I’m an all-or-nothing type, which only aids to my quitter troubles. People who are all-or-nothing tend to have unrealistic expectations, so when they fall off the band wagon they tend to quit altogether.
I swing all the way one way on a matter, and then all the way the other. With my goal of being frugal, I started to really be cheap. So much so that it led to me buying things that weren’t healthy, or helpful.
I bought Dollar store drain cleaner (which didn’t work at all), and higher carb, lower veggie meals for my family.
I’m learning that it can’t be black and white, because other things matter too. My family needs protein and veggies. I need the freedom to use some convenient things like salad kits or craft kits for rainy days.
So what’s the balance? When do you choose being frugal over other things, and vice versa? It’s so tricky!
I remember from past successes, I needed short-term mini goals within my larger goal to stay on track. I’m setting up some mini goals to help stay motivated.
So here are my 3 mini goals I’m going to focus on for now:
Price Compare: Before purchasing items I want to look for best prices. Amazon usually has lowest prices but not always. I’m also not on top of things enough to plan for 2 days later. We are out of kitty litter NOW, or I need Kcups NOW- CRAP! So I just run to the most convenient place and pay whatever it costs.
Running list: I don’t write down what I need until I’m leaving for the store (if I do at all). This leads to me forgetting things we need, and wasting money on things we don’t. Instead of adding things to a list when we are out, Im hoping to add them to the list when we are running low, to allow time for price comparing and possible shipping time.
Need vs. Want: I really need to reflect on needs vs. wants, because my lists for these are way off. I really need white tank tops (something every morning I say, “crap I need a white tank!”) But I really DON’T need a caribou latte…every. single. day.
While there are so many other mini goals I’d like to work on right away, these are the first ones I’m going to tackle. When I don’t break it down I get overwhelmed and give up!
Today is Halloween. My toddler LOVES Halloween! He went through many different costumes over the course of the last year. Yes, we have been stuck on Halloween since last Halloween, when he first understood the magic of Halloween- Candy.
Over the last year he wanted to be a dinosaur, Shrek, the Hulk, Spiderman, and a few other random ones. We already have a Spiderman costume, which was handed down to us for free.
(This is just funny:)
To my pleasure, my son decided to choose Spiderman. So that means I spent no money on his costume! Also, our daughter (one) will be staying inside this year since it’s going to be cold. Which means she gets to wear her cute Halloween themed dress (hand-me-down) instead of a purchased costume, so another win!
I know $50 savings isn’t enormous, but it all adds up- so I’m told 😉
UGH. On my way to grab my computer to write a post I was dreading it. Like a three year old told they must clean up all their toys, I sluggishly walked over to my laptop- Stopping fourteen times, distracted by anything shiny or fun.
But here I am. These posts are the worst..because I have to admit my failure, yet again. But I know there is no moving forward til I do. So here it goes:
I have NOT stopped shopping at Target, it’s like a drug.
I have NOT written down my expenses, meal planned, or price compared.
I have NOT stopped buying lattes whenever I want, also like a drug.
I have had a tiny bit of success with some things. My husband and I recently sold a bunch of things we didn’t want anymore. If this was a few months ago, we would have just donated them or thrown them out. But, instead we utilized Facebook Marketplace and sold a few things, helping to build a bit of savings. I’m happy about that. I need to get back on track with the rest of the things though.
Any time I don’t post in a couple weeks it’s a sign that I am failing miserably on my goal. I basically quit working on being more frugal and resourceful because it’s really hard.
It’s hard to shop at 5 different stores to get the best deals. It’s annoying to take my kids out of the car and into a cart, only to grab chicken breasts, and then back into the car, and go to the next store for grapes.
I’m struggling to write down all my spending. I forget to keep the note pad by the door and handy.
I think about the number I just spent somewhere, and say “okay write down 13.74 when I get home.” Then I don’t.
I look at the banking accounts online never.
Mostly I am admitting this so I have some accountability. I have to reflect on it a bit, and re-dedicate myself to the goal.
I didn’t realize there was going to be a cost to learning how to be cheap. But there is. It’s when you spend a dollar on the dollar tree brand of Drain-o, only to realize it doesn’t work AT ALL. So I still need to pay for real drain-o, but in addition threw away a dollar.
You don’t know what cheap versions work until you try though, right? I guess I spent a buck for some insight. Nothing is free, is it?
I’m one week into my journey to get cheap. The first few days were almost.. fun. I know, never thought I’d say that.
It was full of tons of errands to multiple grocery stores, Walmart, and the dollar store. It felt awesome to know I had saved money because of these decisions.
Then the weekend came. And my kids had doctor appointments that led to medication costs, numerous times. Then we were late getting home, so we grabbed fast food along the way. And then the whole thing just fell apart.
I’m realizing that weekends are the hardest for being frugal. We are home less of the day, I’m less organized, and have nothing planned out ahead of time. I’m trying to get back on track now.
Do you remember when you got your first checking account, and they gave you this little book that you write down all of your expenses in? I do. I remember thinking This is way too much work, I’ll just look at my account online. And I did, and it was almost always around 5 dollars. Then again, I was in College and super poor- so socially acceptable.
But now I’m 31, and it still happens with my personal spending account, so..not as socially acceptable.
Anyway, looking over my last month of spending overall, I see A LOT of Target runs, Panera and other restaurants, and coffee shops. This kind of makes me sad. The things I spend the most on are food (though we have food at home), coffee (though I have coffee at home), and cute organizational crap from Target (which is ironic, because I’m super disorganized anyway).
Meanwhile, our stroller’s wheel falls off repeatedly, my running shoes are so worn out I’m getting blisters on my heels, and I don’t own a single white tank top and every day of my life I need a white tank top.
I’m starting to see the issues here. It’s causing chaos in my life that is so unnecessary! I’m looking forward to making progress on this goal.