Frugal Farmer // Financial Literacy Chronicles, No. 3

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Please welcome Laurie from The Frugal Farmer as our guest for today’s Financial Literacy Chronicles.  This is Day 3 of 30 in the Financial Literacy Month interview series here on Enwealthen.

Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your blog.

My husband and I are working our way out of a LOT of consumer and mortgage debt.

Our move from the suburbs to the country made us wake up and see that the Keeping up with the Joneses rat race we were participating in was NOT in our family’s best interest – financially or otherwise.

Money doesn’t change one’s personality, it simply magnifies it.

Can you share your most impactful money memory from your childhood?

Sitting in the living room with my divorced mom and two brothers, watching her sob because the cupboards were completely bare and the welfare/child support check wasn’t coming in for two more days.

For many years, this experience left me with the belief that financial security equaled the ability to accumulate “stuff”. In other words, if I had enough stuff that meant that I was doing okay financially.

Unfortunately, all that perception left me with was lots and lots of debt. I had to learn that “stuff” didn’t equal financial security – money in the bank and the avoidance of debt/living beyond my means did.

We all receive financial advice from people in our lives.  What’s the most interesting or useful financial advice you’ve received from your community?

Persevere in your financial independence pursuits. Don’t allow setbacks – no matter how big they are – to make you give up on your dream of being debt free.

This advice has helped us so much.

When we started our debt free journey we were in deep: we had a 65% DTI and the debt was all from nickel and dime purchases – that meant we had nothing to sell to get it paid off. We did pretty well the first year and a half, and then two years of financial tumbles via unexpected house repairs and family crises occurred.

By the time the smoke cleared our consumer debt had more than doubled from its original number. We were SO tempted to just give up and file bankruptcy. Instead, we chose to get up, dust ourselves off and try again. Now we’re smooth sailing and have paid off a large chunk of our debt.

We’re so thankful we chose to keep trying even after having dealt with colossal setbacks.  It wasn’t an easy choice to do that, and facing the much larger debt numbers was really difficult, but it was worth it knowing we conquered and are now winning with money.

I have several personal finance books I regularly give to friends and family.  What are your 3 favorite fundamental personal finance books you often gift to others?

Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover.  I like how it provides a proven plan for debt freedom with encouraging stories along the way.

Thomas Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door. This excellent book blasts the average person’s perceived image of millionaires.

Terry Felber’s The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant which provides a powerful image of entrepreneurship and giving.

What financial literacy education did you receive in school?  If you had a magic wand, what would you change to improve that?


I’m a firm believer that comprehensive personal finance should be taught to every high school senior.

There are so many blogs on the internet, what are 3 of your favorite blogs that instill financial literacy, either by word or action?

This list changes about once or twice a year, but right now three of my faves are Centsibly Rich, Get Rich Quickish (interview) and Freedom Is Groovy (interview) because they combine financial literacy with fun, inspiration and encouragement.

Don’t allow setbacks – no matter how big they are – to make you give up on your dream of being debt free.

I like to keep inspirational quotes around the house to remind me of what’s important.  Do you have a favorite money quote you use to inspire your financial life?

“Money doesn’t change one’s personality, it simply magnifies it.”

What’s the best side effect of being financially literate?

Getting your financial life together gives you the incredible gift of not having to spend time thinking about money, but instead leaves you free to focus on more important things.

Thanks for contributing to Financial Literacy Month here on Enwealthen, Laurie!

Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

Readers, please share your thoughts on Laurie’s experiences, any additional questions you have, and suggestions for who else you’d like to see interviewed in the comments below.  And please do share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Thanks!


  1. Awesome interview and inspiring story! So incredible to hear about a family with the drive to dig themselves out of what feels like an impossibile hole. I’ll be following your story on your blog 🙂
    Also, I hadn’t heard of The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant – I’ll have to pick that one up. Thanks!

  2. What an amazing and inspiring story, Laurie! Your tenacity to stick with your once despite setbacks is truly admirable!

    Thanks for sharing your story and I’m humbled to see my blog listed as a current fav! Cheers!

  3. Your story is so inspirational, Laurie! You and your family shown that perseverance can move mountains. I love following your journey and I know you’ve changed lives by sharing your story.

    Thank you so much for mentioning my blog! I’m so honored to be included as one of your current faves!:)

  4. I never tire of reading the story of your childhood and also the story of how you and your husband tackled the debt problem. It truly is inspiring to see how you overcame those obstacles! It really shows others that they can’t give up and they have to keep working hard if they want to succeed!

  5. “Getting your financial life together gives you the incredible gift of not having to spend time thinking about money, but instead leaves you free to focus on more important things.” I couldn’t agree more! My parents fought about money ALL THE TIME and all my childhood memories surrounding them as a couple are tarnished by those fights. That feeling of scarcity made me work hard from a young age to make sure I didn’t wind up in the same position. The end result is that I can focus on more important things, like the people in my life, instead of my finances. Now I see money as a positive and not the negative it once was. Thanks for sharing your story, Laurie!


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