Sing it with me: You’ve lost that (thrifty) feelin’, oh-oh-oh that (thrifty) feelin’.
It seems as if my husband is starting to be more of a cheapsake than me. Two things are happening: He’s kicking it up a notch, and I’m becoming more lax in my thrifty ways. I agree with him.
This weekend, our car battery died. We were at home. We have jumper cables, but couldn’t track down a neighbor who could give us a jump. I called Ford roadside assistance, because we have coverage under the car’s warranty. I wanted someone to come out and give us a jump, and if that didn’t work, to tow the car to a repair shop. I expected it to be free under the warranty, but I was willing to pay whatever it cost. That’s what emergency funds are for, right?
Shane, on the other hand, wanted to be absolutely certain that it wouldn’t cost us a cent for the jump.
Fortunately, the jump was free, and it worked.
Today, I went grocery shopping. It was after Aldi had closed, so I went to a regular grocery. I didn’t have a single coupon in hand. I don’t get the Sunday paper anymore, so it’s rare for me to have coupons these days.
After that, I went to Walgreens to get some vitamins because I knew they were having a BOGO sale on certain brands. I didn’t do any of the drugstore deals like I had in the past. However, I did get 500 vitamins for $11. The brand I got was on clearance and BOGO. They won’t expire until 2012, so I do think I got a pretty good deal.
My shopping habits have changed a bit — I’m not bargain hunting like crazy anymore, and I’m not in a panic if I buy something that isn’t on sale.
I’m not buying a ton of things and I don’t think my overall spending has gone up by much.
So what’s the problem?
Ever since we got out of debt last year, my views toward our finances have become increasingly lax. I’ve blogged about it some, but since it’s something I just can’t shake, I thought I’d mention it again.
It was easy to find motivation to get out of debt. There was an actual, almost tangible amount of money we had to pay back. Getting out of debt would mean we’d save money in the long-term. It would mean more of our income would be available to do things we wanted it to do.
Since our next financial goals aren’t any set amount of money, and they don’t have an urgent deadline, it’s hard for me to summon that gazelle intensity once again.
For me, I think it was more exciting seeing our debt decline than it is to see our savings account grow. What’s up with that?
It’s hard for me to find the energy to match coupons with sales, even though so many blogs take the guesswork out of it.
It’s hard for me to be motivated to find new ways to cut our budget.
It’s hard for me to set our thermostat way down in the name of a lower energy bill. It’s been a particularly harsh winter so far, and I’m cold!
But I think my biggest problem is the one I outlined in an earlier blog post — the next goals are so big and daunting that they’re going to take awhile to achieve. It’s the feeling you get when you’re standing at the base of a mountain and the summit is hidden in the clouds.
Saving to pay cash for a car and saving to have enough money to responsibly buy a house are worthwhile goals, I think you’ll agree. But dang — it’s going to take us awhile!
And in my defense, I am diligently setting aside money each month toward these things. I’m breaking these goals into achievable chunks to make it mentally easier. It’s a reasonable amount, though it could certainly be more if we were to get frugal-hyper about it.
That’s just not where I am right now.