From spender to scrooge: breaking down my habits

Most of us struggle with frugality on a day to day basis. I know I’m no different. I may not have a “latte factor” that’s dragging me down, but one of my big weaknesses is food! I could easily eat out every meal, but my budget doesn’t stretch quite that far. Luckily, I think I more than balance out my spending on food with my more frugal habits.

SPLURGES

Food – I love to eat out, whether it’s greasy takeaways or restaurant meals!
Travel – I rarely go on holidays, but don’t get me wrong – I wish I could. We usually manage a couple of days down at the snow every year, and the odd weekend road trip away. This year we also staycationed in hotels in the city twice (overnight), and I want to kickstart a travel fund so T and I can have a midwinter escape next year to a sunny Pacific island. (Tonga? Samoa? Whichever is the best deal at the time)
Hair – I wash and condition every single day. I have limp, greasy lifeless hair – this is not optional.

FRUGAL 85423657

I don’t buy tupperware – I wash and reuse plastic takeaway containers
I don’t dye my hair, get manicures, or go to spas
I bring lunch almost every single day. That’s nothing to scoff at, either – I eat a lot!
I never buy clothing at full price. And I often shop secondhand.
I don’t drink coffee.
I’m a voracious reader, but I always use the library
I have a prepaid cell phone, which costs me a mere $20 a month.
I don’t tend to go to concerts or events (barring Cirque du Soleil earlier this year)

SUPER STINGY
Confession: I sometimes water down our milk – after all, it’s almost 10 per cent of our total grocery budget and T goes through it like a baby on steroids.

What about you? Or do you think some of my frugal ways are just plain scroogey?

Photo / milki.c

6 thoughts on “From spender to scrooge: breaking down my habits

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 7, 2009 at 16:11

    My biggest expense is DEFINITELY food. Not only do I like to eat out I also buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables because I like to be healthy. THat is one area I REFUSE to scrimp on, though because eating healthy is very important to me.

    I’m a bit of a scrooge when it comes to clothing. I don’t buy new clothing TOO often.

  • Reply Girl Makes Cents November 10, 2009 at 14:49

    Great post! I splurge on books (children’s books, they are reusable), I won’t buy myself a book ever though, I’ll go to the library for that. I will also sometimes splurge on gifts to the boyfriend (although not really this year).

    I am pretty frugal with clothing, always looking for sales and rarely buy name brand. I also have never had a pedicure/manicure. I get my hair cut about 3 times a year. I also never buy pop drinks, always prefer water to anything else.

    Scrooge, hmmm I can’t think of any right now. I’ll get back to you 😉

  • Reply Carnival of Personal Finance #230 – New Site Edition - Canadian Finance Blog November 17, 2009 at 04:44

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  • Reply Bankruptcy Ben June 25, 2010 at 18:29

    I don’t think your crazy frugal until you’re reusing aluminum foil:) You sound like a normal rational human being. What about cars? They seem to be a huge money sink? How’s your transport situation?

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