Monday, June 30, 2014

Time Crunch; Money Crunch

I am a blur in a financial relay race. In the first leg of the race, a shortage of time led to the second leg of the race: a shortage of dollars. And faced with a time crunch,  I passed the baton and  took expensive shortcuts.

Here's how my time crunch sprinted into a money crunch:

Step One: One night, low on time and energy, I fixed a frozen pizza and made a fresh salad for dinner.

Step Two: Running even lower on time and energy, I bought a bag of pre-washed, pre-cut salad and a frozen pizza.

Step Three: (Weeks later) I called the neighborhood pizza place and ordered a takeout meal: a large pie and a gourmet salad.

Step Four: Too exhausted to stand in line for takeout, I had a pizza and salad delivered to my home. The bill included a delivery charge and a tip for the driver.

Step Five: Six weeks later: I was eating out or ordering in several times a week.

My personal finance intervention has involved a slower pace and deliberate meal planning. Slowing down gives me time to plan frugal menus based on weekly supermarket sales. 

Here's my new process:

Step One: Write a one-week menu plan based on ingredients that I already own and the sale items listed in the weekly flyer.

Step Two: Shop for groceries on Sunday afternoon.

Step Three: Cooking marathon. Yesterday, for example, I prepared several main dishes for the work week ahead: spaghetti and meatballs, a large pot of vegetable-and-bean soup, rice and beans (from scratch). 

Victory at the finish line: Tonight -- one day after my cooking marathon --  fixing dinner was a snap. I even had time to blog and bake cookies.

Lesson 2 from my frugal recovery: Time is worth way more than money.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finding My Inner Cheapskate (Again!)

Stuff happens. Life happens. And setbacks are inevitable, especially when  it comes to frugal habits, money and savings. So I don't think I'm alone in confessing that I've fallen off the frugal path.  And I won't be alone as I try to build up my savings and rebuild healthier financial habits.

I'm not alone. I have emotional support from my family and a few good friends. Plus, in this space, I have public accountability to help with my personal accounting.

Please follow my new online journal as I adjust my personal balance statements.

As the Frugal Duchess, I am confident that I will find my frugal groove--again! My inner cheapskate is in there--somewhere. You can help me find my way back by sharing your favorite money-saving strategies and your efforts to recover from financial setbacks.

Day One Lesson:  Self-awareness, honesty and accountability are the first steps toward recovery.

So what do you think?

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