How much is too much frugality? Like living a green lifestyle its not a one size fits all. Each of us needs to evaluate what we are willing to do to reach our goals in saving money, getting out of debt, or becoming more earth conscious.
Laura Rowley over at Yahoo!Finance struggles with her husband on whether or not to take a brown bag to work in this week's article "Some Thoughts for Your Pennies." While assessing what is important and what isn't important her husband believes that buying his lunch during the week is not only an important part of building relationships with clients, but is also a big networking tool on the days he doesn't have a client lunch. Laura Rowley points out that at $8 per day this is a waste of resources, but much of our choices are based on priorities. She has finally conceded not to bother him about the subject. (btw, for anyone wondering what the big deal is for spending only $8 per day... that's $2,080 per year that could be directed towards debt or savings.)
Laura Rowley advises not to underestimate the power of the penny. Little changes throughout our budgets can reap big rewards. If you can save $.28/day that is a little over $100 per year. If you calculate David Bach's Latte factor, going without one $4.50 Latte per day is equivalent to saving $1642.50 per year. In my case, going without one $.50 can of Coke per day is equivalent to $182.50 per year.
Are you asking yourself yet why I included becoming more earth conscious in evaluating what we are willing to do to increase our savings and eliminate debt? The answer is simple. On many levels taking a bit of advice on being earth friendly will also be budget friendly. Changing out normal incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs will save money every month as will changing out shower heads to water saving, low flow heads and placing a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet tank. Each of these steps will save you a few cents with each use, but the savings adds up in no time. For more information on saving money and being earth conscious, check out the New American Dream website.