Thursday, April 21, 2011

Anyone else tired of being frugal?

Is anyone else out there tired of being frugal?

It's like the unspoken elephant in the room sometimes when I'm talking to other frugal-types. Not just the pissing contest type conversations about who's more frugal, but the genuine frustrations of needing to do x and only having y options because of frugality, poverty, or ambition.

This thought started when I got sick of our toilet paper. It's not the cheapest, but I thought it was a good compromise between tissue-paper thin and the uber expensive, while also being a little bit green. But one time too many of having to ration the paper so that I got enough coverage without taking 2m of the stuff made me realise that I wish I didn't have to make these decisions. That I sometimes wish money wasn't an issue.

I am happy to buy a greener product.
I'm happy to buy a larger pack at a lower unit cost, or a different brand to see if there's a cheaper alternative.
Or even, a more expensive brand that is something else I value - locally made, or without x or y.

But what I'm tired of is the penny-pinching just to get by. We're not destitute or poor but going on 5 years of student-ship means we're close to the bone while still achieving some savings goals. And that means making the tough decisions about toilet paper.

Ok woe is me - first world privilege, I has it. I am able to make these decisions. I am able to choose what toilet paper I buy, and opt for one over the other so that money flows elsewhere in our budget.

But in the meantime, I will enjoy the trappings of my life and ponder whether this is why some people go off the rails. Whether we all need a little "thing" in our frugality that means we don't go crazy. For me it's dried spices. I buy them, and I use them generously. Others might scrimp on what they use, how much they use, when they use it or don't use it or what they cook. I also buy and use nice tea and collect tea things (pots and cups).

I do know though that this kind of stress can turn into something more than toilet paper. And living on our budget at the moment means that when I start working professionally we'll be well set to save and prosper. And that these habits are those that self-made rich people use to get the most out of each dollar.

But sometimes, I wish for nice loo paper.


Ness said...

I hear you. Oh do I hear you! For us the thing that gets us through is desserts. We buy icecream and/or chocolate and we have dessert. If we didn't have that I think the scrimpy meals and lack of new shoes even though the old ones are dying would drive us insane. Aldi has been our saviour in some ways, they have local produce that happens to be cheaper than elsewhere, they have cheaper options than other supermarkets that are similar in terms of ethics, so I get as much as I can from there and it allows us to have dessert.

I wish for shoes that can be replaced before they literally fall apart.

Jane1973 said...

We just buy really nice loo paper in a really big packet....then it is still sort of frugal, and less scratchy:-)

Anonymous said...

I make my sister and husband count squares when they're in the bathroom, because our paper is 50 cents a roll. I feel ya!!

And YES! I'm growing weary of being frugal. I've been home and not working for about 14 months now, and it's starting to wear thin, working with one income. But then I think about the benefits, and I can't be that mad.

But I'd love some cash to throw around for some mundane "splurgey" things... like, some new towels or expensive shampoo.