Are You Functionally Frugal?

It is very easy to be frugal but are you "functionally frugal"? Let me explain, by giving a real-life example.

Recently, I needed to repair the headboard in our bedroom. Previously, I had two screws with washers holding the headboard to the bed frame. The washers acted as a barrier to prevent the screw from slipping through the bedframe slots. Over time, the washers had bent and they were now going through the slot in the bedframe and soon the screw would be sliding through too. Consequently, this wasn’t working anymore.

Now I am frugal as much as most of you. So instead of buying what I needed I went to the garage and found the pieces necessary to affect the fix. All of that is well and good and like most of you, no big deal!

However, I was "functionally frugal" because I could find what I needed. Now I am not the most organized person, Just ask my wife! The reason I became functionally frugal is because of my wife.

This came about because my wife kept asking me over the years when I wanted to save an item "will you be able to find it?" Like most DIY’ers we all think that has to be ridiculous to even consider. However, over the years I started to notice that I was buying things at the hardware store that I already had. After 4-5 times, of purchasing something I already owned, I began to think her question wasn’t off the track that much after all.

So now when I am thinking should I keep this item, I now ask a question "will you be able to find it?" Most answers are coming up a Big Fat No! So I just trash the items. Case in point, I had a shoe string that wasn’t broken and thought I might need this some time. But when I asked the question "will you be able to find it" I knew the answer was No, so I trashed it.

Now back to the bedframe fix, I was able to find the screws and the oversized washers because I had separated out this big container of excess screws and washers a year or so back. Once they were separated I organized them in the garage and marked them well too. This was an example of being "functionally frugal" simply because I could retrieve the item when it was needed.

To be frugal is one thing but to be "functionally frugal" is even better.

Editor

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