In The Tightwad Gazette, Amy Dacyczyn expressed her annoyance with film crews who want to film her “doing something,” so she ended up with a lot of footage hanging clothes on her attic clothesline. She points out that most of frugal living is, in fact, doing nothing.
Spencer and I have been enjoying a whole lot of nothing. A few of the things we’re not doing include
- Not eating out from laziness or boredom. We’re not willing to give up restaurant meals entirely, but we want to make the choice to go out and really enjoy them, not just default to them.
- Not buying new* craft supplies this year. I know I have enough to keep me entertained for more than a year. Really, my favorite thing to work with is crappy scrap acrylic in mixed bags from thrift shops and garage sales. I need to quit berating myself for it and buying sock yarn so I can be a “real knitter.”
- Not buying new clothes this year. I’m already almost talking myself out of this one, especially when thinking ahead to things I’ll “need” for my trips this summer. I solved this by setting up Ebay searches for exactly what I need (hiking pants, hiking sandals) and I will get an email when an auction comes up. I’ll keep an eye out at thrift shops but if I find nothing by April I will purchase via Ebay.
- Not buying a new car. My beloved Sonata is a teenager this year and has passed 200,000 miles. Three years ago it was totaled out due to hail damage and we continued to drive it. Spencer’s confident he can make it last to 300,000, but we’re ready to replace it just in case. When we do, we will not be buying new and will look for another single owner, low mileage, easy-to-work-on-yourself, ~3 year old car.
- Not paying off our debt. We have 18 months left on our 0% interest Prius loan and our house is at 3.5%. Even though it would be psychologically rewarding to be really debt free, the math says to continue making only minimums. We’re prioritizing saving for a new (to us) car and getting me through grad school, both which commonly come with debt and much higher interest rates.
What are your favorite frugal things not to do?
**New= Anything not from the secondhand market.