Frugality isn’t just all about saving money. I mean, at its core, I guess it is, but there is more to frugality than just keeping a sharp eye on your checkbook balance. Not being organized can actually end up with you spending more than you need to.
For instance, say you have some stacks of books lying around that you’ve been meaning to find a place for. You head to the store and buy a couple of bookcases that are on sale. Maybe you even had a coupon on top of that! Great savings, huh? But then you get home and find out that one of the bookcases is a couple of inches too long for your wall and lies over the doorjamb. And even though the bookcases looked big in the store, it turns out all of your books won’t fit on them! You shove the extras on top of the bookcases and intend to buy some bookends, but you’re disappointed in how things have gone.
By organizing first you can avoid this situation. You can set aside some time—just ten minutes!—before you head to the store. Look at your books and pick out the ones you never, ever read, and realistically never will. Put them in a box to donate or give away. Believe me, I love books and my husband is a librarian, so I know how hard this can be, but it is also hard to be frugal when you have too much stuff. After you’ve pared down your collection, whip out a measuring tape and measure your space. Bring it along to the store, and measure those shelves that are on sale. If they won’t fit—don’t buy them! It’s not really saving money if the shelves don’t fit and you hate how cluttered they will look trying to squeeze them on the wall anyway. By taking just a few minutes to organize and measure your space—and of course, this goes for far more than just books—you can maximize y our frugality by not buying things you don’t actually have the space for.
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