Frugality, Simplifying Life & Writing

Don’t believe everything you read. If I practiced the title of this post perfectly, I’m sure I’d still have a lot to learn about all three topics: frugality, simplifying life and writing. But incorporating frugal and simple living into one’s life is a great way to improve your writing career. It’s helped me.

Like many of you, I didn’t grow up knowing that I was going to be an author. Sure, I dreamed of it as a kid–who wouldn’t when blessed with great books like the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series and the ever clever Encyclopedia Brown? Not until many years later, however, after a plethora of jobs–everything from scooping poop as a vet’s assistant to being a case manager for the elderly and many others in between–did I ever really consider that I might be able to make a career through writing.

It was while working as an administrative assistant at a proverbial dead end job that the light bulb finally clicked on for me (Hello, illumination–where have you been?). I put the pieces together while reading (of course!) the book, Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. The book’s basic premise? We exchange our work hours for our life: so what are we working for? A new boat? A flashy car? Or time to write the novel we’ve always dreamed of? Of course, the book is much more in-depth than this, but for the first time I saw that another way of life was possible. And it wouldn’t require me selling everything I owned and moving to New Zealand to pick apples in order to have the type of life I craved.

Fast forward several year and I’m living my dream: writing for a living. It wouldn’t have happened without being frugal, paying off debt, getting my financial act together and being (gulp!) responsible with money. I’m a woman to whom the word budget brings up a mental image of a ball and chain so all this growth wasn’t necessarily fun. Still, it wasn’t entirely painful and most importantly it’s helped me live a dream.

After that first peek into the world of YMoYL, I became a little obsessed. This former mall-aholic started spending less and living more. And as I learned about living more simply it tied in perfectly with being more frugal. Over time both have allowed me more freedom. And that feels good!

If you’re interested in learning more about living a simpler life and more frugally, check out the following sites:

The Simple Dollar

Janet Luhr’s Simplicity School

The Art of Simple

Zen Habits

Frugal Living via

Becoming Minimalist

What do you think? Have you ever taken a foray into simple living or being more frugal in order to reach an important goal? If so, what measures did you take and were the results worth it?

J.P. Choquette writes nonfiction articles for business publications in between crafting her third suspense novel in Vermont. She would love to answer any questions you have on the subjects of living more simply and frugally. Feel free to email her at


This entry was posted in J.P. Choquette, Opinion, Writers, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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