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7 Amazing Tips for Living Fabulously Frugal

  March 12, 2019  |    #Live Fabulously

Yes, you can live fabulously frugal and maintain your fabulousness

If you think fabulous and frugal are mutually exclusive, you think wrong. You can live fabulously frugal and here are 7 ways to do it.

Getting queer on living fabulously frugal:

Living fabulously frugal is about doing more but better

Frugality isn’t about eliminating fun from your life. It’s about spending money on what matters most and finding ways to do more with less.

Frequent Queer Money® guest David Rae is a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Investment Fiduciary based in Los Angeles. He’s been helping clients achieve financial security for the last 17 years, building a reputation as a specialist in serving the LGBT community. David writes a regular column for Forbes, and his work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Investopedia and The Advocate. He’s also been interviewed on Nightline, the Today Show and NBC Nightly News and more.

David joins us to discuss how to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. He shares his take on what it means to live fabulously frugal, exploring why the queer community is often tempted to overspend. David shares advice on how to treat yourself, how to balance money management with gift-giving, and how to negotiate a raise as a member of the queer community. Listen and learn how to include your friends in your fabulous journey to financial security!

It’s really a stereotype to think that frugality is about being poor. - David Rae of Financial Planner LAClick To Tweet

7 Amazing tips for living fabulously frugal

1. Plan ahead and save accordingly

A twist on a popular saying goes, “If you’re not planning to spend, you’re spending to fail.”

Most of us spend unconsciously, then regret our spending like whiskey dick or can’t sleep because we lack financial security. As our friend, Paula Pant, says, “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything.” But few of us know exactly what we want and don’t plan to get it.

The first couple of pages in the FREE Fabulous Life Combo will help you figure out what exactly you want, so you can align your spending with your values or goals. Then, with the Live Fabulous Social Life Calendar in the back, you can easily plan your fabulous social life around your money goals.

Hear how to live large without ruining your bank account:

2. Find ways to do more for less – ‘Not So Expensive’

It’s been the cliché for so long it’s in our DNA – gay men are supposed to live fabulously. Sorry to burst everyone’s nitrous balloon, but we’re not all white, upwardly mobile gay couples living in modern homes, driving Audis.

One thing we realized after we acquired $51,000 in credit card debt was that in too many ways we were living a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. Many of us can afford to splurge in certain areas of life, but most of us can’t afford to splurge in all areas. So, we learned to find ‘not-so-expensive alternatives’ or NSE for some of our spending.

Watch David explain the NSE below:

With everything in life, there’s an NSE alternative. These may not be alternatives you want to live with forever, but they’ll help you become debt free. Plus, the more ways you’re able to live NSE, the easier it’ll be to stay debt free.

We found NSE alternatives for watching TV, drinking wine and meeting our annual gay-quota for travel. Now that we’re debt free, we still exercise some of these NSE substitutes.

3. Use ‘Milestone Rewards’ to reach goals

Use Milestone Rewards as incentives to help you reach your goal.

Milestone Rewards are affordable treats we give ourselves when we reach milestones in achieving financial goals. They also don’t wreck our financial goals because they’re too much of a reward. Examples are going to the movies, a reasonably priced dinner out, a decent bottle of wine or buying an affordable, yet stylish, piece of clothes – maybe a cool t-shirt.

Milestone rewards should enough of an incentive to keep you on track for your financial goals and not kick you off the saving and investing wagon.

4. Talk with your friends and family about your money goals

People don’t talk enough about money. The queer community doesn’t talk enough about money. That was the whole purpose of last year’s Queer Money Live Tour – to get our community talking about money.

Share your goals. Share your aspiration. Then, share how you’re reaching those goals by spending consciously, saving and investing your money.

The more we talk about money, the more we learn about money and then the better we do with our money.

The financially stronger we are as individuals, the stronger we are as a community and the more we can advocate and push for equality.

5. Know your worth and get that raise or promotion

While there’s workplace discrimination against LGBTQ people, studies also show that we don’t strive for or advocate enough for raises and promotions in our careers. Let’s stop that!

Know your value. Apply for that big job. Demand equal pay and push for those raises and promotions.

Get our tips for making the most of any job and our 6 tips for writing for yourself the best annual performance review ever.

Hear the 6 tips for writing the best annual performance review ever:

6. Hire a financial coach for accountability and planning

Do you think you need to just go it alone when it comes to your money? No.

Why do professional athletes have coaches? Why do rich people have financial advisors?

Because everyone needs a coach to excel. If you’re not sure what your financial goals are, if you’re not sure how to create a plan to reach your financial goals, and if you’re not sure if you have what it takes to reach your money goal – get a coach.

