January 31, 2010

Worrying Too Much About Minor Frugality Items

I find myself thinking about saving money in my daily activities pretty frequently.  Three examples that come to mind:  I can get annoyed that a light is left on in a temporarily unoccupied room.   I am worried that the refrigerator door isn't closed quickly less some extra heat get in there.   I am careful with the amount of detergent used for a load of laundry so that I don't use 'too much'.  

If I add up all this stuff it really doesn't amount to all that much money.    Leaving a light on all day will only add up to $5-10 dollars a year.   A 10% increase in electricity use for our refrigerator would add $5-$10 to our electricity bill.   A 20% increase in our laundry detergent is probably $10 a year.  So I add these 3 items up and I'm talking about $30 a year in total cost or savings.  

Saving $30 a year is good.   However the problem I have is that I spend an inordinate amount of time worried about these 3 items compared to the amount of money that I'm saving.  

This is of course not to say that I think everyone should leave all their lights on, open the fridge door and use triple doses of detergent.   Being wasteful is not financially smart.    But its also not smart to worry about small things like this too much.

I shouldn't sweat the small stuff so much. 

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