September 6, 2009

Whats My Frugal Limit?

I just read the article Your Mileage My Vary by Trent at The Simple Dollar. Trent talked about how some frugal tips and practices are not for everyone and how some things work for some people and not for others. The basis of his article was a tip that someone suggested to him which he was not willing or interested in trying.

I personally do a lot of frugal things. But there are many frugal practices that I currently do not do because I purposefully chose to spend money in those areas. But If I was broke or income was tight then I'd certainly do those things and give up the luxury. Other frugal practices are things I'd really prefer not to do if I can afford not to. Still other frugal things are simply not something I have any interest in doing because I consider them simply impractical or otherwise distasteful.

Below I list what frugal things I do, might do and wouldn't want to do.

What I currently DO:

Drive a relatively cheap car
Buy used cars instead of new
Live in a smaller house
Shop around for bargains
Use coupons
Paint my own house
Mow my own lawn
Get multiple estimates from contractors
Do simple home improvement projects
Buy and wear used clothing
Buy used books or go to the library
Brown bag my lunch
Use credit cards for cash back rewards
Shop garage sales
Use a low flow shower head
Use compact fluorescent lights
Avoid speeding in my car
Pay off credit cards every month

What I DO NOT DO but would DO to save $:

Make my own laundry detergent
Share a car with my wife
Give up Cable TV
Give up Netflix
Do large labor intensive yet easy home improvement or maintenance
Stop eating out
Change the oil in my car myself
Downgrade our internet service to lower speed
Cut home phone or cut cell phones
Shop exclusively at discount grocery store
Stop going out to the movies
Stop buying organic food

What I do NOT DO and really don't want to do:

Give up my car and use public transit, walk or bike
Turn down the heat below 70 in the winter
Rent out a room in my home
Do home maintenance that is very complex, dangerous or requires special skills or equipment
Major auto repair

What I do NOT DO because I think they are bad or aren't practical:

Wash ziplock bags to reuse
Chase the best savings account rate
Buy $1 coins from the mint to get credit card rewards
Eating expired foods
Anything I consider unethical or dishonest
Go without health, car, home or life insurance

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