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When Frugal Goes Too Far


Not too long ago, I was getting ready to check out at Aldi and noticed they had their beautiful floral bouquets on sale for half price. Since Aldi typically sells their floral bouquets for $3.99, they were marked down to $1.99 each and they still looked amazing!

I love fresh flowers and I love a great deal, so I was excited! However, as I walked over to pick one up and put it in my cart, I felt a twinge of guilt. Immediately, I started questioning whether or not I should buy the flowers. Yes, they were on sale for $1.99, but I don’t have a fresh flower budget category (!) and the money would have to come out of our grocery budget for the week.

Back and forth the arguments went in my head: Should I really use our grocery money to buy flowers? I shouldn’t spend that $1.99 on me–especially on something that’s just going to look pretty for a few days and then die. But $1.99 is a great deal and they will really brighten our kitchen table.

I picked up the flowers and then put them back three times. I was so conflicted about what I should do.

Finally, after a few minutes of standing there having my mind play tug-o-war, I snapped back into reality and realized how crazy I was being (and how ridiculous I must look to other people passing by!)

Yes, it’s a good thing to carefully examine every purchase. Yes, it’s a good thing to make sure anything you’re purchasing is a good deal and that it’s something you can afford.

For me to stand in the Aldi check out lane, though, and spend close to five minutes waffling over whether or not I should spend $1.99 on beautiful flowers is not only wasting time and energy, it’s taking frugal too far.

Frugality is not about living a miserable and bland existence, it’s about being wise stewards of our money so that we have more to save, give, and yes, spend on the occasional splurge. As long as you have the money in your budget, it’s okay to buy things on occasion just because.

In fact, if I can’t justify the occasional splurge for something that will bring beauty into my life, then I’m probably bordering on becoming a tightwad.

So, armed with fresh resolve (and the realization that we had plenty of wiggle room in our grocery budget), I picked up the flowers, purchased them, and guiltlessly enjoyed their beauty for the rest of the week.

Have you ever taken frugal too far? I’d love to hear your stories and how you’ve worked to find a healthful balance between living a frugal life, but also allowing yourself enough breathing room to enjoy life, too!

photo credit [2]