I have to say, I’m REALLY excited about today’s Focus on a Frugalennial and my conversation with Augusta Hinojosa for a number of reasons. For starters, she is the first interviewee in this series that is not a blogger. As much as I love diving into the money philosophies of fellow bloggers, I’ve learned that there are just as many incredible stories and tips to be learned from everyday people that choose not to put their thoughts on the internet.
In the case of Augusta, I believe that she truly embodies the idea of what a Frugalennial really is – as you’ll find out in her interview. She has such a positive perspective and shares some great advice. So without me wasting any more time, check out our conversation below.
The Frugalennial: Can you tell us a little about yourself
Augusta Hinojosa: I am a wife and mother of three. I work part time from home and when I’m not spending time with my family, I enjoy learning from Pinterest how to create replicas of just about anything for pennies on the dollar.
Although only working part-time does place a burden on our income, my husband and I view the time spent with our children as a blessing. Now I have the opportunity to be here for my children in an entirely different manner than when I was working. We complete our homework together, read, study the bible and I am able to be with them when they are sick.
TF: What are some of your financial goals?
AH: I have several plans and goals. I guess the main ones I could list are: 5yrs – Save for my children’s college, 10yrs – To have our student debt paid off, 15yrs – To pay off our home and 20yrs – Payoff our second home 😉
A few other goals of mine are to teach my children about finances so they do not make the mistakes we did. I would also like to help my friends make better financial choices. Since we live on a cash only budget, I would like to stay on that path and continue to make better financial decisions for family. I do not want to be those penny pinchers that do not enjoy life at all, but I want to be financially responsible too.
TF: How did your financial journey begin? Have you always been on the right path financially?
AH: I have two very different parents that taught me two very different views on finances. One parent to this day struggles with money and my other parent has always been the penny pincher. So I have two very different sides of the spectrum as role models. Initially my husband and I lived 100% on two incomes, we had credit cards, nice cars, and a really great apartment, we pretty much lived by immediate gratification, until my husband lost his job. At that point we had to start over and we made a decision we were not going to live on two paychecks again.
We began to purchase cash cars, we stopped using credit cards, and we lowered our living expenses to minimum so if we were ever in the same situation we wouldn’t struggle like before. Within two years of making these life changes we purchased out first home.
I would love to tell you we saved and we had a big down payment, but the truth was we didn’t. To this day we are still not the best at saving, but we try. We continue to make better choices and place ourselves in situations that will help us.
TF: What are some specific sacrifices that you made to pay down or avoid debt?
AH: One of the major sacrifices are family events. We do not have the extra cash or resources to attend family outings or to place our kids in sports and activities outside of school. We have to be diligent to find free events or low cost alternatives to stay within our means. We also find different ways to be creative and come up with different ways to spend time as a family.
TF: What aspect of getting your “financial house in order” has been most challenging?
AH: Saving. There is always something that needs to be done, bought, fixed, etc. It seems as if we are never seem to be able to replace our savings. We continue to struggle, but I know will get there.
TF: How do you manage your money?
AH: We have a very basic system mostly on our calendar. We talked about implementing the money manager app by Dave Ramsey soon thought.
TF: What do you consider a non-negotiable splurge?
AH: Our gym membership. My gym membership is exactly $10.81 a month including childcare! I go to the gym for two hours a day Monday through Friday. For those two hours I have childcare and ‘me’ time, while my son can play and socialize with others. Not only is this a great deal but I struggle with anxiety and this helps me to expel that stress and energy in a healthy manner.
TF: What advice would you give the younger ‘you’ about money?
AH: I would tell myself to live within our means, make better decisions, and save.
TF: Any additional advice or tips that you would like to share?
Immediate gratification will keep you in the same position you started in. To truly make a difference it begins with working towards what you want. You save up for that $300 purse and then realize you do not really want to spend $300 on a purse! Or you do buy the purse and cherish it more. If you want new clothes or furniture make it! Get on Pinterest, try something new, be inventive! Work towards what you want and love, then you will cherish it more.
I think the best way to accomplish any of this is to focus on yourself and realize you do not need anything to build self-worth. So many times people think if they had new clothes, car, house, wedding ring it will show their value, but it doesn’t. The items that hold the most value are given freely and if the people around you are not giving those gifts of friendship, love and family freely then maybe it’s a change of environment you need, not clothes. Your worth comes from nothing you can buy, but from who you are.