Don’t go it alone!

If you think you’d benefit from having a money coach – actually 2 – sign up for your free consultation here.

7. Use tools for saving and investing

It’s a million times easier to reach money goals when you use the tools and resources designed to help you reach money goals. Here are some of our current favorites:

Investing to live fabulously frugal

M1 Finance

If you’re a go-it-alone, independent investor, open an account with M1 Finance – it’s free for retirement accounts with a minimum of $500 that you can access by clicking here.

M1 Finance is an incredibly flexible investing automation platform and great for individuals who are comfortable managing pre-built and customized Exchange Trade Funds (ETF)-based portfolios (see below), though they can model pre-built portfolios by Wall Street experts and robo-advised models.

• Trading is free
• There are no asset under management (AUM) fees
• There are no account fees (for brokerage accounts with a minimum of $100 and retirement accounts with a minimum of $500)

M1 Finance also allows for socially responsible investing, which is huge for the queer community.

Start investing with M1 Finance by clicking this link.


Think you’re too broke to invest for retirement? You’re not; there’s always a way, and that way is investing through Acorns here!

With its spare change savings tool and cash-back rewards, Acorns lets account owners invest in taxable and, for your purposes here, retirement accounts using spare or loose change. It’s a great way to get started with investing, especially when you think you have no money to invest.

Let Acorns get you on this simple path by clicking this link.


Get investment help from Blooom. Your investment options in company-sponsored retirement plans are often limited but even then, it can be hard to pick and manage the investments that are right for you because there are so many things to consider.

Don’t worry about it! Let Blooom worry about it for you – you just supervise.

Let Blooom do a 401(k), 403(b) or other company-sponsored retirement plan analysis for you, then do the research and provide you truly unbiased advice to build a portfolio that best suits your short- and long-term retirement goals based on the investments that are available to you in your employer plan.

Get your FREE Blooom analysis by clicking here.

If you have a Traditional or Roth IRA at either Vanguard, Fidelity or Charles Schwab, it can help you manage those accounts, too.

If you’re concerned about the current market volatility and its effects on your 401(k), 403(b), Blooom as three special O’s to help you with your investing during these turbulent times that you can see here.

Banking to live fabulously frugal

CIT Bank

Once you’ve saved $100 to put and keep in a savings account, open a Savings Builder Account with CIT Bank.

Their current base savings rate is 0.95%. You can earn more by participating in their Monthly Savers program. Essentially, if you make at least one $100 deposit a month into your CIT Bank Savings Account, you’ll earn a higher interest rate. Click this link for more details.

The best part of opening an online savings account with CIT Bank is that there are no opening, monthly servicing or online transfer fees.

Visit CIT Bank today!

Note: Most savings accounts have a maximum of 6 account withdrawals a month.

Radius Bank

Radius Bank’s another favorite online bank because of their 1.00% cashback reward on debit card purchases, plus unlimited ATM fee rebates – no ATM fees – while you’re earning up to 1.20% APY (annual percentage yield or your interest rate).

Again, there are no hidden fees and you can get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposit, but you need a minimum of $100 to open an account.

Check out Radius Bank here.

Topics covered on living fabulously frugal 

David’s take on living fabulously frugal

  • Find ways to do more for less
  • Save up and plan ahead

Why queer people spend more money than they have

  • Make up for feelings of inferiority
  • Overextend to project an appearance of success

How to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget

  • Focus on what’s important to you
  • Plan ahead for big-ticket items (i.e.: travel)

How often you should treat yourself

  • Use incentives to reach financial goals
  • Budget small amount for week/month

How to include your friends in your financial journey

  • Let them know you’re saving
  • Share steps to buy a house, pay off debt

How to balance budgeting with gift-giving

  • Talk about goals with friends/family
  • Set a budget on gifts (or skip this year)
  • Draw names or do a white elephant

The myth that frugal people are poor

  • Smart financial decisions = long-term wealth
  • Don’t judge based on car or clothes

How to negotiate a raise

  • Know your worth and don’t be afraid to ask
  • May have to be willing to switch jobs

David’s favorite tools for money management

  • Financial advisor for accountability
  • Quicken or Mint to track spending
  • Honey extension to save on purchases

The difference between being cheap and frugal

  • Cheap = not paying your fair share
  • Frugal implies smart spending choices

See how to overcome guilty pleasures and still stay fabulously frugal.

Connect with David Rae

More resources for living fabulously frugal

Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning we’ll receive payment at no cost to you if you buy through these links. We only recommend products we use or thoroughly vet and would recommend to our moms.  Buying too many of these is how you live fabulously broke. To live fabulously with financial security, start here.

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