Day 27

Mrs. Frugalwoods writes:

Frugality won’t rob you of your time. There’s an assumption that living frugally takes a lot of time, but on the contrary, I actually enjoy a great deal more free time thanks to extreme frugality. What Mr. Frugalwoods and I have learned is that it’s often possible to optimize for both time and money savings.

There is something to be said about doing things on your own when you can.  For instance, the Frugalwoods cut each other’s hair.  That’s great.  For us, it’s not likely to happen.  Supercuts is down the street, costs $18.00 whether you are xx or xy, and we can walk in and walk out.  I have hair that sticks out all over the place as it is rather wild in nature, and Mr. 182 has baby fine hair that also sticks out.  We get our hair cut about every two months (each) so the cost and the time are worth it.  As with the gardener, we decide spending is worth it rather than doing it ourselves.  If we cut each other’s hair it would be quite terrible!

On the other hand, cleaning house, gardening (our gardener mows and blows) the flower beds, and cooking at home are our choices on how not to spend our money.  There is psychological stress and monetary stress – and we all choose our proverbial poisons.  This is better referred to as “cost vs. benefit” – and that is where choices are made on a daily basis.  Not dining out saves a lot of money, buying in bulk, and even baking our own bread and making our own pasta are both personally rewarding and economical.

So, do our choices give us more time?  Yes, in some ways.  They also serve to remind us that there are some things best undertaken by professionals or people who are efficient (hairdressers and gardeners).  I would not do brain surgery, I assure you.  I can sew you a shirt, though!  You need a rocket?  We can do that, too.  By doing chores we dislike (housecleaning, poop patrol) we save money, and remember that work does have its own rewards, such as the pleasures of a clean house and yard.

Finally, frugality saves you time, not from chores, but from just looking for something to do by going out shopping.  Shopping with a goal cuts down on time needed for said goal.  Hey, I didn’t spend four hours today looking for a shirt . . . I don’t need a shirt so I have more time for fun things!

Anyway, time and money, cost vs. benefit – think before you spend, and do on your own what you can and want to do.  Look for that life-work-time balance.  Don’t be afraid to try new things – they do take time to master – but in the end, learning a new skill can save a lot of money in the long run, and give a great deal of personal satisfaction!