How to be More Frugal – Avoid False Frugality!
There comes a point when we are learning how to be more frugal when we can actually go backwards by mistake! How does that work then? Well, we can simply spend too much time trying to save 10 cents and meanwhile have wasted $10 of electricity because we haven’t gotten around to installing low energy light bulbs yet! False Frugality is also the new “Chic” and you will doubtless have come across acquaintances who claim they are being frugal when all along they are still making no real changes in their lives and continue to live off the credit card. Read on to discover how to be more frugal while avoiding some of the mistakes that the MeanyGoat has made over the years!
How to Be More Frugal – Learn to Let Go!
Soon after I got divorced I wanted to make some changes in my life…..so I thought “I know, I will get some new clothes”. Well, being typically male the quick and easy solution to this was a mail order catalog…a great fugal choice since it saved a lot of time and the car stayed in the garage. A good choice until the clothes arrived that is. The trousers were too tight and the shirt was too big. Did I change them? Nope…just like 99% of people who buy from catalogs! Those black trousers got disposed of pretty quickly but somehow the shirt survived and I was reminded of it just last week when I ironed it 20 years later. Why had I kept it? Well it was too big, but then the colors were ok and I thought it would shrink after a few washes. After 20 years of washes it is now rather faded, but is the correct size. Get real, get a life and learn to let go! What I should have done is use the returns policy to get replacement goods rather than giving the trousers to charity and keeping the shirt for 20 years until it eventually fitted. Something that started out with good intentions just ended up wasting time and money….
How to Be More Frugal – Spot the False Frugality!
The other day I was emptying out the coffee machine and I thought “what else can I use these coffee grounds for?” So after a few minutes of Google searching I came up with quite a list:
- Dry the coffee grounds and put them in the refrigerator to mop up nasty smells…..hmmm, but why let a fridge get smelly in the first place?
- Save them to use as a mulch in the garden around acid loving plants like Azaleas…..hmmm, how many years will I have to save to coffee grounds before I have enough to make a layer of mulch?
- Keep some old coffee grounds to make into a paste for covering up scratches on wooden furniture…hmmm do I really need to clutter up the kitchen with boxes of old coffee grounds on the off chance that I might scratch some furniture?
And the list goes on….Basically the best thing to do with old coffee grounds is to either put them on the compost heap or wash them down the sink in order to keep the drains clear…..anything else is just false frugality because you will spend a lot of time for no real saving.
How to Be More Frugal – Experiment Carefully!
Experimentation is great…you know, you wake up in the middle of the night with that brilliant money saving idea? A couple of years ago my wife (the Nice New One..not the nasty old one mentioned in the shirt story…) came home with a bag full of shredded paper that she had picked up from an office she had visited. A few days later I had the brain wave….soak it and make paper maché balls, then poke a holes in the top, fill with vegetable oil and use as fire lighters all winter. Well that was the theory! More shredded paper was acquired…..we calculated how many fire lighters we needed to make and set about the task with gusto. Every week during the summer we would soak a box of “shreddings” for a couple of days then shape into balls with a dimple in the top and lay them out to dry in the sun. The first cold night arrived and I lined up a couple of the paper balls and poured vegetable oil into the “dimple”…hmmm, technical problem, the oil didn’t soak into the ball. So I poked a hole into the middle with a screw driver so that I could get the oil right inside. A bit better. Ok, now light the fire! The balls would not catch light…unlike my normal emergency method using a paper towel soaked in the same vegetable oil. Two years later I am still burning the paper balls a few at a time. The moral of this story is of course that it is really great to experiment…but you need to do this carefully and logically. Do a test, make up a trial batch before you go the whole hog. Because I had used vegetable oil and paper towels as firelighters I was 100% convinced that my idea would work so I didn’t bother with making up a trial batch. We live and learn!
Always Move Forwards!
Onward to the future, learn from your mistakes and start the next project! You really can live a happy life without owning a Porsche, and also without working for a Boss who sucks blood and treats you like dirt. By taking control of your money and spending it in the way that you want (rather than the way that others want) gives you enormous power. Use that power wisely!
Take a Frugal Tip from the MeanyGoat and learn how to be more Frugal…..the less money you spend each week the less money you need. Use that to leverage your freedom!
Here is a great list of Frugal Ideas from the Zenhabits website: 50 Tips for Frugal LivingPrint This Post