Thursday, November 20, 2008

Frugal Isn't Always Frugal

Tip #30 - Sometimes Being Frugal Isn't Frugal. We all know the saying "Better an ounce of prevention than a pound of cure." Well, that is true in the frugal world, too. Sometimes you have to pay money today to save money down the road. To relate to the original quote would be flu shots. They cost about $25 or so. Someone might think it's frugal to skip the shot and save $25. But if the shot saves you from having the flu down the road, you are saving the cost of a doctor's visit, the cost of medicine, the cost of being sick, out of work, etc. by putting out $25 at first. Now, I know not everyone believes in flu shots, this is just an example. It's not frugal if you will have further costs down the road.

Suppose you try to save money by not changing the oil in your car. You save $14.95 by not changing the oil. But then your car's engine breaks because it has been using old oil and you have to buy a new engine. Well there goes a couple of hundred dollars. Being frugal and saving $14.95 wasn't really frugal. So, the main point here is to think about what you are doing to be frugal and whether is will really be worth it in the long run. Sometimes it isn't.

In Real Life (IRL) - I bought some thank you cards for my daughter's birthday party at a thrift store. They were only 50 cents! I was excited because they matched the theme of the party and they cost very little. After the party, my daughter started writing them out. We try to do a few per day. She did three the first day and I mailed them out. The next day we got them back in the mail with a request for more postage. Apparently square envelopes cost more - 20 cents more! - to mail than regular envelopes. Since there are 10 girls we need to send notes to, that will cost us an extra $2.00! Not so frugal after all. Luckily since my daughter didn't finish writing them out, we are going to save them for notes that we don't have to mail and use different cards that we have. Here I was trying to be frugal. I think I know why they were at the thrift store!

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