Friday, July 29, 2011

Frugally Smart or Excessively Scroogelike

As I reflect on this past month I can't help but see some areas where I could have saved money better. I also can see some areas where I could have been less tight too.

As a stay at home mom and beginning entrepreneur I have decided to save money where I can. The pathway to get to the point of successfully saving money is different for everyone. What works for some people doesn't work for me, and vice versa.  It only makes sense to learn by trial and error, keep notes on what works for you and what doesn't. Sure, you can always give people advice or take people's advice but what it boils down to is this: Does it really work for you?

Cooking meals a month in advance doesn't work for me. Sure, I could probably save loads of money by doing so but marathon cooking just doesn't do it for me. Plus it takes up precious space in my little chest freezer for storing food for the winter. Some things I just don't like canned so I put it away in the freezer. Preparing food like that works wonders for some families which is great, I'm so glad they found something that works for them, but for me it just doesn't add up.

I love hearing other people's tips and advice on what works for them. Maybe their way would work for me, maybe I would have to change things a little to get their way to work for me or maybe their way isn't for me at all.

I encourage everyone to figure out what really works for them!!!

My biggest saying is this: My time IS money.

With that in mind if I can save $3 by making my own diaper covers from some amazing cloth on sale great! Since I am still learning to sew properly I can't sew as fast as some women so my time (until I get better at it) makes me lose money. I would rather spend the extra $3 to buy premade diaper covers and spend my time doing something else at a higher priority and practice sewing than to waste that time (and money).

In a few months I may be able to save even more than $3 by using rummaged sweaters and other clothes to make diaper covers when I am better at sewing things like that!

So keep that in mind too, just because something may not actually save money in the end, it may pay off to try it in the near future to see if it will work for you!

Saving money is like the ocean tide. It comes and goes but it's always there. There are always ways to save money, sometimes you have to let a previous way go because all of a sudden it just isn't paying off, but then later on you can try it again because it can start saving again!

Now the other end of the spectrum is just being excessively scroogelike. The root of all evil is money. Money should never be our god. Some may say rich people can never have enough things because of all the money they have. Well I have another spin on that, poor or even middle class people can also never have enough money because they are so tight they try not to spend it at all!! In other words all classes of people can become slaves to their money!!!

Sure, I might rinse out freezer bags to re use on stuff later on down the line but if it had meat in it, I toss it. Why risk not getting it clean enough just for the cause of saving a few pennies?! Before I toss something in the trash I look at it and ask myself: Have I used it in the last year? Can I re-purpose it into something else? Do I have the time to re-purpose it? Is this object something someone else can use?

 If all the answers are no, I toss it, if someone else can use it I donate it. The most important thing is not to become a hoarder either. That is why I ask myself if I actually have time to re-purpose it. Remember, time is money!!!

I like to analyze my tactics on saving money. I also like to try to save time too. Another flip side is that I found that by saving money sometimes I am also being "green" too. Interesting. It's good to sit down, do the math and see if you can change anything. Weigh things out and be honest with yourself, are you being frugally smart or excessively scroogelike?

~Saving money one baby step at a time~

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