel the need to leave rude comments about how in fact stay at home mom’s really are lazy. It is to date my second most viewed post. And every time I get a mean comment I want to cry and it makes me want to write something rude back. I can’t imagine how you must feel with all the things people say to you that they wouldn’t say to your face. They think they can say it nice or mix it in with compliments and then it’s OK. But would they tell their friends all the things they hate about them as long as they were saying nice things too? Probably some of them do. Yikes.
    You’ve helped me a ton at a time in my life where I should be hunkering down. My problem is that I’m married to someone who doesn’t see it the same way as me. So I’m trying to hunker down and my significant other is in the abundant phase. There are all sorts of us with all sorts of trials and struggles. And the only thing you can do to help is to be honest. All of your posts help me. I love knowing that I can resole my husband’s shoes instead of throwing them in the trash cause it makes me sick to know how much he paid for them. But I also love knowing the best way to save money on little trips because I can’t afford them, but they’re gonna happen anyway. So keep being honest and keep sharing your secrets! But quit changing people’s names to SuSie. It makes me look bad.

  77. I don’t understand why some people are so upset that your blog doesn’t cater to their lifestyles. No blog can cater to everyone and their “special dietary needs.” I love your blog! Please don’t change anything about it. You are so honest that I freaking love you! Don’t ever let other people who are jealous make you feel guilty about taking trips with your family. I mean, that’s what life is about! It would be ridiculous if you never took trips with your family in order to save money.

    Also, you always state that your blog is about what works for YOU and you never claim that what you do will work for everyone. So I think some readers need to take a chill pill! Just keep being you, Jordan!

  78. Soooo, I get the spirit behind this post but I have to agree with some of the commenters that the tone could be taken as being a little snarky/defensive/stand-offish. NOT that you intended it that way, but that it could be taken that way. Also, I’m a writer at a large get out of debt blog (purposely not linking)….if you think this comment was bad, you should SEE some of the vicious hate we have spewed at us. We have a whole GOMI thread dedicated to the blog (didnt even know what GOMI was until I started contributing to/writing for this blog). So I didn’t like how you singled her out and specifically referenced it not being very kindly worded. I thought it was pretty polite constructive criticism compared to what I’m used to seeing.
    All this aside, I see both sides of the coin. I can relate to the commenter because I, too, have been a little off-put by all the fabulous vacation posts lately. Even done frugally, you have to admit you’ve been on a TON of big trips lately! At the same time, I appreciate them (maybe just wish there was more of a balance?). I’m planning my first ever family cruise vacation for next year and have been re-reading your cruise post series like crazy. So I certainly appreciate them , even if they didnt seem relevant at the time when u posted them. Basically, you can’t please everyone so just do you and the right audience will be there.

  79. Jordan, I am a grandmother over the age of 65. I have enjoyed reading your blog for a couple of years. I don’t fit the mold of your normal Mother of 4, couponing, etc. Your posts about shopping at WalMart, Costco, & other stores have been very good for keeping me on my toes at being frugal. We don’t have the same concerns about money & vacations, but you have given me insight to problems that everyone who has ever collected paychecks know about. How to stretch that money where it is needed. I am still not perfect in saving in every case, but I still strive to maintain a certain sense of what my priorities need to be in spending money. Thank you for writing this blog because wildly spending what you have saved is like eating wildly after you finish your diet. That is another story. I’ll keep reading! Jill

  80. I’m a 50 year old mother of a 10 year old with special needs. Will I find a blogger in the same situation asI am – probably not. WhaI do know is that I take what Ican use, and leave the reat. I’m beyond themail point of breast feeding, etc., but I look for the nuggets that fit my life today. Do agree with the wording of this post? No, but maybe that comes with age, and knowing that word’s can hurt and come across as judgemental depending on the filters you are reading them with. What I encourage all to do who are either in scarcity or abundance is to take the attitude of gratitude, and not focus on the “nevers”- we don’t know what tomorrow brings into our lives. Our family is financially comfortable, now after much work, but that could change in the blink of an eye.. Yes, we are capable of taking vacations, but I also vividly remember what it’s like to worry how we’ll pay our next bill . To be grudge someone who is doing well is as bad as looking down on thoswho are struggling. Let us show love to one another wherever we are in our lives. We women constantly face criticism in all areas of our lives.

