About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

4 Reasons Zero-Sum Budgets Are Awesome

Budget conceptOne of my clients hasn’t paid me in three weeks.  Another just asked for additional work, which was fine, but it means that my invoice will be late.  Meanwhile, my website made considerably less money this month than last month, meaning my income projections for January are going to be off.

But pssshhhttt…. I don’t care, even though most people I know would be freaking out.  Why?

Because I use a zero-sum budget.  That’s why. [Read more…]

In All Matters, You Have to Start Somewhere

4dda1c2b-af2f-459b-8825-e8c833787c6eA few weeks ago, my daughter and a friend were in the midst of a play date when I struck up a stimulating conversation with her friend’s mom.

“You have your own business,” she noted.  “How did you start it?”

I had to really think about that one.  To be honest, I am not 100% sure how I started, just that I did. [Read more…]

Confession: I Paid Someone to Clean My House…And Liked It

Gloved hand cleaning toilet bowl using brushA few weeks ago, I felt like I might have a nervous breakdown.  We were getting ready to leave for our frugal trip to St. Maarten, and I was totally buried in work and struggling to get ahead.  And around the same time, Greg’s work got hammered so he spent a few weeks putting in overtime instead of helping at home.

The laundry was piling up.  The dishwasher was full again.  We were almost out of food and I desperately needed to get to the grocery store to stock up. [Read more…]

Making a Small Business Profitable

goals word in metal typeA lot of people who run small businesses think that they need to grow in order to make things work. For most, this simply isn’t true. You may actually be a lot happier just serving a handful of clients very well vs. trying to grow into a monolith that’s wildly profitable. In reality, you can make it just fine with a small business, but you have to be very efficient in order for it to work. If you can edit your operations into a very specific set of services, employ a few incredible folks, and engage a loyal client base, you should be able to do just fine. Here are three pieces of advice for achieving these goals: [Read more…]

Does Free Community College Make Sense?

Free Stuff ConceptDuring the President’s recent State of the Union address this week, he proposed sweeping reforms of nearly everything from government spending to the tax code to higher education.

Not surprisingly, he also released details on a program that would offer free community college for all- or at least some of us.  Here’s what he said: [Read more…]

Travel Hacking to St. Maarten (With Pictures)

st maarten 17

Me. In My Bathing Suit. You’re Welcome

If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely love beaches.  Of course, not all beaches are created equal.  I love the soft, white sand found on the beaches of the Florida panhandle, for example, but I prefer the crystal clear water you find in the Caribbean.  Bonus Points for a soft, sandy bottom you can walk on, but Super Bonus Points for nooks and crannies where I can snorkel.

All beaches are different yet beautiful in their own way, and I truly enjoy any moment I can spend on one – anywhere. [Read more…]