Sunday, April 27, 2008

Why am I doing this?

Great question!
Two years ago I gave up my high paying marketing job to teach high school science.
Yes. I am nuts. Let's go on.
I had two reasons to leave my job, as much as I liked it. First: there was an opportunity for me to teach, which I had always wanted to do but never had a chance. Second: my mentally disabled daughter was having a tough time with the puberty thing so I wanted to be home more often.
So, here I am, with 1/4th of the income I had three years ago, and I have found it is a bit tougher than I thought it would be. I had to make some significant changes in my lifestyle in order to make this teaching gig work out.
I am not by nature or by desire a frugal person. In fact. hey, call me spendthrift. I hate clipping coupons, I like buying things at garage sales but I don't want to need to do it, if you know what I mean. I like to cook, but time is a tough thing to manage sometimes and teaching is a lot more tiring than I thought it would be. (More on that later).
In my travels and trevails of the past two years I have learned a lot. I read a lot of frugal mom type blogs and I am just gobsmacked about how hard core these people are! I am amazed at their tenacity and cleverness, but I am also baffled about the thrill of saving 5 bucks here and there by balancing 50 coupons. Yeah yeah I know it adds up but whew, haven't these people heard of the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns? So I struggle, learning some stuff and taking it in and discarding stuff that just seemed too hard or too idealistic to work.

Sooooooooooooo I thought I would pass along a few trenchant lessons I have learned as frugality was thrust upon me. All in all, it is working out pretty well. I am coining the phrase "casual frugality" (sorry if someone did that already) to write about how to save some bucks without getting obsessive about it. Hopefully you will find this useful if you, too, find yourself in the middle of the recession needing to save some money but either baffled by the professionals or just too busy to do the stuff they say to do.

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