Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Crying Uncle: Saying Good-bye to Traditional Frugal Ways and Hello To Smarter Frugal

What is frugal?  For years I've written about it being the efficient expenditure of time and money.  And these past few weeks have forced me to Cry Uncle on several of my more traditional frugal ways.

The Purge of 2015 is on hold.  It will resume after the start of school.  Why the change?  Children's birthdays!  Oh my the inflow of stuff is amazing.  One child's birthday has passed, another looms. For now I am just swapping out an item for those that come in, making no progress on our efforts to rid our home of 2,015 items in 2015.  But I will pick that challenge back up once the school bell rings.

Then there is the lawn.  Having grown up in a lower-middle class, blue collar home, I mowed lawns starting at about age 12.  My husband who grew up in a more affluent home never mowed a lawn, his family had a lawn service.  Since buying our home and push mower, I've taken a great deal of frugal pride in mowing my own lawn -- great exercise, no gas used because of the push mower, out there connecting with nature. And then this summer happened.

My husband's business is morphing into something greater than his former freelance engineer practice: there is a partner, a new web site, a line of new clients, notice of upcoming international travel; they are hiring of staff.  In short, he is busy, but he never mowed the lawn anyway, so what gives?  At the same time my legal practice has kept me hopping all summer long.  Even with reduced part-time hours my revenue was the same as earlier in the Spring when I was full-time.  I have been as efficient at the office as possible, meaning I only have so much left to expend elsewhere.  And with the call of a cell phone I have handed over the lawn duty to Kevin of Cutting Edge Lawn Care.  Now I can remove another task from my to-do list, allowing me more time to focus on the kids when I am not at the office, and when I am at the office not spend time figuring out "when will I mow the lawn?".   Yes I could do the work myself, but there is a hidden fee there.  This new cost will be $36/week.  Money well spent, and a perfect example of the frugal life -- efficiently spending money as well as time.

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