Why I Ditched Living Frugally This Summer–But Now, It’s Time to Catch Up

There’s no need to feel guilty if you blew your budget this summer like I did! Autumn is the perfect time to get back on track and reboot your frugal habits. I know that’s what I have to do!

Sunset over Long Island Sound
Priceless view of a sunset from our boat.

When I sat down yesterday to update my August budget sheet, I nearly had a cow. We went way over budget on groceries. Granted, much of that was due to vacationing on Cape Cod and entertaining on our boat (frugally, sort of, of course, but that’s another post). So, back to reality! Time to hunker down on our budget and get back to the business of living frugal.

So what happened to my budgeting plans? The structure and quiet time I need to focus is gone when the kids are off from school and we are spending too much time in the sun…so naturally, a few things fall through the cracks. I used to beat myself up over this, but for some reason I don’t feel the need to have all that guilt anymore. After all, we made beautiful family memories and that’s priceless in my book. In fact, this quote from the famous “The ‘Busy’ Trap” essay from The New York Times probably explains my frugal ruin this summer:

“The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

So, the kids went back to school today, the constant “kid noise” is gone for a few hours a day, and it’s time for me to get quiet so I can get frugal and productive. I need those strikes of frugal inspiration! Here are some frugal habits I need to catch up with that went by the wayside this summer:

touching rays at Maritime Aquarium
I had a coupon!! So exciting to get half price tickets for this otherwise pricey admission to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT. But it’s another valuable memory to see my two middle schoolers still get a kick out of “petting” a ray in the new touch tank a couple days before school started.
  • update my budget sheet on a daily basis (started, gulp)
  • start stashing those dollar bills again (used them up!)
  • get back to paying for gas in cash (whoops, with all the running around, that debit card came in handy)
  • get back to seriously baking and cooking from scratch (too much bbq, grinders and summertime snacking)
  • organize my coupons, weed out the old (though I did bring coupons on vacation and they come in handy–that’s another post, though…)
  • see what I need to restock (I have no idea if I’m out of mayo or conditioner in my cabinet downstairs, for example)
  • hit the back-to-school clearance sales for extra supplies
  • hit the serious end-of-summer clearance sales for 80% off on clothing and beach/pool/boating paraphernalia.
peddle boating in Cape Cod
Expensive, yes. A memory-maker? Definitely.

Good luck everyone with back to school and getting back to frugality!

~Marilyn, TFF

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