Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Side Effects of Being Frugal

I’m trying to live a mostly frugal life, when travel isn’t distracting me. So far I’m three months in to having a budget and tracking every penny I spend. I get a little thrill at the end of the day when I enter my expenses and see my organized life laid out in a spreadsheet, but over the past few months I’ve noticed certain things that I would call side effects to my recent frugality.

  1. I get more physical activity. I’ve already bought the gym membership (for a whopping $6/month), so now I feel the need to use it daily. I try to walk more places to save gas, but in the process get more activity.

  2. I drive more evenly. In town I try to drive slowly and coast when possible. I’m certain I’m annoying all the other people trying to get to work on time, but stop and go driving can really take a toll on my gas mileage. If I’m making a longer trip, I try to use cruise control and I certainly don’t speed a lot, because the last thing I need is a budget-breaking ticket.

  3. I plan better. If I’m actually going to use my car to run errands, I plan out several errands to be in one trip. I plan my meals, only buy what I need, and eat all of what I buy.

  4. I generally eat healthier. I would not consider most junk food to be meal-worthy, so any junk food I buy is in addition to the more meal-like groceries. It’s obviously an extra expense and something that can be cut. It turns out that healthy meals like lentils and rice and very budget efficient.

I’m sure there are other unintentional benefits, but these are the ones I can think of off-hand. In addition to more money in my saving account, that is.

Being frugal is kinda fun.

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