Sam Lustgarten on the freedom of frugal living – SHP025

Sam Lustgarten on the freedom of frugal living - SHP025

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Henry David Thoreau

Sometimes I have a conversation that is so honest and open it floors me. Today’s episode is one of those.

Sam Lustgarten writes about how to live a frugal, simple (and awesome) life, but he and I dive in to a whole lot more than that today.

We talk about how he fell into debt in college, and how spending money on stuff became a much-desired distraction as he moved through a difficult personal time. We also look at the first crucial steps Sam took to start getting out of debt and live a simpler, more frugal life.

Debt can be such a shameful, emotional burden to carry around, but Sam shows how being honest, open and vulnerable can actually lessen the burden and free us up to pay it off (and keep it off).

What I loved about this chat was that Sam never shied away from answering the tricky questions, and as a result I felt myself opening up and talking about our own issues with money and debt.

Such a pleasure talking with Sam, and I’m sure you’re going to love it too!


Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!


In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

    • What do we mean by living a frugal life?
    • Sam’s personal motto of ‘play hard, work less’ and why it’s so powerful
    • Where his personal finance chops come from, and what caused him to fall off the money wagon during college
    • How spending money on stuff became a much-wanted distraction in a time of depression and upheaval
    • How an innocent question from a girlfriend set Sam on the path to reclaim his financial freedom
    • What steps Sam first took when he realised he was almost $40,000 in debt
    • Why acknowledging the issue was the most powerful part of the process
    • Why getting rid of the majority of his belongings was more helpful in regaining financial freedom than actually paying off the debt
    • Whether Sam thinks there is such a thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt
  • Where people waste the most money (Sam’s answer really surprised me)

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

    • – the personal finance app Sam uses

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10 Responses to Sam Lustgarten on the freedom of frugal living – SHP025

  1. Hi Brooke.
    I was waiting patiently for more blog posts, but it appears these arent going to happen, so Im gonna have to sign off. I dont do pod casts. AM still following on facebook tho.
    Good luck, Have loved reading your blogs.

    • Thanks jo. I know not everyone loves the podcasting thing, but at this stage I’m just so burnt out from blogging that I needed to take a big old break. There’s still a good chance I will get back to writing one day in the future, so don’t give up on me yet! ;) I’ve really appreciated your support over the years though, so a big thanks to you. xx

  2. I am loving these podcasts Brooke and have made so many great notes from each one. The laughs and uplifting, feelgood vibe I’m left with are amplified from your posts by the podcasts for being able to hear yours and the guests’s voices. It adds so much PERSONALity to my online toe-dipping in a virtual world where so much is white noise. I respect and love this new focus to Slow Your Home.

    • Thank you so much, Louise. After writing for more than 4 years I was incredibly burnt out, and being able to have these conversations with interesting, inspiring people has really refreshed me. Plus it’s a lot of fun!

  3. Just now found your podcast and I had been very pleased to listen to it. Amazing and actually sad how we face the exact same issues regarding the culture or language.
    I believe that the only way to change the problem is to continue what you and Sam Lustgarten are doing by showing that it’s not an individual problem, but a rotten system that enslaves our mindset.
    Thanks, and going back to hear earlier podcasts.

  4. Hi Brooke/Sam

    The website Mint appears to only be available for united states and Canada… it looks like an amazing tool so i’m gutted! Can either of you recommend a similar tool that New Zealanders (and Australians) can use?


  5. I love honest chats about personal finance, I had not heard of Sam before, thank you for the introduction! I believe that if we (as a society) spoke more honestly and open about finances that more people would be empowered to take control of their finances and to be happier. My husband and I openly discuss our finances on our podcast (Matrimoney). In the past 2 years we have restructured our finances and lives to focus on paying down debt (student loans and mortgage) so that we can free up money and time to live more simply. It’s been an incredible transformation. We thought that we were living within out means before but in two years we have paid off/saved nearly $50,000, and we are also finding that we can live a more fulfilled life with less stuff. On another note, I have just started reading How To Do The Most Good by Peter Singer about effective altruism and I am inspired and fascinated, I would highly recommend it and perhaps you could have a guest on to speak about the topic. Thank you for your lovely show!

    • I couldn’t agree more, Kelsey! I love how open Sam was and think more conversations like this are only going to break down barriers and help people move forward. Also – I love the name of your podcast. Will subscribe and take a listen!

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