More Thoughts on Frugality

I thought of one more reason why I’m frugal. It’s because I see being frugal as a way of earning money without going to work.

For many years I homeschooled and raised kids and did not earn any money. But I viewed the money I saved by living frugally as being like pay: every dollar deducted from the store receipt total because of a coupon or a sale price was a dollar I had earned through my efforts at finding the best price.

As a bonus, it was money I earned without having to pay tax on it. (When wives going to work full-time first came into vogue, one of the criticisms of the concept was the fact that the second income often pushed a couple into a higher tax bracket. I was a newlywed back then, and that knowledge made an impression that never left me, I guess.)

I’ve also been conscious of the sliding scale between income and expenses. Back when I only had two children, I stumbled upon a job opportunity that allowed me to work at home as a writer and editor. The company I worked for gave me as much or as little work as I wanted.

At first, I took on as much as they would give me, thinking I could make a nice side income. But what I discovered was that the more I worked, the less time I had to make meals, thus driving up what we spent on pricy frozen entrees and restaurant food. I also realized that I was spending money on treats and toys for my kids because I felt guilty that I sometimes parked them in front of the television in order to make a deadline. I began to notice a trend: the more money I earned, the more money I spent.

I had to find a balance between earning enough money and saving enough money. So, where was the happy medium?

I never found out, because I had another baby and had to give up the job. Great way to solve that problem :)

These days, I still prefer earning money without going to work. We have a publishing business, so I can continue to work at home, and I decide how many projects I want to take on, i.e., how much I want to work. I divide my day between homeschooling our youngest, working on the business, and continuing to be a frugal homemaker. The ideal mix of those things is something I haven’t figured out yet. But one thing I know for sure: I enjoy the challenge of living frugally.

3 thoughts on “More Thoughts on Frugality

  1. Haven’t found the balance, yet, either but still trying. I think it’s all like a juggling act…when one more ball is added to the spin, often one needs to be dropped in order to keep up the momentum. But isn’t all of life that way?
    Blessings,
    Carol

  2. Good thoughts, Barbara, don’t know that I’ve found the balance either. But then, like Carol says, life is this way. And about the time I think I have the balance, my kids are done with homeschooling, so adjustments have to be made. Perhaps we’d be bored if we didn’t have this balance to figure out and maintain:) I’m all for frugality! Enjoying this series.

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