5.03.2011

On Being Frugal

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I believe I am mentioned before that I am frugal. Okay, some may call it cheap. But frugal sounds better, doesn’t it?

To be honest, I never really thought of myself as cheap. I like to save money; I have a budget; I put money away in my 401k every month. I am money conscious. I am savings savvy. I save enough to have fun, go on trips like the one I am on and still put money away for retirement. I think I am being intelligent with my money.

But. And there is always a big but, right?

When you travel with a “why not have fun and spend your money now in case you die tomorrow - you can always make more later” kind of person, you seem like less of an “organized saver” and more like a tightwad.

EXAMPLE: We go to the grocery store and buy (perishable) supplies of food for the next couple of days. We drive past a McDonald's.

He says, “Let’s stop and get a hamburger”.
I say, “We just bought lunch meat. Let’s stop and make a sandwich”.
He says, “But I feel like a hamburger”.
I say, “But the lunch meat will go bad.”
He says, “So we will buy more lunch meat tomorrow.”

Sigh.

Another Example: We rent a campervan for three weeks in order to drive around (and camp in) New Zealand. We decide to stay in City A. I check the camping ground booklet. Aha! There is a camp ground; it’s 6 dollars a person. We arrive in City A.

He says, “Maybe we should just get a hotel”.
I say, “But we rented a campervan and there is a camping ground right here and it‘s only six dollars a person”.
He says, “But I don’t feel like staying in the campervan.”
I say, “But we didn’t budget for a hotel. A hotel is 60 dollars.”
He says, “But a hotel would be nicer”.

Duh.

Oh the joys of travel. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. And sometimes you spend more on one night’s accommodation than you planned on spending for three day’s budget.

It's hard sometimes.

Are you frugal? Does your significant other agree with you when it comes to money? If not, how do YOU deal with it?

The A-Z blogfest is over, but I am still plugging on anyway. O is for "On". Stay tuned for P!

3 comments:

  1. I'm responsible with my money - meaning, I save, I put more towards my student loan/mtg debt than is required, I put money in my 401(k). But I don't think I would say I am frugal... I could benefit from being a little bit more frugal... I think I am not patient enough to do things like look for coupons or watch for deals. And a lot of the time i use the "I am working really hard right now so I deserve this" rationale to purchase things like CDs...

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  2. This is like reading about my and my better half. We are both saving money and we are aware of what we spend our money on. I like to save money so that I can go on an amazing holiday or buy something I have wanted for a very long time. But there are also situations were you buy food but you still eat out and end up not eating what you had already bought. I think it is important to not forget to live a little, as long as you don't forget to save up for your future.

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  3. I wasn't always the most frugal person but I'm becoming more and more of one all the time. For example, we meal plan during the week to cut down on grocery costs and avoid the temptation of eating out and I make my own chai lattes instead of going through Starbucks to save even more money :)

    Glad to know I'm in good company!

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!