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The Frugal Life – Living Well With What You Have


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Published Twice Monthly by Randal Watkins
The Frugal Life
May 12th, 2004


Hello Everyone,

We have missed sending out The Frugal Life News to you. I looked back on my last issue and it was 3/29/04. Our absence was due to 2 software programs we purchased not being adequate to do the job. Currently,we are very pleased with our current software program and we anticipate continued success in the future.

Later in the month The Frugal Life site, email addresses and bulletin board will be down for a few days. This is necessary to change to a new server that will run The Frugal Life website.

Hope all of you are doing well this time of year. We appreciate all of you posting and using our forum for The Frugal Life News.

Thanks again for sharing and subscribing to The Frugal Life News.

Until next time,




“The Two-Income Trap — Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers are Going Broke,” by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi, describes an escalating condition in American family finances:

“The people who consistently rank in the worst financial trouble are united by one surprising characteristic. They are parents with children at home.”

Their research shows that the costs associated with raising kids– good public schools (i.e. expensive homes in good neighborhoods), health insurance, day care, and college educations — these days REQUIRE two incomes.

Mom HAS to work.

Not only does she have to work, but working doesn’t provide the financial buffer expected of an additional household income…”Today, after an average two-income family makes it house payments, car payments, insurance payments, and child care payments, they have LESS money left over,” than their single income counterparts of the early 1970’s.

Historically, mom was a sort of financial safety net. If dad lost his job, mom could go to work to bridge this income gap.

Today, with debt-enabled high costs — large mortgages, extra car notes, workplace wardrobe —

“Mom’s paycheck has been pumped directly into the basic costs of keeping the children in the middle class.”

Because there is no extra “woman power” to deploy in times of financial emergency, and there is no 6-month Rainy Day fund safety net, one laid off spouse can lead to bankruptcy. In fact, two working spouses doubles the odds of a layoff.

Fixed costs — mortgages, car notes, credit card payments, health insurance, etc., requiring two incomes cannot be paid by one.

The trap is sprung!

Financial “experts,” and even the authors, suggest a way out of this trap: Replace the lack of a backup worker safety net with a budget and a 6-month Rainy Day fund.

Well… duh!

To be fair, the authors also suggest political changes to decrease demand for the resources that parents have come to believe are essential for successful kids. For example, they suggest vouchers as a way to decrease the competition for neighborhood-based good public schools… which drives up the prices for homes… which can only be acquired with gargantuan mortgages… which require two incomes… resulting in mom working just to make the mortgage payment.

Theoretically, vouchers would allow parents to choose a school independent of neighborhood and they can live wherever they can afford.

But, if they want a solution that is implementable BEFORE their kids are grown, the authors say, “SAVE.” And if the government can support saving, so much the better.

I’m sure you see the fallacy in this solution. I’m surprised, given the author’s dedication to “analyzing the numbers,” that they overlook both this fallacy and a more practical solution.

If two-income families are already spending every cent they make to service their ongoing expenses, how will they create their Rainy Day fund?

What will they use for money?

And, if they think squeezing the family budget to collect a few drops of savings will create 6 TIMES THE TOTAL of all of their monthly expenses in any reasonable period of time, as has been widely recommended by financial “experts” since the Richest Man in Babylon was a baby, then why does practically NO ONE have this amount of cash available?

Do you?

Yet, if the authors were able to awaken themselves from their Madison Avenue induced hypnosis, and take another look at their spreadsheets, they perhaps would see one glaring statistic:

Over 40% of family paychecks are consumed by debt payments.

And, lo and behold, debt payments DO NOT have to be perpetual fixed costs! (Although a lot of money is made, and a lot of moms work, because we falsely believe that they are.)

If moms, instead of lobbying legislators, politicians and school boards in their copious spare time, focused on immediately implementable solutions which directly attack and eliminate family debt, they can virtually guarantee a return of their safety net.

Recapturing 40% or more of your income from your creditors will build a Rainy Day fund in a matter of months — not years!

And, if mom chooses to continue working, her income becomes a powerful strategy for ensuring a comfortable retirement as well.

Escape your creditors and you will escape this trap.

Greg Moore is the author of the Debt Freedom Course,
‘DebtIntoWealth — Lessons from My Journey to Debt Freedom’.

