Observations - Money Saving and Value Added
I'm not sure how to word my comments. I'm just making observations based on my experiences. I've noticed several differences of opinion in this forum regarding what is money saving. I guess to me it is a balance regarding output of money and value of the money spent relative to how I live. There are times when I need to do whatever is the least expensive money wise and then times when saving that money really doesn't add anything to my life because it costs me time or something else that is of more value to me than the money. For example, when I was younger and more cash poor, I looked for cheap or free entertainment. Now that our family is more developed and careers have advanced, we can afford more expensive forms of entertainment and don't have have to look at the cheapest options although we don't necessarily rule them out. I can cook at home and use inexpensive ingredients and have a wonderful and healthy meal, but sometimes it feels great to spend more by going out a nice restaurant and eat a wonderful and healthy meal prepared by someone else. I could possibly have cooked that meal at home, but I saved that time and energy, possibly got to dress up in nicer clothes and got to enjoy that time with friends or family. At some point, eating out on a regular basis would become ill advised because we are not independently wealthy and that money could be used for clothes, college or something else. On the other hand, if eating out was my limited form of interacting with others and my assurance of getting a decently prepared meal, that eating out on a regular basis might be the better value.
I still watch the money I spend overall, but I balance that with the end result of having something meaningful that I enjoy and gives me value elsewhere in my life. My choices don't always reflect what would be the least expensive money wise, but I feel like I traded my money for something of value which, for me, is usually time.
If I needed to go back back to the rock bottom dollar amount I could. If I wanted to use more extreme measures to save money just for the joy of saving money, that would be value to me and I would do it. Regardless of what my chosen method of living, It is probably most important that I not waste resources within my means of obtaining them.
What do you think?