I love a bargain. Wait, I love a bargain on something I'm already looking for. I don't really buy something that is a good bargain just because its a good bargain. I don't consider that frugal.
But frugal is different to everybody. And I support that. Because how we spend our money is personal. And we are all different. So what is frugal to me and my money, might be just the opposite to someone else.
And then there is the fine line between being frugal and being cheap.
And then there is how your being frugal affects others. Like when you never contribute to the office "pool" or office birthdays. Or you never join anyone for lunch because its cheaper to bring your lunch. You just might be missing out on deepening a friendship or lending a listening ear to someone who needs you.
For us, frugal is telling our money where to go. But that includes a fund for the little things that come up that aren't frugal but are good for relationship with others. Because to me, relationship is a higher priority than money.
Maybe you have a friend going through a rough time in their marriage. They want you to join them for lunch. Guess what? I stuff the lunch bag under my desk and join them.
Office birthdays are a hard one - especially in a large office setting. But sometimes its more about being a team than it is about paying that $10 extra toward the mortgage or the house buying fund.
Now that is not to say you have to do everything. For instance, one of our families does a name draw for Christmas. It is a LARGE family and we were relieved to see them put this into practice. But we had already dropped out of the gift giving. We let everyone know that we buy for the kids only. And after the new name drawing started, we still opted out. Because we only buy for the kids. And an adult that can't get past that? Whatever. It's not like they will get more gifts if we joined -- it really wouldn't change anything...except we'd have to buy another gift for people we don't live close to and don't have extremely close relationships with -- so the gifts would be a big hit-and-miss experience anyways. I'd rather they spend their money on my kids. Which 97% of them don't even do that. So the whole thing just makes me roll my eyes. LOL.
Lately we have had to spend money on several things that were all about relationship. And its really hurt. I was saving to go on a cruise with my fab sister-in-law for her 30th birthday. And I finally had to just give it up. Because other things that were about relationship kept happening. And it would have been so easy to just not spend that money. And trust me, I'd be happier going on a cruise since I've never been on one. But being happy and feeling peace are two different things. And I have peace over the decisions we have made.
So when is paying more better?
For me, its when its all about the relationships.