To discover why

‘Americans are carrying more debt than ever before and are
behind payments in record numbers…’ — New York Post

and how to escape the Two-Income Trap, visit here:



“I ordered your Sunshine Concentrate over a month ago and I have been so very pleased with everything I have used it on. My Mom uses it for everything also: bath, shampoo, hand soap, laundry etc. I just ordered more. Anyway, I had gotten Super Glue on two fingers this morning. You have to wear this stuff off! I was wiping cabinet doors with the Sunshine Concentrate household mixture. When I finished there seemed to be powder on my fingers. I looked down and rubbed my fingers together, the cleaner had turned the glue to powder and it rubbed right off. Just thought you might like to know. Thank you for putting this product on the site. You have five (5) more families that love this stuff!” Barbara

Read more about Sunshine Concentrate here:
Sunshine Concentrate


Visit Healthy Pet Corner for lots of information, products,
and links for birds, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and reptiles.
All for Pets



I’ve been using Sunshine Concentrate for so many areas of household cleaning and laundry. It takes away the toxic cleaning syndrome and in some ways saves having to clean at all, like in the shower. We used to have a problem with soap scum on the shower door. I use Sunshine Concentrate as a shower gel with a favorite essential oil in it (which also provides antibacterial properties). I simply wipe down the shower every month or so with the only diert showing around the drain plate – not a sign of soap scum on the glass door. We receive emails from customers who love this stuff, so I thought I’d give my own comments too since the one that arrived last week got me excited about it again. Find out more about this wonderful stuff here: href=””>Sunshine Concentrate


Here’s a kit with everything you will need to start making your own pampering and cleaning products for pennies with the easy-to-follow recipe guide.
Make Your Own




Casual sports wear at TJ Maxx puts her sleeveless button-down shirt by a well-known designer ($24.99), with an orange patterned swim bikini ($14.99), white shorts ($9.99) plus his blue knit top ($12.99), tour cap ($9.99) and denim carpenter shorts by a well-known label ($24.99).

Accessories suitable for evening wear are available at Stein Mart, such as her black satin elbow-length gloves ($12.99), her crystal ring ($6.99) and his watch ($39.99)

Clothes for clubbing at Ross Dress for Less include for her, a halter-neck black jumpsuit with a gauze skirt attached to an empire waist ($16.99) and shoes $29.99) and for him, a designer-brand shirt in pale gray stripes $19.99) over a pair of linen-rayon slacks ($19.99) and sandals in leather and raffia ($19.99).

For the rest of the article go here:
46401.html”>Off Price Clothing Stores


Maybe you can help these folks out with a few suggestions? Or post some of
your own questions. LOG-IN TO POST Here’s the link: href=””> Forum

Questions Needing Answers at The Forum:

Questions Needing Answers at The Forum:

Cleaning Forum
1. I have hardwood maple floors that I clean with a Swifter wetjet.  I love the wetjet and am willing to pay for the pads just because they make cleaning so easy.  (With two small kids, I HAVE to mop daily)  However, I would like to find a replacement for the cleaning solutions.  Part of the problem is the bottle itself.  Has anyone heard of a refillable bottle that fits the wetjet?   – Rachel

Recycle/Reuse Forum
1. I am researching paper scrap, will appreciate your contributions in suggesting practical ways of collecting waste paper from major sources like offices, homes etc etc. I Have heard of curbside collection points, I am sure there are other ways ?



Life’s Abundance has great products by Dr. Jane Bicks and Dr. Barry Sears who
developed the Zone Diet for Overweight Dogs. Besides dog, cat and horse
products, you will have a non-toxic line of cleaning products – safe for
pets and children. Visit this website for more information. This type of
site is also available for $10.95/month (plus an initial $20 set-up fee). href=””> Life’s Abundance


Have you noticed how popular bath and pampering products have become? The
HomeSpa Party Plan taps into that craze. Guests at HomeSpa parties will
learn how to make bath salts, personalized perfumes, body spritzers and more
using essential oils, while you make a nice income from Nature’s Sunshine. href=””> Home Spa Party


If you’ve been a natural health nut, you have a lot of information others
need to have. Earn an income selling over 600 natural health products, skin
care, water filters, beverages, essential oils, and more. Earn trips and
car allowance. Websites are also available for $15.95/month. href=””> Nature’s Sunshine


If you have pets, they’ll love Flint River and you can make an income
providing good pet foods and other pet products to friends, neighbors and
your family. Pets keep eating, so customers keep buying. If you love
animals, this is a very rewarding home-based business. With only 100 volume
a month you can earn 19% on all sales. href=””> Flint River Ranch


Information in The Frugal Life News (TFL) has been derived from sources
believed accurate and reliable. In no event shall *The Frugal Life,* Randal
Watkins, or the TFL staff be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting
from any action arising in connection with the use of information herein.

TFL does not knowingly accept ads from advertisers deemed detrimental to
TFL’s readers, however, publication of an ad in TFL does not constitute an
endorsement for such product or service.

There is no remuneration for suggestions, tips, or ideas submitted by
readers. All suggestions, tips, and ideas, submitted for publication in The
Frugal Life, become the property of The Frugal Life, notwithstanding similar
rights of the reader submitting such suggestions, tips, or ideas. TFL
publishes readers’ names with their suggestions, tips, and ideas unless a
reader requests otherwise at the time of the submission.

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