Happy February, friends! As we pass the mid-point of the month and wind down winter, we are looking forward to sunnier skies, more sunlight and outdoor activities again.
Of course, we also need to tweak the budget again. A new season ahead means we take time to see how we’ve done so far (so-so if we are being honest) and look ahead for the big transitions and goals. There are a couple of big ones this year too and that always means tightening the budget.
Which brings us to the question, how frugal is too frugal?
Naturally, this question brings wildly different answers for each person and/or family. For example, if your spouse is spender he or she will probably balk at the suggestion of cutting back on any more spending. There are also times when frugal just doesn’t work.
As we continue to embrace intentional shopping, sometimes we are forced to acknowledge that there is a limit to frugality. The question recently came up at a dinner party and we found a hilarious story about the limits of penny-pinching from one of our friends.
According to our friend, she comes from a long line of budgeters. Her parents notoriously found ways to save money in untraditional ways and it was part of her upbringing. Though annoying, she never thought to question anything until her house was “rolled.” (It may have another name in other parts of the country, but in the South “rolling” is when a group of kids throws rolls out rolls of toilet paper on your trees, shrubs, mailbox and house. It’s mostly harmless, fairly easy to clean up and more of a nuisance than anything else).
However, a well-done rolling job involves a lot of toilet paper. That means kids usually buy the cheapest kind possible – the 1-ply, paper thin kind. After all, parents would get more upset if their bulk supply from Costco suddenly turned up missing and down the road a neighbor’s house looked like a TP winter wonderland full of fluffy, 4-ply paper.
Anyway, our friend’s house was rolled and it was a job well done and it was her job to clean it up. All of this felt fair to our friend and she started bagging the toilet paper up. Except, rather than throw it out, her parents moved the garbage bag full of toilet paper into the bathroom and everyone had to use it until it was gone. Because it was “still good” and saved them from buying more toilet paper.
For us, that is when frugal is too frugal!
We’d much rather fix our budget than go to that extreme. If, like us, you prefer clipping coupons and making monthly tweaks to keep money in the bank, then you use these past articles to help save each month. And then buy the good toilet paper!
Don’t forget to check our latest and greatest coupons for February too!