Shannyn FrugalBeautiful.com

In 2010, I was a new grad student who had just transplanted to Chicago after a lifetime growing up in southern California.  I came to Chicago to get my Master’s Degree to then go on to my Ph.D. and it ended up being my $32,000 mistake.

A few months into my first semester as a graduate student in Chicago, my career dreams began to unravel. I ended up one night with a friend at the (aptly named) Rock Bottom Brewery off the Red Line questioning everything in life,  including how I’d ever find happiness.

He asked my what I thought about my new life.  That night, I literally began crying into my beer.

It was then, the idea to blog about my quest for happiness was born.  At the time, I didn’t realize it would be as profound as a “quest for happiness,” but Frugal Beautiful was created to discover a beautiful life when your greatest asset, both financially and otherwise, was simply: spare change.  

I wanted to learn how to be live on $800 a month in Chicago (spoiler: you can’t unless you get crafty..read more here), but also, how to be happy doing it.  At times, it seemed easy to assuage my anxieties and discomforts by leaning on credit card debt, but I knew that consumerism was an addition and debt is a bad drug of choice-  I wanted to learn how to live happily on whatever budget I could muster.

Years later, I’m thankfully no longer limited to $800 a month, but the idea is the same- each of us must learn how to live a frugal, beautiful life, no matter what our budget.

No amount of “stuff” will create beauty in our lives, we must forge it for ourselves.

That is my hope, for this humble blog- to learn how to create beauty and cultivate happiness no matter where life takes us or how much money it takes.

My big pet peeve is that people equate frugality with being cheap.  On the contrary, being a broke graduate student taught me how frugality can not only save you in a pinch, but when your income catches up, how you can still be frugal in some areas to afford things that really, truly matter to you, even if they aren’t considered “frugal.”  This is how I could afford an $800 pair of Louboutins, save up $20,000 in a year and why I don’t skimp when it comes to travel.

I have learned to be frugal about things that don’t matter to me- like cable tv, overpriced lunches during the workweek and regular salon visits at $130 a pop, so I can afford the things and experience I treasure…namely a new Kate Spade purse once in awhile and a plane ticket to somewhere fun.

I’ve also learned that saving money on toothpaste won’t get you financially free, you have to be smart in your savings, strategic in your earnings (ask for more!), and hustle…always, always hustle.

The name of my blog sometimes gives folks the wrong impression- my frugality is not about extreme couponing.

Frugality is a way of life so  you can live fabulously in the ways that matter to you.


The Carmel Mission Inn - sitting poolside is just lovely! It's so colorful!

I love to travel.  I love sunshine and I love pops of color.


About The Author:

I’m Shannyn…28 years old, living in Chicago with my pugs and planning a wedding with my fiancé.  I’m half Canadian, but born & raised in California.

I’m a Social Media Manager… In addition to blogging, I am passionate about social media management, influencer marketing & am app-obsessed to the point I made it my career!

I love to run…I’ve become obsessed with racing against myself and using fitness as a way to both help myself and others. After being a couch potato for 25 years, fitness is a cornerstone of my life. I’ve completed nearly 20 half marathons, three triathlons.

I love to travel…My goal is to see new places and take lots of pictures. LOTS of pictures.  If there isn’t an adult beverage in my hand, there is probably a camera or iPhone in hand trying to capture a moment.

My inspirations include… Kate Middleton, America’s First Ladies, and Blake Mycoskie (creator of TOMS shoes).

I adore classy fashion…attire that leaves something to the imagination.  Sexy hosiery, vintage finds, high heels, the right shade of lipstick.

I’m a self professed ginormous geek…Doctor Who, Star Trek,  tons and tons of books, a documentary nerd,  fondness for Mickey Mouse, Domo, Kawaii & Hello Kitty. 

Meet Metilda Our New Rescue Pug  My pug Matilda, I adopted her last year from a local pug rescue.



Charitable Projects:

-The Rescuing Ralph Fundraiser (Spring 2011)  $740.71

The Makeup That Matters Fundraiser in memory of Kassie (Summer 2011)  $554.82 raised

-Donated $300 in Mary Kay products to Love Drop

Gave Up My 26th Birthday for charity: water (Summer 2012)  $2,601.00 donated.

-$500 raised for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Fall 2012)

Virtual Pug Run $7,806 raised for the Northern Illinois Pug Rescue




My Favorite Blog Posts:

Build A Wardrobe On A Budget: Fashion Essentials Every Frugal Girl Must Have

Frugal Confession: I Bought A Pair of $600 Louboutins & I’m Still Frugal

Confession: I Watch Hoarders…and I Was One.

My First Half Marathon:  The Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2013 Race Recap

Why You Should Start Saving For Your Wedding On The First Date




….or say hello at frugalbeautiful {at}   gmail.com

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