A couple weeks back, in a roundup, I referenced Jim Wang’s Devil’s advocate: Being frugal is foolish. I pointed out to Jim that one can’t always turn their next hour of labor into money, that for many, this was a quick way to save cash. His reply, “but the risk of focusing too much on frugality, especially after the low hanging fruit, is that you start chasing savings that are mere pennies when you could be earning dollars (or at least trying to improve your skills so you can earn more dollars)” left me thinking. And reconsidering some of my view.
Maybe what struck me most after I re-read his post was the concept that there’s no limit to one’s income, yet frugality not only has a limit, but it can reach a point of diminishing return as you find the easy savings first, and may wind up putting in incrementally more effort to save even less. I think for those with a frugal mindset, it’s tough to break some habits and maybe there’s no need to. When the TP, laundry soap, canned soup is on sale for half price, I’m always going to stuff a closet with it. Yet, if my income isn’t high enough for my lifestyle, there’s a more fundamental change needed, I either need to Stop Acting Rich, or improve my situation by increasing my skills and earning power.
If you are still looking to carve some money out of your budget, read Tom Drake’s 10 Money Saving Tips. A good read to help you find some places to save.