Frugality and Me: Couples Counseling May 1, 2007Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings.
Generally speaking, I have always considered myself to be very frugal and smart with my money. That’s not to say I was extraordinarily so, but definitely clip the coupons, shop the sales, buy generic, etc. As my income has grown, however, I have started to notice my relationship with frugality has drifted a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think our relationship is doomed, but I can sense frugality and I are growing apart and have lost a little of the “magic” we used to have. For example, in our earlier days, I would have never considered getting a haircut without a coupon (usually $1 off or something like that). Now I find that if it’s not readily available, then it’s “too much trouble” for the $1 saved and go anyway.
Similarly, I find that we buy more name brand items (groceries) and / or specialty items (vitamin drinks) that we never bought before. Also, I am slower to act on things where we may not be optimizing our spending (ex: phone, cable, etc). For example, we are paying for HD on our cable box downstairs but hardly ever watch it. I intend to cancel, but just haven’t gotten it done. I’m certain my beloved frugality has noticed my “wandering eye” and probably feels the distance between us as well.
I have given this some thought and come to the conclusion that as our income has grown, the “little things” we used to pay attention to as far as saving / getting the best deal, etc have lost their importance since our resources seem more abundant. Essentially, we don’t “feel it” as much as we used to. My long-term relationship with frugality is very important to me, so I’ve decided to take action:
- Assess how much we’re losing as a result (I estimate $20-40 a month)
- Get back to basics (do we need it? If so, how can we pay as little as possible for it?)
- Quit being lazy. Our relationship with frugality takes time / effort to make it work.
Granted, it’s probably not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but there’s no sense in spending more than you have to. If you find yourself in similar circumstances, I encourage you to get “counseling” and recapture that “lovin’ feeling” of frugality.