Make It Last

by Kelly · 4 comments

in Thoughts On Frugality

From Yahoo’s front page, comes this article on 8 surefire ways to save $100, with this quote:

Note: To make the savings last, you need to set the money aside that you save after completing the above tasks.

If you merely congratulate yourself for saving money, but don’t separate the money into another account, it will likely be spent on other things and the savings will never materialize.

I found the tips (sell stuff, compare prices, use coupons) to make sense as the article is targeted to an audience just dipping their toes into the debt reduction/money saving waters.

The problem with this sort of one size fits all advice is that it doesn’t always work. I don’t have a mortgage, so I can’t refinance my house. And if I usually buy generics, their suggestion to save $2 a week through clipping coupons isn’t going to help me out. Sometimes I get really frustrated by the lack of specific advice tailored to my specific situation. I want somebody to spoon-feed me answers darn it! What do you mean I have to figure it out for myself!

So far, my method of stumbling through the forest seems to be paying off; I’m learning more and more about how to manage my money. But even though I consider myself to be more knowledgeable now then when I started, I still need to remind myself not to forget the basics: if you don’t set aside your savings, then they don’t really count!


1 Sophie February 25, 2008

I totally agree with you.

Because we came with no financial education, we have to educate ourselves and it takes time, hard-work and a lot of thinking to be done.

BUT, it IS worth it.

I started this journey thinking of myself as frugal, then I realized I had the wrong mindset. Then I gradually changed and the most important thing I learned about frugality, is that it does not equal MISERY and POVERTY.
I do not feel poor at all!

As for putting the money on the side, I found the easiest way is having 2 accounts in the same bank and putting the snowflakes aside. My banker is going a little crazy with all these 8, 6, 14, 13 euros drafts from my account to my savings, but who cares?! LOL

Good luck. We ARE on the right tracks!

2 Crystal February 25, 2008

I’ve been poor and I figure as long as I’m not waiting for Top Ramen to go on sale I’m not poor now. What I am is trying to raise a family on one income in a two-income economy. It means that there are a lot of spiffy things that I have to have the discipline to pass even if I want them and even if my friends and relatives have them. It’s not too bad.

What I hate is the money saving articles that tell me to get my nails done less often (less than once a decade?) or have the maid come in every other week instead of every week (I have a maid?) or letting me know that I don’t need a pretentiously named bucket of frou-frou fancy coffee to start my day (as long as they don’t deny me my loose-leaf, bulk-bought, same tea ball all day, tea). Ugh. I mean it’s nice to see the mistakes I guess I’m not making, but I’m generally not reading the articles for a pat on the back. When it all gets a little overwhelming for my underslept mind I should like a little hand holding. That’s all.

3 Meg from FruWiki June 28, 2009

Great advice! Savings happens at the bank — not at the cash register. I try to be very clear even just to myself about the differences between saving and cutting costs/prices. It helps me avoid getting too excited about 90% clearance sales on stuff I don’t need.

I get sort of a kick out of those intro to frugality posts with tips like “Buy generic pre-sliced, pre-cooked lunch meat” (which is still a ripoff, imho). And I’d definitely have to spend a lot more to be frugal by their standards. But then there’s nothing wrong with some luxuries if you can afford it. I think why we don’t see more hardcore frugality articles is that they’d mostly say the same thing: think long and hard before spending money on anything to make sure it is truly worth it.

Loose-leaf, bulk bought tea rocks! My husband makes it by the potful using a wire mesh strainer so we always have plenty in the fridge. I only reuse leaves when I’m making a cup at a time, but I need to experiment and see what it’ll take to reuse the leaves when making it in large quantities (my husband has it otherwise down to a science). At least we compost the leaves!
.-= Meg from FruWiki´s last blog ..FruWiki:Copyrights =-.

4 Emily June 29, 2009

Totally agree! I wrote a post similar – It’s Not Savings Unless You Save It – and it’s so true but still seems like “saving” is something so many think we do at checkout.
.-= Emily´s last blog ..Sunday Link Love =-.

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