We have a bit of a joke in my house, about me being a Frugal Fran.
It started after my husband noticed that I reuse my teabags, wash our Ziploc bags, use the same handbag until the strap falls off, and wait for movies to show up on Amazon, rather than going to the cinema.
My thriftiness didn’t begin with our marriage. As a child I would loan my brother pocket-money after he had spent his last cent on video games and lollies; I remember keeping a running tally of what he owed me in a little pocket-notebook (interest column to the right)!
But there are three things that I don’t skimp on, which has allowed me to “buy happiness.”
- I pay for good health
- I pay for more time
- I pay for experiences
BUY GOOD HEALTH
While I can’t recall the last time I bought a new pair of shoes, I don’t bat an eyelash at spending $200 on groceries, $25 on a prenatal yoga class, or working with a coach or therapist, should I need. Funnily enough, I also can’t remember the last time I was sick, achy, or experienced anxiety.
To me, these things don’t classify as spending — they are investing in myself, for the present moment and the future.
BUY MORE TIME
Whenever my husband and I are in a particularly busy work period, I will happily outsource some of our necessary but time-consuming home tasks, such as housecleaning or visiting the dry-cleaners. As a family, this isn’t something that we do on a weekly basis, but if circumstances have led us to choose between spending quality time together OR scrubbing the shower floor, I will pick our time, every single time.
If it’s financially viable for my clients, I recommend that they look into grocery delivery services, house-keeping services, dry-cleaning, etc. If it gives them more time to focus on their health and happiness, then it’s a worthwhile expense.
Our Los Angeles neighbors may giggle at the fact that Nate and I share a car — a bright red, stick-shift, 2007 Mazda 3, to be exact — but we’re the ones having the last laugh as we jet-off on our annual international trip, host dinner parties, and take surfing lessons.
The excitement of a new possession wears off almost immediately, whereas the memories of a great experience last a lifetime. Paying for health, free time, and memorable experiences are worth more than anything you can pick up at the department store or via Amazon.
I bring this up, as today I was reminded of the saying money can’t buy happiness. To which I reply, it can… if you spend wisely.
SO I ASK YOU…
What are you buying?
Does it make you happy?
And could you honestly say that the purchases you’re making are an investment in yourself, for now, and the future?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
Your blissfully frugal friend,