Random babbling on frugality

I have money on the mind, as I work pretty damn hard to stick with my budget. Of course my ole friend Murphy had to rear his head and already the budget seems like it will be derailed slightly. Now before you wonder if I fell victim to a wonderful sale or am sitting here in a coffee coma the answer is no.

Instead the sounds of a critter in my walls has me awaiting  the arrival of the exterminator. See, my house is old, over 120 years old and in Maine when the weather gets cold sometimes outside critters such as field mice like to move into homes. It appears they have decided to come back for a visit after being absent for a few years. Now I know some folks would opt to do, do it yourself pest control and yeah the Spousal Unit already offered to do that but there are few things that will make me part with my cash faster than the thought of pests in my house. Shit, I will give up coffee for good to ensure no pests in my house.

The other night I was cooking in the kitchen and thought I was hearing things when I had the hubster come in to see if he heard the same sound I  heard, sadly he did and having been down this road before, the only logical solution is my pest guy. So that is a couple hundred bucks out the window that is not in the original budget in fact I had planned to use that cash to get a deal on elder boy’s Thanksgiving ticket home but for me living in a house without mice or critters is a justifiable expense. Now I know there are folks who don’t feel the way I do but in fact find mice cute or I have gotten suggestions to get a cat to deal with the fall visitors. Well the way I look at it, in 5 years of living in this house this is only the second time I have needed to call my pest guy to deal with the fall visitors, hell that is cheaper than a cat.

Which also brings me to another thought regarding frugality, is it possible that one can be skirting the line of frugality and delving into poverty? Lately I have been on a tear reading blogs about others digging out of debt and learning to live frugal lives. In my search I found a blog from a family of four that lives on less than a $1000 a month! Now at first I was excited since I thought maybe I could learn something, but after a few readings I have to say for me maybe there is a point where frugality would just be too brutal.

Now this young family has a Papa who is a student and works making less than $8 an hour and the Mama stays home with the two kids and they are expecting a third child. I have to say I admire them and for a moment was wondering what was wrong with me since the truth is if the  Spousal Unit made so little the last thing we would be doing is having more kids. I feel heartless saying that and some of you may consider me a bitch, but its ok, I know I can be bitchy.

I think I was struck by the fact that this young family pays out over half their income for rent and basically their monthly grocery bill is less than what I spend in two weeks. The blogger calls their meals simple but having grown up at times where fruits and veggies were sparse when my Pops was in between gigs, any lifestyle choice that limits access to fresh fruit and veggies (no I didn’t say organic, I mean fresh) is not one I would pursue. I could go on about the choices of this family but that isn’t the point but I did find myself wondering is there a point when we can get too frugal? Or when frugality is a better word than saying one is living in poverty?

I struggle with these concepts as I strive to reduce my expenses and dig out of my debt hole, for me I think the issue of what I need to do ,is get a better handle on my needs versus wants. Lately there are times I feel poor but the reality is my basic bills are paid, I have a fridge full of good healthy food, even a spare freezer filled with food and I have a workable plan to get out of debt. My job is stable at the moment and the Spousal Unit though he is in a dying field is hanging on and working on plans for career change and hell we even have health insurance at the moment. So in some ways are lives are complete, I mean here I am feeling bad because I can’t go shopping for some new shoes when I have 30 pairs at least in a bag to give away to Goodwill! Only in America can one have basic needs met and still feel bad about themselves!

So clearly I have a lot more work to do when it comes to money but hey as I like to say, it’s all baby steps!

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