The following is a reprint of a previously published post from 2009. Enjoy!
I’ve been scrimping and saving since reading Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness a few months back. Officially I’ve been amassing an emergency fund, but in reality I’m putting together the $2500 that I will need for my son to go on a class trip to Japan next Spring.
The money that I put into my savings account is solely from extra cash that I’ve been able to scrounge from this and that. I deposit every Monday and sometimes it’s $100.66 but sometimes it’s just $3.47. Either way, it still goes into the bank. Money earned from my job as a labor and delivery nurse is dedicated to household expenses and debt reduction. This may not be what financial experts would recommend, but it feels right to me.
I’m up to almost $800, which I feel pretty good about since I only started this experiment at the beginning of the summer.
I mentioned my savings method in the lunchroom at work yesterday, and one of my co-worked asked:
“Katy, why don’t you just work some extra shifts?!”
This was a good question, as overtime is almost always available and the pay is generous. Without realizing it, this question rattled around in my head all day.
Why don’t I just pick up extra shifts until get that $2500 tucked away?
Well . . . there’s always something to put money aside for. Vacations, home improvements, school clothes, auto repairs, etc., etc., etc. If I were to work overtime whenever I thought of things to save towards I would never get nice stretches at home. Ever. I’ve seen this in my co-workers and it doesn’t appeal to me.
I have found that the key component for not burning out in my job is to limit how much I work. Two days per week seems just right for me. When I work more, I groan about my job and my back aches terribly, (I broke my tailbone last year.)
I know I can put aside the money necessary for my son to participate in this incredible Japanese experience without burning out on my job.
Living frugally is about a thousand tiny choices, and for me saving large amounts of money is also about those thousand tiny choices.
Choices I’m happy to make.
Would you rather work huge numbers of hours or scrimp and save? (Keep in mind, there is no way that I feel deprived by my frugal lifestyle!) Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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