  81. Jordan,
    I came across your blog when searching for tips for traveling with a toddler. I knew when you advised to keep a diaper handy for personal useon a long car ride after drinking mountain dew you were my kind of girl
    I love your posts. I love the variety and honesty. Some advice I can apply daily and other advice u know I will refer to in the future.
    I commend you for finding success sharing tips you practice daily. I commend you for letting your walls down and sharing your faults
    Thank you for the bomb shelter and my family is thankful too, no more accidental nipple peep shows.
    Keep doing what your doing, I am grateful
    Sincerely
    Celeste

  82. Since all the advice your website offers we are able to get without directly paying you a dime, I don’t feel like it’s any of our place to complain about anything you choose to share. You don’t owe us anything and it’s not your responsibility to fix any of our financial problems, you’ve just done so generously. Thank you so much!!! You just keep being you!

  83. Jordan,

    You have been an immense blessing to me. Keep on keeping on and pray for those less fortunate. I agree with you that making more money is difficult. You have more choices. I see that you have had a lot of feedback from your post about Susie. I have survived on public assistance alone while raising 3 kids and going to college full-time. If was a huge sacrifice to my family, but we did it and are better off. Now I have a house, 2 cars, husband who likes to travel, and a great job. I can complain about paying a mortgage! Thank you so much for all that you do.

  84. Wow! First, let me say that I think Jordan could have addressed this without ever mentioning a reader’s comment. She was a little preachy, and it drew attention away from the real message she was trying to convey. However, there are some real nuggets in this post that stuck out for me, especially about transitioning from scarcity to abundance. The reader’s comment highlights the expectations we create (false or otherwise) about others. Jordan’s blog was created to share HER experiences with the hope that it can help others who face SIMILAR struggles. It sounds like some of readers’ disappointment with the blog comes from a expectation that it should continue to suit their personal needs. But to do so would contradict Jordan’s ability to present her real life. If you want her to post more about a particular subject, she readily takes on those requests. But to ask her to not post about her life because it doesn’t fit your current situation is not fair either. my husband and I both have doctoral-level degrees that allow us to live on a very comfortable salary, yet the nuggets that Jordan shares about money management, meal planning, etc. are still so helpful for me.

  85. Jordan,
    Thank you for your continued efforts to be REAL. I stumbled on your instagram account first and then your blog and just LOVE seeing and reading about your story. I’m not a stalker, I swear! My hub-cap and I are in the abundance stage now and it is definitely a struggle to spend right, especially when I love to spend on anything. You have some great tips and I appreciate all of the effort you put into sharing your life with complete strangers. Thanks for doing it! Keep living your life the way you are – you rock at it!

  86. These comments, with the back and forth, are why I could never put myself out there and have a blog. it seems, you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. How critical women are of one another. I, myself, just celebrated my eighth anniversary yesterday. I also have four kids. we have been through the abundance stage in our life. But, sadly, we are experiencing the scarcity stage right now. I did not take offense, in the least, to Your response. You have every right to defend your blog. Everyone is in different stages of life. We just are. I still find your blog relevant to my life. I appreciate what you do and I appreciate your honesty.

