When Frugality Becomes A Dirty Stinkin’ Excuse
This morning when I got up to make breakfast I noticed something didn’t smell right in the kitchen. The garbage was full and it was starting to smell a little. I kept putting off taking it out because I could fit more in the garbage bag. I might as well maximize using that bag before tossing it, right?
Realizing my garbage was in desperate need of attention I also noticed the dishes in the sink were building up. And in the laundry room there was a pile of dirty laundry. What happened here? Why did I get so behind in my household chores?
Frugality. Yes, you heard me. Ok, well maybe not frugality but the guise of frugality. I think I’ve been using frugality as an excuse to put off doing some chores that needed to be done.
“I can fit a little more trash in this garbage bag – I’ll wait to take it out until tomorrow”.
“But if I wait to do the dishes/laundry until tomorrow I’ll have a bigger load and it will save water and electricity.”
Who am I kidding? I’m not really saving any real amount of money – I’m just being plain lazy. It wasn’t like I only had a few shirts to wash or a couple of glasses in the sink. I had big enough loads to make it energy efficient and worth the cost. I was simply finding a way to justify my lack of housekeeping yesterday with saving money.
What good is saving a few pennies if I have to live in home with stinky garbage and dirty clothes? Quality of life plays into this, too. I don’t have to be a slob to save money.
I know I’m being dramatic here – I wasn’t horribly behind in my chores – but the smelly trash did make me examine my thinking behind not removing it earlier. I remember thinking that in a way I could be saving money.
This applies to more than just household duties. Could a desire to save money be used as an excuse to hide the true reason behind certain actions (or inactions)?
Could there be other reasons besides frugality that someone would:
- Avoid social situations like dinners or group activities?
- Delay traveling or shopping in favor of staying home?
- Neglect their health by avoiding doctors, health checks, dental exams, etc?
- Avoid replacing things they need when they are clearly worn out?
I can think of a lot of ways frugality could be used to justify behavior that is really motivated by different reasons. After all, you can still attend dinners with your friends if you eat an inexpensive meal or split something. If there are ways to make it affordable and you still choose not to go then maybe the desire to save money isn’t the main reason you aren’t going. It’s just a side effect.
Anyway, this morning I went on a crash course of cleaning to restore my home to its usual condition. I need to be more honest with myself about my motivations sometimes. For instance, if I avoid going grocery shopping is it really because I want to save money or is it because I don’t feel like going that day?
In my case, it was pretty obvious I was just avoiding doing the dishes and saving money was just a convenient (and barely applicable) excuse.
Image Source: Old Sarge