As I sat down tonight to work on our budget for February – using the awesome You Need A Budget – I noticed something: I stand rather firmly on the middle ground. Allow me to explain -
There are some folks who choose to live without television. There are some folks who pay for every possible channel.
I have basic satellite service, with no premium channels.
There are some folks who do just fine without cell phone service. There are some folks who have the very latest in cell phone technology – and the most expensive data plans to match.
I have a basic cell phone with a family share plan.
There are some folks who make everything they eat from scratch. There are some folks who eat out – for every meal.
I carefully shop sales for groceries, but I eat out once or twice a week.
There are some folks who buy all of their clothing from thrift stores – and some who make their own. There are some folks who wear nothing but designer clothes – and buy all of it brand new, on sale or not.
I buy new clothing that is comfortable, affordable, and durable.
I think you can see what I’m getting at. When it comes to making choices about convenience goods and services, I’m not quite ready to give them up, but I don’t want to spend a whole lot on them, either.
Personal money management is really about finding balances. We balance wants vs needs, time vs convenience, today’s desires vs tomorrow’s dreams, practical vs fun, even smart vs foolish.
This is an inexact science. There are those who would analyze my budget – and wonder how in the world I could miss so many opportunities to save. At the same time, I think that there are those who would look at it – and consider me thrifty.
I’ll probably never be a truly “frugal” person. I prefer the convenience of certain products and services. At the same time, I don’t think I’ll ever be defined as a “spendthrift” either. Instead, I think I’ll always be firmly standing on the middle ground.