Frugality gets a bad rap sometimes. People assume it's about pinching pennies and saving money at any and all cost. But when we talk about frugality in the context of personal finance, it's really about making the most of your resources, and that includes time.
Photo by Jeffrey.
We've more or less talked about this concept before, but it deserves clarifying: frugality is not just about saving money. It's about not being wasteful, whether it's money, time, or effort. And some money saving habits cost more than they're worth, making them not frugal at all.
Afford Anything's Paula Pant calls this fake frugality, and she explains how it can hurt your finances:
When your mind is consumed by unscrewing oven lights, you miss the chance to think about big wins like refinancing your mortgage, shopping around for lower insurance premiums and making sure your investments are in low-fee brokerages. And you miss the chance to create something valuable for the world. Something useful. Something that will earn you money as a reward for your unique contribution.
This is why it's important to consider the cost of time when it comes to your frugal efforts. When I lost my job, I had a lot of time on my hands, so I was more willing to go out of my way to save. However, now that I'm busy with work, time is scarce, so I'm not as apt to spend it air drying my laundry, for example. (Although air drying is sometimes better for your clothes, but that's another topic).
Even small savings can add up, but consider the price of your time in the equation, too. Pant offers a lot of great food for thought in her full post, so check it out below.
I'm Fine … Could Be Better. What Should I Do? [Afford Anything]