  87. I too am a first time commenter, but I just feel like I have to express how grateful I am for your blog! I stumbled on it around Christmas time (I don’t remember how), but I immediately connected with it and it has been such an inspiration! We are a family of four, and were really struggling to keep our heads afloat, going into $45,000 in credit card debt when I was trying to be a stay-at-home-mom. I ended up going back to work to help get out of debt, but it didn’t help much because we were not paying attention and continued to overspend and not focus on paying things off (because we had it….abundance!).
    Jordan, your blog and your monthly budget system inspired us to follow suit and become motivated and committed to getting our debt under control. Of course, we don’t follow your exact process, we have tweaked it slightly to fit own needs. However, I am happy to say we have paid off $20,000 and on our way to being completely debt free in 16 months. We make a fairly good income, and certainly not struggling like so many are, however, we were guilty of living way out of our means. Thanks to your inspiration and advice, we have reined it into control and look at our finances in a whole new light.
    My point really is this. While I don’t hang on every little detail, I am so glad you post what you do. I take what applies to myself and my family and just plain enjoy reading the rest. You offer lots of good ideas and advice that have truly helped us be on our way to living debt free. We very much look forward to going on family vacation again (smartly), and most of all getting back to staying home with my children. Thanks so much for sharing with the world! 🙂

  88. Jordan I think the greatest thing about your blog is the balance of it all. If you only every showed how to save and be frugal and never showed the pay off from that then where would the incentive be to do the frugal things you’re talking about. If I were to read just the constant scrimping and saving parts then it would feel like there is no end in sight, that even though you’re showing all these great things it never pays off with being able to have a great vacation, or buy that new TV or car, or whatever. I believe you have to show the great things that are happening as well to show that it works! So I want to say, good for you! Keep up the balance of what you’re doing. I love your blog!

  89. Jordan
    I love reading your blog all the way from Vancouver British Columbia. I know that our price comparison on groceries and just about everything is not the same since I live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada. But I just have to say I love your blog! Your family is so beautiful and inspiring . I am currently a stay at home mom to two little ones and while we are not in debt, we are trying our hardest to stay out of it and keep our kids from becoming the next entitled generation. I love reading all your new and old posts. Keep them coming!

  90. Hi Jordan. Loved the article. Today I was wondering why 20 years ago when I made $4.35/hour I could run my household of three better than when I was making $12,000/month. Back in the good old days, I didn’t eat Ramen. That stuff is awful for you. Rather I cooked once a day. My grocery spending was $15/week. When I made $4.35/hour, I had no idea it was a bad thing. It perplexes me why anyone assumes their situation is fixed and they blame anyone but themselves. Today’s reality is the result of yesterda’s choices. Just so you know, you can measure success by the amount of criticism you get flung at you. Don’t cave into the temper tantrums. Don’t change anything. Go the path you are currently on.

  91. So I didn’t find this post offensive, I thought it was great, though I could see how people would take it the wrong way. I’m new to your blog and my family is going to start a real budget following your budget ideas. We are going to try to get out of debt and build our savings. I just want to say that I really appreciate both your scarcity posts and your abundance posts. I find it hard to give up the good to get the great when the great seems so far away and unacheivable. So what I like about the abundance posts is that it gives me motivation to follow through on the scarcity post ideas. If we work really hard on our budget, we will be able to afford more later. I really want to travel “one day.” But when is “one day?” Do I have to wait until retirement? From what I’ve learned so far from your blog is that if I cut costs now, and save every dollar possible, maybe in a few short years (5-10 instead of 20-30), we could go to Europe like I’ve always wanted to. So keep up the good work and I look forward to both scarcity and abundance posts. Oh and I watched the video and I like the ideas you had about programs we could join/follow and the analyzing our financial situations in posts if we ask you to. Sounds interesting!

  92. wow! You have a real love hate following😊 I love your blog! I live in the UK where IN MY OPINION we are to some extent protected by our ‘welfare state’ compared to the states. I have worked in the US and can see when you’re down you have to work to get yourself up and the sharing guys like you do works. I love your budget sense and think it works no matter what stage in life you are. Thank you for sharing your life and family and making it real for readers like me. God bless.

  93. Jordan, I came across your page on pinterest today. I am newly married ( 2 1/2 months) and we have a ridiculous amount of debt. I loved your video and would love some personal insight. You mentioned in your video about getting some personal information from someone and writing a blog about what you would do if you were in their situation.. I would love to be apart of that. We are struggling so much right now and ive read so many blogs and i guess its just a waiting game. Anyway I think you’re great and interesting. Keep it up!

    -Mallory

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