Being Frugal Doesn't Always Mean You Pay the Lowest Price
Sometimes, the Most Frugal price actually has the most digits! Yep! The best price is often the Very Best that you can Afford option... at least right up front, in terms of intitial 'face value'.
Huh? How can that be? ... How can you Save Money being Frugal, by paying the highest price?
Well folks, stop for a minute and think 'bout it. Just 'cause you can get it for 1/2 price at Wal Mart... does that mean it's gonna do the best job for you?
Nope... uh uh... not even... it ain't how to measure what's proper!
Here's the deal, about Frugal RVing... or Frugal living in General, from where I sit, and, as always, it comes in the form of a lil' story. :)
Many years ago, something like two years before we got married, I bought a Makita Circular Saw. As I remember the year was 'bout 1977 and I paid right around $125 for that saw... a pretty big price in those days.
... and this, boys and girls is THAT saw, some 33 years later! I'm still using it... it is my ONLY circular Saw... It's the saw I'm using on my current RV Remodel!
So.. are you starting to catch on? :)
My soon to be Father-in-law chastised my Cowboy self for tying to live a "Champagne" life on a "Beer" budget...
I'm sure glad my Ol' Grandad instilled in me an honest and proper respect for good tools...
Well... about that same time Ol' pappy-in-law bought himself a Lil' Black and Decker for something like thirty bucks; Gloating at me how he had been able to save money while I'd wasted so much...
That piece of junk lasted him 'bout a year or two, and did a poor job that whole, short, time. Over the years I lost count of the saws he had to buy, to replace those that failed (usually in the middle of some project); claiming each time he was 'saving money'.
And that right there is where the Frugal RVing and Frugal Living 'paradox' comes in.
I paid more up front, (about 4x) but am still using that tool, thirty+ years later. That better tool, has done its' superior job for all those years, and threatens to keep on cutting for many more...
...while the guy 'trying to be Frugal', by ONLY looking at the Cash Price, spent years of frustration, struggling with a poor tool... and having to buy replacement after replacement... spending, in CASH, well over double what I have... and he STILL doesn't have a GOOD tool!
Another time... I had an old used truck. I'd thought it a good truck... and it was 'Paid for'... but one day, after one of its' breakdowns, I was fairly frustrated with it... and did a lil' ciphering...
You know what my button punching on that $3 Wal Mart calculator came up with? I could buy a nearly new truck... with a warranty... for 'bout half, in monthly payments, what it was costing me each month in repairs, averaged over the previous two years.
Sometimes, being Frugal is more than the Dollar Cost.. sometimes the cost gained in frustration and stress exceeds any possible savings in dollars.
Eliminate those frustrations and stresses at the cost of a few dollars... and you'll find yourself miles ahead. You'll have so much more mental and emotional 'energy' left to deal with all the 'other' problems and obstacles that jump up, that they'll likely shrink to insignificance!
Your whole life will take on an unexpected shine... all from looking at 'things' from a lil' different perspective.
Now, I'm not telling you to just go out and spend double... If you think that's my idea of being Frugal, sorry, you've missed my point.
What I'm saying is look at the performance and the correctness of the tool... or whatever... for your intended task... FIRST... and its' dollar cost second.
Now... it really don't matter if a tool is in deed the best, for the job at hand, if you ain't got the dinero to buy it. Avoid, as much as you can, using Debt to acquire your needs...
***Here is My Warning 'bout Debt***
If you let it into your life... Keep that beast on a short leash!
But, now the caveat... I'm not one to tell you to WAIT... precious years of your life... "Until times are better"... Generally those "Better Times" never seem to show up on their own... It's always; "Maybe next week, next year..." till you just wanna rip an' tear!
Sometimes... You gotta go out and MAKE times get better.
Sometimes that means using Debt to push things... Just... BE CAREFUL... BE DISCIPLINED...
In the end, my being frugal bottom line is... Buy what you need and can afford... but... Only, buy the VERY BEST, that you can afford! Going half-way... half-assed... 'cause it's "on the cheap"... can mean... You Only, Half Lived! Do it as low cost as you can... But... Do It Right!
Another lil' 'aside' here... sometimes... your Spirit NEEDS... Art! :)
Sometimes being Frugal is saving more than money. Sometimes, being Frugal is taking good care of the Spirit within. Sometimes, being Frugal means you NEED some ART! :-)
Being Frugal shouldn't be about doing without... but doing MORE with what you have. It SHOULD BE about squeezing ALL the juice out of the Fruit!... Doing all you can, the best you can, with what you have.
Being Frugal should be about Living Well... NOT... existing in enforced poverty.