Saturday, May 28, 2022

Frugality Limits

You’ve got to know your limits. There are plenty of Internet folks out there with helpful frugality advice. 

Some things won’t apply to where you live. One well know prepper has plenty of advice on how to take advantage of store specials. That’s great if you happen to live near any of those stores. My area is considered a food desert. We are lucky to have any grocery options at any price. 

Then you have advice like never buy coffee at a coffee shop. It’s cheaper to make your coffee at home. While that’s true in a strictly dollars and cents way it might not be the best idea for you. Maybe that coffee shop stop is one of the few things bringing you joy. Maybe it’s a social connection you desperately need. When I was in college money was tight, but I always scrapped up the cash for a coffee at the student center. It gave me the chance to connect with people and to gather my strength for the coming day. 

Some advice just does not make sense in the modern world. To do much of anything these days you need at least an Internet connection and a smart phone or computer. One of the things my wife and I did for her parents in rural TX was to deal with cancer doctors and hospitals.  Her parents lacked Internet service so we set up a hotspot to sort things out on-line. Due to covid restrictions even driving to the hospital to sort things out wasn’t an option. 

Without Internet access you can’t easily apply for jobs or services. Not being connected will cost most people more in the long run. 

You can’t decide to go without electricity. The state will take your kids away. 

Repairs and maintenance get short shrift when times are tight. You can usually get away with that for a short while but it will bite you late. All your skipped oil changes don’t make up for the cost of a blown car engine. That leak in the house roof will destroy your home if not fixed. Unfortunately most of us are balancing the most pressing needs month to month. We decide on the oil change rather than paint for the railing. If you are rich you never have to make those decisions. If you are poor and frugal it’s a constant balancing act. 

Frugality is more than dollars. There’s quality of life, mental health, and even spiritual needs. Be careful you don’t cut out “non-essentials” that make life worth living. 



  1. Without Internet access you can’t easily apply for jobs .

    I became aware of how getting a job now gets done just a coupla years ago. The jobs I snagged by being able to walk in and present myself that I would not have had a chance at if all I could do was fill out a form and become another anonymous person made a big difference in my life.
    Landing a job in a machine shop was unlikely, but I went in, foreman told me the boss wouldn't be back for three hours or so. I said OK,filled out and waited. Eight or ten came in, took it home, but I got the job. Being in the parking lot, wide awake, ready, on Monday morning, got me a few jobs.
    I don't like the way it is. It takes away the opportunity to show iniative.

    1. A friend of mine knew he was in trouble when reviewing the requirements for his assistant showed him he was no longer qualified to be his own assistant. After a layoff he no longer qualified for his old job. Never mind the 25+ years of experience and International patents. Local management could not over rule the headquarters education requirements. Much of the hiring process is done by computer algorithms.