Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dollar Store Day Dreams

So, I'm browsing my Dollar Tree, on the phone with my friend who exceeds my frugalness and debt-free-edness by degrees only known to the Lord Himself. (She is shocked to discover I'm on the phone while shopping.. sheer disregard for the attention that must be paid to avoid impulse buys, of which I made a couple).

Anyway, I'm looking at scrub brushes ($1, of course, which is $3 less than I'd seen elsewhere for the same brushes), and trying to decide which handle style I like. Do I want the raised handle? The flat board handled one that looks more like a shoe brush than one for cleaning floors? Or maybe the long handled kitchen style brush?

And, I had my moment of clarity. At $1 a brush, I could buy all three kinds and use them and save 15 minutes of browsing, not all frugalness is about saving money, much frugalness should be about SAVING TIME!

This brings me to my point (finally!), which is that frugal and penny-pinching should be tools we use with a goal in mind... not an end or goal by themselves.

Everyone wants to live a free, happy, and satisfying life, for as long as we are blessed to enjoy it. However things like stress, debt and sickness, not to mention relationship problems can really "ding" away at our happiness. I've seen frugalness become a burden when it consumes someone's time and life energy to the point where they'd rather spend an hour choosing between one cheap brush or another, instead of buying a couple, going home getting the scrubbing over with and having that chore done so they can enjoy their evening with a free conscious.

Despite the possible waste of buying 3 brushes when I only needed 1, the job got done faster, and I got some time holding my babies that otherwise would have been wasted dithering over a frugal possibility.

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