Welcome back to Part 2 of Are You a Wise Frugal? You must decide…
I’d would like to ask you, dear readers, what your impression was after you read Part 1 of Are You a Wise Frugal?
Were you taken aback by the extremely frugal measures that my family had taken? Did you do similar things in your quest to become more frugal?
If you’re hungering for more frugality adventures, read on.
Some of these experiences will spur you to think twice and steer away from unwise decisions. Others will enlighten you to make life more meaningful.
Saving on meals at all costs
My unforgettable experience surpassed that of Mr MMT skin condition-related fiasco.
To save myself money, time and the effort of preparing my meals, I had peanuts during lunchtime at work for several weeks. Ignoring and suppressing the angry growling in my tummy for many days, I continued working most of the time.
Not surprisingly, I developed gastro-intestinal problems and ended up seeing a specialist who made a tidy sum of almost $400 in about half an hour of consultation. Had I bought my lunches from cafes, it would have saved me the pain and agony as well. The total food costs wouldn’t have come close to the specialist fees.
She sent me for an ultrasound scan which cost me over $100. Yes, it was a painful lesson: physically, mentally and financially.
In all, I had to cough out about $500
Lesson learnt. That was clearly unwise frugality. Now I pack my lunch.
Not seizing the moment
Have you come across parents who refuse to buy their children any toys as they’re regarded as a big waste of time and money? Or are you one of them? This article talks about the Importance of Toys in Child Development. Depending on the types, toys help nurture your children’s cognitive processes. Toys also enhance children’s social, emotional and physical development, realizing their innate potential.
All parents would love to have brilliant children.
At a stage when my child was interested in basic programming, especially with educational toys like Lego Mindstorms, all I could think of was the high cost!
Even when it was on sale at a hefty discount, I decided against buying. Now that he’s older, that window of opportunity has passed – I can never go back in time to correct my unwise frugality.
What about DIY?
It depends. A simple gardening task like weeding poses no problems, unless you suffer from physical ills like backache or sore knees.
Have you tried to fix the electrical wiring in your house yourself? Don’t.
It’s dangerous, even for electricians. I know of an electrician who lost his life on the job. Such a job requires a qualified and certified electrician. It’s also unlawful for those without the certification to do such a repair.
Do you think the money saved by doing your own electrical fixes is worth it? Just call in the professionals.
But what about my own cars?
After all, doing DIY on the car can save lots of money. You may have read about Mr MMT’s car repair jobs in 7 Ways that Saved Us $1,300 Recently.
Unless you are very familiar with the repair and safety procedures, I wouldn’t recommend it.
However if you want to make a start somewhere, check out my post 11 Easy Ways to Slash Your Motoring Costs as it’s been written specially to help anyone to save on motoring.
Ignorance is bliss, or is it really?
It’s important to listen out for unusual sounds from appliances, cars or machinery.
Treat it as a warning alert that something may be wrong. Fix the problem, before it develops into something more serious that can land you a huge bill.
While vacuuming, a red warning light appeared on my machine. Almost at the same time, I detected a metallic smell. Since I’ve just emptied my vacuum cleaner, I was tempted to ignore the warning signs. But something made me stop. It turned out there was another filter choked with a layer of dust as thick as the filter itself. Had I continued, it could have broken or even caught fire.
Some folks tend to downplay things that need regular attention, especially cars, their gardens and routine house maintenance jobs. Number 8 of this post details the consequences of ignoring something as small as a tear.
But how do you know when you should call a pro?
Trust your own judgement. Don’t be tempted to always save as much as possible.
Once I had water running down from the ceiling in the lounge – it warped the wallpaper. A roofer was engaged to look into the problem and his repair quickly resolved the leaking problem. Had I delayed calling in the pro, much more serious water damage would quite certainly have been done. My home would have needed more extensive and expensive repairs.
I have a pair of stainless steel lights near my main door. As the ocean is not too far away, the air is saturated with salt. It corroded the metal parts of these newish lights and rust stains ran down the outside walls of the house. It’s not urgent but it’ll need attention later on.
In this case, Mr MMT will look into it himself. He’ll use cheap solutions like vinegar to erase the stains.
I’ve saved the best for last.
This is a true account (pun intended) of an accountant who retired in his thirties.
Renting a tiny single level semi-detached house from the government, it cost him next to nothing. He rents out his own property in a blue-chip area for very good money.
His family of 5, 2 adults and 3 teenagers, live in a cramped 2-bedroom place meant for low-income folks. The ancient dwelling resembles a prison with tiny claustrophobic windows.
The high rent from his own house is what allows him to retire much earlier.
Would you go to the same extent to save more money? Are you shaking your head in disbelief, or are you marvelling at his ingenious extreme frugality?
Do you think he’s gone too far in wanting to save as much money as possible?
On the other hand, if you’re a normal person looking to buy a decent place for yourself and your family, read this post that details 9 Steps To Buying Your First Home.
Being an extreme frugal clearly has great advantages. It minimizes wastage in most areas of our lives and it is much kinder to the environment. The greatest benefit to most extremely frugal folks is the huge financial gains they achieve.
However, consistently drawing a sensible boundary between making smart savings and scaling the heights of frugality can be challenging at times. Depending on our circumstances, it can even be debatable.
When our well-being is at risk of being adversely affected by excessively frugal measures, we should always exercise great caution.
In highlighting these scenarios above, I hope to raise your awareness of when it’s appropriate to deploy saving strategies that will greatly enhance your finances and yet keep you safe at all times.
Thank you for reading this article. Do share it if you find this helpful so that others can benefit too.