Why You’re Wasting Your Time Pinching Pennies
Are you really frugal? Or are you just wasting your time pinching pennies?
Think about it. Are you careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to? Or are you just wasting your time being “penny wise and pound foolish”? Do you pinch pennies but don’t bat an eye at spending on big ticket items?
I’m going to drop a harsh reality on you here: if you’re rationing toilet paper squares per person in your family but get takeout every night in the week, that’s missing the point of being frugal.
Frugality isn’t just measured in the amount of money that you’ve saved. You need to keep be smart about the places and ways in which you are frugal. In other words, you might be wasting your time pinching pennies.
Extreme Couponing ruined my life.
When I started my frugal journey, my husband was supporting our family on $17,000 a year. It was right around then that I saw the show “Extreme Couponing” for the first time. They made it look so easy. They made it look like it was definitely something that I could do.
I spent hours searching for coupons online and in papers and even longer finding coupon matching sites that showed me how to get things for free. I took my stack of coupons to the store and saved a measly $10 on items that I really didn’t need. And what’s worse, I spent so much time looking for these dumb coupons!
If you spend 8 hours a day finding and clipping coupons just to save $10 off of your grocery bill, that’s not being frugal. That’s wasting time. The amount of money that you saved from clipping your coupons isn’t worth the time that you spent.
Of course, I know that there are plenty of people out there with stockpiles in their basements that they paid $0.01 for, but if you use what you buy, it’s worth it!
Are you wasting your time pinching pennies?
What do I mean when I say “are you wasting time pinching pennies?” I mean, are you so busy obsessing over the little things that you completely forget to manage the biggest expenses in your life.
If you spend your time obsessing over your meal plan but manage to spend $200 a month on takeout, this isn’t being frugal.
You’re missing the bigger picture.
Do you spend an hour driving around to find the cheapest gas but spend $400/month on your car payment? You’re wasting your time.
Do you furnish your house with thrift store and yard sale finds, but live in the penthouse apartment in the most expensive neighborhood in the state? You’re missing the point here.
Ok, so you’re frugal in some ways, there’s no denying that!
Don’t lose that momentum! Now, let’s add in the 4 big expenses in your budget that could save you big time: groceries, rent/ mortgage, car,
But if you’re obsessing over the little details but overlooking the biggest expenses, you just don’t know how to be frugal without wasting your time.
Frugality is an overall mindset. You have to start somewhere, I get that. But start big and then work your way down. If you buy a new pair of Christian Louboutin shoes each week but bring a paper bag lunch to work to save money, you want to rethink what you’re doing.
When it comes to being frugal, start big and then go small when you feel like there’s nothing else to cut out. You need to be well-rounded in your spending and saving. Save your money on everything, big and small.
Still need some extra help with getting your budget on track?
My friend Jessi Fearon of The Budget Mama is a pro at helping you get in control of your budget. If you need to really tie down your finances, check out her Real Life Money Plan eCourse.
Not only is it a great resource, but it’s also so inexpensive! No worrying about trying to make this course fit into your budget. I mean it when I say that this girl knows her stuff. Check out more on the course here!
Where do you have the most trouble saving money?