One of the Luxuries Money Can Buy: Sanity – Frugal Confessions

One of the Luxuries Money Can Buy: Sanity

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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!

6 comments… add one

  • BluSky

    There are a lot of instances but one that sticks out is right after Rita when I was faced with having to put a new roof on my house. Sure, I could have used a hammer and nails. Not only would I probably have come out of that with no usable fingers or thumbs, it would have taken me forever. I said screw it and bought an air compressor, a framing nailer and a roofing nailer. The cost was somewhere around $700 but worth every penny. The upside(?) is I was able to use all the same stuff again after Ike.

  • Great example–thanks BluSky!

  • I really love your blog and I love your ability to see the value in your time and your sanity while still doing your best to balance it all.

    I find right now that my ‘someday’ wedding with the person of my dreams makes me very anxious. Not marrying him, which is awesome and wonderful,, but how to pay a deposit on a location with the little amount we have to save and how to save more while going to the weddings of those we care deeply about.. its all overwhelming and I find solace in reading your words like somehow ‘it will be okay’.

  • Danielle: Thank you for your kind words! I am happy that you are enjoying my blog. Perhaps I can do some more articles (after the honeymoon) that have to do with saving more money out of your paycheck–I have other readers who have asked for this as well.

    Good luck, and keep reading!

  • Anytime a family thing arises, I spend money. If my grandparents need something, I will get it for them. Period.

    When my mom needed someone to help with the kids for a week after a needed surgery while I was in college, I skipped work and classes for the week and went home (obviously explaining the situation and not getting fired or failed).

    Yep, I use money like a wild woman if I think it can help. Sanity is priceless.

  • ADRealty

    I don’t want to scare you. I just read your previous post about going to the barn and pretending you were homeless. I think that if the world did end in 2012, you would be saved. You would be saved to help everyone else learn how to survive on little next to nothing in our new lives. Anyway, I haven’t written in a long time, but I’m still here. Good Luck on your wedding. It will all be worth it, remember all the stresses you had buying your house?? Well, same thing with getting married. I’m happy for you. Remember, the world is suppose to end in 2012 not on your wedding week or 2 weeks before your wedding date. : )

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