I started One Frugal Girl back in 2006. Since that time I’ve written 1,215 posts, most of them detailing my relationship with money and my desire to maintain my frugal choices no matter how much I earn or save. I imagined being the kind of girl who would clip coupons long after reaching my savings goals and hitting my targeted net worth.
Lately I’ve been second-guessing my earlier intentions. I believe my desire to save is making me a little crazy. Take yesterday as an example. My husband is an avid Coke drinker. I hate the amount of soda that comes into our home, but over the years I’ve come to realize that I cannot control everything about my husband or his choices. If he wants to drink Diet Coke for breakfast then that’s exactly what he’ll do. Since he drinks so much soda I decided to start clipping the coke reward codes. For the most part the rewards kind of suck, but every once in awhile you can cash in points for gift cards. It only takes a minute or two to enter the codes so it certainly seemed worthwhile to do so.
Yesterday my husband clipped a coke reward and placed it on the kitchen table. Between all the hustle and bustle of daily life I lost track of that little piece of paper. Rather than saying “no big deal” and moving on with my day I spent the next fifteen minutes searching for that stupid thing. I keep a relatively organized house, but I picked up every item in just about every room in search of it.
Now there were two parts of crazy in this scenario. The first is that I do go a bit nuts when I lose things. It’s a trait I inherited from my mother. I cannot stand losing anything and typically throw an all out hissy fit whenever I do. Ask my husband about it and he’ll shake his head and roll his eyes. I’ve been known to bound out of bed at 3 o’clock in the morning when I think I’ve misplaced my keys. The second piece of crazy is that I hated the idea of losing Coke reward points. I can’t believe I spent all that time and energy trying to find a tiny piece of paper worth 25 reward points. Seems pretty crazy, especially knowing that I usually need 1500 to 2000 points to earn a $25 gift card. That’s nuts!
There have been many examples of this nuttiness over the years. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to kick myself for forgetting a coupon while I was out shopping, forgetting to hand a clipped coupon over to a cashier or even driving back to the store just to save a dollar or two. How many times have I stood in line at the customer service desk at the grocery store because an item was improperly rung up or waited for a manager override when the cashier forgot to deduct 5 cents for my reusable bags?
At the end of the day I don’t think any of this is a particularly good use of time. If I were in dire circumstances saving a dollar here or there would really matter. If I desperately needed the money then I would certainly continue to do all of the things I have been doing to save money throughout my lifetime. But right now I just don’t see much value in waiting around 10 minutes to save 50 cents or driving around to three different stores with a baby in tow to save $3. Right now I think I might need to change my thinking.
I think it’s time to throw some of my crazy, frugal ways out the window.
2 thoughts on “Throwing Frugality Out the Window”
I agree completely. You cannot let it make you crazy. Years ago, I bought something and forgot to use the 50 cent coupon in my purse. And I cried when I realized. That’s when I knew I needed to lighten up.
It is a hard line to walk though – sometimes I find myself falling off on the other side too.
The monetary value of time changes when you become a parent. Welcome to the club.