I don’t think it’s possible to be frugal all of the time. I don’t think it’s healthy. I also think spending money like you don’t care isn’t healthy either.
I’ve been watching the No Spend Challenge at Mom Advice with great interest. Amy is doing great with the challnege, and I admire the strength of her character. I saw the challenge, thought about the challenge, and came to the realization that not spending anything for a month was not for me. My friend Michelle at Leaving Excess, who is also doing the no spend challenge, is going through the range of emotions I feared I would have if I did the challenge. I admire her willingness to try new things and for being so candid in her experiences.
A friend of mine recently made the point that you can’t really stop spending for a month. Every day you are spending something – whether it is $20 toward your mortgage or rent or keeping your lights and heat on. The truth of the matter is that you spend something every day – sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s resources, sometimes it’s time.
I truly believe that frugality is not an all or nothing thing. I think you must have balance. You don’t have to replace every light bulb in your house with a compact flourescent bulb today. You don’t have to plan a menu, clip coupons, hang your clothes, mend your clothes, and bake your own bread in one day. You can take your time. You can learn as you go.
Frugality is a process, not an end result.