Thursday, November 19, 2015

Balancing Frugality

I read and participate on sites and forums dedicated to personal finance.  Sometimes, people post about things that I personally won't do to save money.

Complain about fast food service to try and get a coupon or freebie. Now this one's personal since my daughter currently works in said industry. She tells me stories of people recording interactions or complaining about a tone of voice or lack of smile. Dude (or lady), you're at a fast food restaurant. Calm down! Now, this is not to say that we won't speak up if our order is incorrect. My daughter felt really bad, but she still spoke up when her order wasn't right. But as long as you get what you paid for, there's no need to create drama.

Open credit cards or bank accounts for cash back/rewards. I only open credit cards or accounts if I actually need (or want) to do so. With Costco/Amex's impending divorce, I started keeping my eye out for credit card deals, and of course, I chose one that had rewards and a sign-up bonus, but I don't plan to open any more because I don't want the added hassle of another card to manage. I'm really happy with my credit union, and now that I'm signed up with one online bank for savings, I'm done. I had to call that online savings bank recently for one matter, and of course, they tried to sell me a checking account, but I politely declined.  I suppose I could chase $50 here or $100 there, opening up checking accounts A-Z, but it just doesn't seem worth it to me.

Buy 2 to get 1 free, or spend $x to get free shipping. I always consider it. And almost always decide against it. As an Amazon Prime member, I am used to free shipping, but if I do happen to be on other sites, it's almost always less to pay for the shipping than to get to that $ threshold. If I need 1 of an item, I don't need 3. I will save money by not buying the 2nd.

Clip coupons. When we moved, we got the Sunday paper for free for a few weeks so I went through the practice of looking at the coupons for the first couple of weeks. And found almost nothing that I'd use or want or try for 40 cents off! Needless to say, I'll never be on Extreme Couponing!

Shop on Black Friday. I've never understood the appeal of getting up in the middle of night (or whenever it starts these days) to buy a TV or whatever. I mean, I know they're supposedly great deals, but I much prefer Cyber Mondays...or just buying such things when I can afford them at the best price I can find.

This is not to say that there's anything wrong with doing those things if 1) you enjoy them, and 2) you see value in them. Ah, see what I did there? I put enjoyment before value! Because one of my friends thinks I'm crazy with my grocery spreadsheet. It's not crazy to me because I enjoy updating my grocery spreadsheet every week...and I see the value in staying on or under budget. But I don't think I'd have kept it up this long if I didn't enjoy it, too!

So this is a really long-winded way to say (again) that your values should align with your spending...and saving.

1 comment:

J-Mom said...

I'm not good at using coupons either. I clip them and then forget to use them. One time I thought I'd just go to grocery store to use the coupons. I did not come home feeling like I saved anything. The total cost did not seem worth what I bought.