Frugality without sacrifice is my spending motto. But does the “without sacrifice” part sometimes push me over the edge into unfrugality ? I took a close look at where my money goes and found quite a few items I could spend less on. So here is the rundown on what those items are, how much extra they are costing me, and what (if anything) I am going to do about it.
An Extra $1430 a Year for Unfrugality
Groceries. Because it helps me control my weight and maintain good blood numbers, I pay an extra $20 a week to eat a meat-and-veggies diet without rice, pasta or potatoes. That is an extra $1000 a year.
Medical Checkups. Because I want to stay on top of my health, I get quarterly checkups instead of the standard annual one. That is an extra $60 a year in co-pays. (Thank goodness for insurance.)
Dental Cleanings. Because I hate having dental work done, I get quarterly cleanings instead of the standard semi-annual ones. That is an extra $170 a year.
Vehicle Maintenance. Because of their servicing system and convenience, I pay more to take my truck to Jiffy Lube instead of a local service station. That is an extra $200 a year. (I’m passing on doing it myself, which would probably save me another $150 a year.)
What will I do about that extra $1430 a year in baseline spending? Nothing. All of it keeps either me or my truck in top running condition. And that, as they say, is priceless.
An Extra $1086 a Year for Unfrugality
Coffee. Because I like the taste so much, I pay an extra $10 a pound (!) to drink Tully’s French Roast Keurig K-cups instead of drip coffee. That is an extra $180 a year. (Which I really should not count since it is all “bought” with store gift cards obtained through cash-back card redemptions.)
Books. Because I love collecting them and not just reading them, I pay an average $5 a book instead of borrowing at the library. That is an extra $120 a year.
Motel Stays. Because I want the amenities it offers, I pay an extra $20 per night to stay at Best Western instead of Knight’s Inn or Motel Six. That is an extra $480 a year.
Scotch Whiskey. Because I want the smoothness and the taste, I pay an extra $18 a bottle for Chivas Regal over a common brand. That is an extra $216 a year.
Beer. For the same reasons as for Scotch, I pay an extra $5 a six-pack to drink Beck’s instead of Bud (or Old Milwaukee!). That is an extra $90 a year.
What will I do about that extra $1086 a year in discretionary spending? Nothing. All of that money comes out of my Discretionary Fund, which is there precisely for guiltless spending on whatever I want.
All told, my unfrugal side is costing me $2516 a year. But that is less than 8% of the annual surplus cash I have after covering my $15,000 annual basic living expenses. So I think I will give myself a break and let it be.
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image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net