For those of you who have never had a wedding, let me explain the mindset that I am in. Our wedding is less than two weeks away, and while all of the large details are taken cared of, there are about 30 smaller details still left. These details include anything from tux pickup, marriage license, nail salon and hairstylist appointments, packing for our honeymoon and for the wedding (being held in another state), making sure our bills are all automatic so that they will be paid for the month of April, finding a cat-sitter, final RSVP number to our location, etc., etc., etc. Did I mention that I have about a hundred articles I wish to write, a full-time job that has been quite demanding lately, a garden to weed and a home to clean? Of course I am not alone in all of these tasks, but the work is a bit overwhelming.
So when faced with expenditures that will only add convenience to my life at this particular moment, I have had to ask myself this question: how much is my sanity worth to me? Lately, my sanity is worth a lot.
I have been diligent in saving as much money as possible on our wedding, and have even kept a notebook of each expense, what it would have cost, and what it actually cost after my frugal efforts, such as using discounts/coupons/etc. Thus far my direct savings for asking for a discount, using a gift card from my credit card rewards, shopping around, or using coupons is $1,838.65. I am quite proud of that number!
However, I am no longer in diligent-saver mode. I am in save-my-sanity mode, which means that I am making spur-of-the-moment purchase decisions based upon an entirely new set of criteria: how can I fulfill a purchase that I need in as little time as possible, and with as much satisfaction as possible. The results are twofold: an increase in our spending—which I had all ready figured would occur in the weeks leading up to our wedding—and not having to run around like chickens with our heads cut off. If this were my overall strategy for spending money, then I think we’d be in big trouble. But for right now—it’s working out quite well.
Of course, I haven’t given up frugality entirely (I would never choose to do that!). In fact, just last weekend I snagged a roll of aluminum foil for $0.23, we saved a total of $60 on our groceries by using coupons paired with sales, and Paul purchased and installed a toilet repair kit for a toilet that we thought we would have to replace.
As my coworker likes to periodically remind me (you know, after watching me clip coupons over lunch, or learning after giving my fiancée and I a microwave for our wedding shower gift that we had not owned one for the last two years): we earn money and should spend it once in awhile. Convenience happens to be one of the luxuries money can buy, and we are taking advantage of that right now.
I’d love to hear stories about when you’ve had to just cast frugality to the side and spend!