Sat 16 Mar 2013
I was catching up on the pf blogosphere and read a few interesting frugal ideas. The thing that caught my attention was the inordinate large amount of time these people seem to have on their hands. Perhaps I live in a different world because I work for a giant corp that keeps me busy 50 to 60 hours per week then I’m working on two MBA degrees on top of that then of course I have an active family involved in community services, sports and other activities.
When frugal people suggest things like make your own soap, make your own soda, go to three different grocery stores and calculate the per unit cost of everything you buy…really? If I buy 40 items at a grocery store, calculating the unit price of EVERYTHING becomes an exercise in wasting time to save a few cents.
For me, and it seems too few people in the pf blog world, I try to do things that give me the biggest bang for the buck. Because I’ve been pursuing two MBA degrees, I’ve already gotten a promotion and decent raise (my employer is probably fearful I’ll move on) so they took preemptive action to keep me. Additionally, I’m constantly looking at investment opportunities. If I can score a 3% return on a 100,000 investment after a couple of hours of research then I’ll make an easy $3,000. This one investment opportunity (perhaps a stock or option trade) will automatically pay for all the frugal things in one easy swoop (dish soap, soda, rags, etc).
I can already here the detractors though….(using Droopy voice)…”it doesn’t matter if you make $3000 in a few hours because if you’re spending $3001 dollars on stuff every few hours you’ll go broke.” Well if you’re stupid, you will go broke no matter what you do but that seems to be a cheap excuse for not trying harder and achieving more. There seems to be a fundamental lack of ambition in these groups of people and it bother me greatly. Which would you choose?
Spend two hours researching an investment or spend two hours making soap.
Spend two hours learning a new language you can leverage overseas for a firm or spend two hours making rags by cutting up old t-shirts.
Spend two hours collaborating starting a business or spend two hours clipping coupons.
Am I missing something here? Which of these choices will lead to vastly more amounts of money in your pocket? There is a fundamental opportunity cost in everything we do and that whole thought process seems to be broken in the frugal mentality. Why?
I just don’t understand it…