Inspiration From Another Blogger
So I wasn't expecting to find anything new but I did. This girl wrote something that I read out loud and have said over and over again to myself because it just really set fire to my brain.
It isn't about saving more it's about spending less.
She's right. She's so very right.
Now in context, the author/blogger was writing about using coupons to bring the grocery budget down. I don't necessarily feel her article fit me at this stage in my game, but the power statement for me was the one italicized above.
Here is an area where most frugalites get caught. We buy MORE because it's on sale, we have a promo code, and/or a coupon and feel we've accomplished something because we're getting something extra for our money. We go about excitedly telling every one we know about our great bargains. And in the next breath we wail that we haven't got any money to spend, can't quite make the bills, etc. But we have all this great STUFF... In the end we aren't making those stretching ends meet at all, and we haven't accomplished our goal, which was to decrease our spending.
At first glance the statement may even sound foolish to you. Who doesn't want to save more? Couldn't we all use more savings? And isn't it savings to get things for just pennies on the dollar? But odds are you started bargain hunting, using coupons, looking for great clearance items, to have a bit of wiggle room in your budget, or to pay extra on a bill that you want to pay off or to help fund a special part of your budget (holiday or vacation, say). If you continue to spend as much as you ever have, even if you are getting more food/goods for your dollars, but NOT found that wiggle room, or extra payment amount you'd been seeking it's time to STOP and BEGIN AGAIN with an eye towards your real goal: spending less.
We reached this point a few years ago. Inflation and lack of wage increases were our kryptonite where groceries were concerned. Sales combined with coupons, and picking up the odd reduced items did little to bring our budget into alignment with our need to decrease our spending. Then we went through our grocery list item by item and cut hard. We still hung in at about the same spending level, simply because inflation increased prices more each time we cut out items. Ultimately we made the choice to stop shopping in main stream grocery stores and do perhaps 80% of our shopping at just one store. For us, that store is Aldi. We're finally spending less on the bulk of our groceries and that's what we set out to do.
Now we're looking at other areas of our budget that we'd like to bring down. For us, spending less will generate more savings, but it's also training us for the day when we're going to live on less money. I'm going to write this statement down and put on our bulletin board in the kitchen, right next to a quote from another blogger, my friend Rhonda's motto "If you do stuff, stuff gets done." and our own family motto "It's better to do something and fail than to do nothing and succeed." "It isn't about saving more, it's about spending less." I need wisdom like that as a daily reminder.