The Fruclassity/Badassity Balance

As long-time readers know, we here at Fruclassity tout paying off your debt without living under a rock and eating rice and beans for years on end. While we fully support the Badassity movement, Ruth and I also recognize that not all people are cut from the same cloth, and whereas the extreme debt payoff mode might work well for some, it may not work so well for others. Here’s an excerpt from our “The Fruclassity Mission” page:

Fruclassity is made up of two words: “frugal” and “classy”. “Frugal” means kicking debt to the curb. It means shedding a keep-up-with-the-Joneses compulsion, and letting go of an identity based upon material possessions and passport stamps. It’s about getting real, making sacrifices, and taking serious and ongoing responsibility for personal finances. And what about the “class” in Fruclassity? It’s the affirmation of your uniqueness. The room for “extras” that encompass what you value in life.  It’s the creative side of frugality. How romantic can you make your dinner date at home? What renovations can you do on $100?

Fruclassity fully encourages paying off your debt, yet doing it in a way that still allows for fun and extras that allow you to occasionally spend on things that you truly value.

However, as Ruth and I both talked about last week (You can read Ruth’s post here and my post here), even a Fruclasstic mission toward debt freedom sometimes requires some Badassity stretches.

In our case, we’ve got some pretty hefty upcoming expenses coming up in the next three months:

  • Hay for the horses, which we buy on an annual basis
  • New tires for two of our vehicles
  • A furnace repair that is not urgent but needs to be done
  • Krav Maga lessons for the kids, which is a huge priority for us

These expenses will add up to a good $2500, and we’re determined to pay them all in cash without touching our emergency fund. Our budget is still tight as we work to pay off debt, and our income is well under $100k, so saving up cash for these expenses is going to take more than Fruclassity – it’s going to take Badassity.

In that vein, we’ve decided to take the next three months and have the “rice and beans” attitude about spending. No entertainment spending. Minimal food spending. Minimal gasoline spending for me. We’re going to pay the bills and try like heck not to spend any more than we have to spend after that, in order to save up as much cash as possible for the upcoming expenses.

I also realize that there is a mindset adjustment that needs to come with this time period, as there is with any large goal. Part of my mindset training has been that I listened to the Dave Ramsey show for the first time yesterday.

If you haven’t listened before, Dave Ramsey, the Total Money Makeover author, shares on his three-hour podcast all kinds of advice on investing, money management, and debt dumping.

Dave’s tell-it-like-it-is style helps me to realize the importance of getting “gazelle intense” during this three-month period, and maybe afterwards too.

Although we’re doing a good job at dumping our debt, I’m ready to do a GREAT job at it. I’m ready for “gazelle intense”.

I think. 🙂

As we’ve talked about before on this site, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration on a debt payoff journey. All massive debt loads come from psychological misunderstandings about yourself or your money. In our case, we were using spending as a way to cope with childhood pain that devastated our self-esteems.

Both my husband and I have come a long way in terms of healing from those childhood experiences, but there’s always the fear that they’ll crop back up and cause us to fall off the wagon, you know? Especially in times of stress, like when you’re going gazelle intense for a month, or two, or three.

But for the sake of our children and our family we’re willing to try. And we’re committed to succeeding.

What about you? Have you ever had a period in life when you needed to get “gazelle intense” to reach a goal?


*Photo credit: Joseph Echeverria


15 comments on “The Fruclassity/Badassity Balance

  1. I don’t listen to Ramsey’s podcast as often as I use too, but always find it motivating when I do. Hearing how others are tackling their debt and of course the debt free screams always makes me feel like I can do more. We were gazelle intense for a 50 month stretch while paying off our consumer debt. We need to get back to that mindset to ramp up savings for our e-fund and college savings. sometimes it takes a little bump in the road to reminds us, like your upcoming expenses that we can do more. Good luck!

  2. We have used this intensity to pay off debt, although I would never claim that we cut back to 100% needs and no wants. We’ve always continued to prioritize generosity, volunteering, and friendships. Congrats on going after your debt hardcore and navigating the tension between extreme frugality and other value areas.

  3. It’s always an inner battle for me. I go back and forth between gazelle intense/extreme frugality and trying to find a balance of spending for things I value as well. Right now, I’m going gazelle intense to try to cover summer experiences without touching savings. Though I do think I could do better, I do have beans cooking in the crockpot as we speak 🙂

  4. I love extreme stuff for entertainment purposes, but I prefer the creature comforts in everyday life. I think you’re finding the sweet spot on your journey to financial freedom, Laurie. Thanks for sharing your victories and struggles so honestly all along the way. God bless! 🙂

  5. When I think “badass”, I think over-sized jeans and a hoodie. If I had either, I’d be wearing them this summer – at least when it gets cool enough. I wish you well in finding lots of interesting ways to serve rice and beans. A little variety will help. Maybe a post with different uber-frugal recipes coming soon? All the best in channelling your inner badass, Laurie!

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