Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is frugal always the best way....

I don’t gamble – and that’s a good thing because I have a tendency to become slightly obsessed with things once I get going. When I decide to do something I often just jump right in. There is no time to test the waters for temperature because I’m already in the middle, so to say.

Then once the initial shock of whatever I’m doing wears off I’ll slowly tone it down a bit and find a happy medium; a balance if you will, and that’s basically where I am now…. trying to find a balance in life.

When Matt and I made the decision to pay off our credit cards and start becoming financially responsible I dove right in. I read every money saving blog I could find, went crazing on couponing and created a huge stock pile. A year later – I’m a little tired and am starting to feel myself slip more and more (As our food budget for the last two months shows).

Don’t get me wrong I want to save money, feel financially at ease and of course retire early, but I also don’t want to feel guilty about spending $5 on something I’m going to enjoy. Matt and I need to pad our savings in preparation for a few things to come, but I don’t want to feel totally deprived either.

Here’s a recent example: I use PaperBackSwap.com - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free. to get most of my books for free. My “To Read” pile is so large if it takes me a while to request and get a book it’s no big deal. Of course there are always exceptions; lets say I’m halfway through reading the Twilight series and absolutely need book three. There is a long waiting list at the library and paperbackswap, but the hard cover is on sale for $13, what is a perpetual frugal gal to do?

Well I bought it. And you know what it felt great – ok I did feel a little guilty. That’s what got me on this train of thought in the first place. I shouldn’t feel guilty for spending $13 on something I love…a book, especially after trying all other avenues – and I’m not going to anymore.

I think as long as fun spending doesn’t get out of hand and other cheaper possibilities are tried then it’s ok. So that’s where I am now – trying to find a good balance between the frugal and spendthrift Megan.

Has anyone else gone through something similar? How did you handle it? Did you ever find your balance?


esther said...

Me and my husband were totally on the same boat as you and Matt were. We got married last year and then learned about this frugality by using coupons. We (at least I was) got right into it. Soon after we learned how to pay just couple cents or even $0 OOP for shopping in cvs. I got to a point that even if i had to pay 1 cent out, I was not happy about it. This past weekend, we finally went shopping (i believe this is our first time spending on real shopping), we went to an outlet and we bought clothes and shoes. I didn't buy as much as how I used to be when i was single, but I bought a pair of shoes, which I am really in need of a pair for going to work, and some work clothes. My husband got 3 pairs of shoes because his are worned out already. We felt good and not so much guilt for buying something that we need and would enjoy wearing. I guess finding a balance is good. Sometimes we can't really save all...and what's the point of saving if we will not spend it anyway...it's good as long as we are not spending without thinking! Glad you are enjoying your book! =)