Thursday, February 16, 2012

Getting better all the time?

You know the phrase "there's always room for improvement"?

I take issue with that.

In fact, I think, at some point you have to know when to say enough is enough and recognize that the perfect is the enemy of the good.

I sort of realized this one day when I was complaining about our grocery spending and how I wanted to rein it in a little, and Peanut said, "For what? We spend a reasonable amount of money on food for two people. We cook mostly from scratch. We've got to eat and that costs money."

And I realized, he's right. In order to live in this world, you've got to eat, and food costs money. I cannot possibly get our grocery budget down to $0. Without relatively significant cuts to our standard of living, I can't get it down much lower than it already is - maybe $100 cheaper, but only by losing way more than $100 in enjoyment of our life. Likewise, I can't negotiate the costs of electricity, gas, trash, or water much lower than we're paying - in fact, 95% of our gas and water costs are simply the cost of having the service at all - the amount we'd have to pay if we never turned on the hot water faucet.

At some point you have to realize that you've done all you can do to save money without making yourself miserable. As Ramit Sethi recommends, you can instead choose to focus on earning more money. Or, as I think I'd like to do, you can focus on contentment and quit trying to find a way to improve things at all. Sometimes, good enough is a-okay.

7 comments:

  1. I absolutely agree with this. It's good to push yourself to an extent, but there's a point you need to enjoy what you've done and what you've got!

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  2. I'm with you. I often find myself obsessing about something that I might save a buck, maybe two, if I put tons of time into it, and then I'll realize that I squeezed myself out of time to do another activity that might have saved me twenty.

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  3. My grocery budget is ridiculously low already. I find myself sometimes freaking out about parking, if I don't make it to school in time to find free parking, I have to pay $3.50 for four hours. But I just have to. That's the way it is. No point in complaining about it!

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  4. This is the absolute truth, at some point you have to come to acceptance. Sometimes it may be hard to know honestly if you have reached that point already but I believe you will know it when it comes. After that, you can do like you advised and earn more money, cut back somewhere else, or just be content and look towards the future.

    Great post.

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  5. A well written and thoughtful post. Peanut sounds like a smart man in regards to the groceries and much in line with how my husband thinks.

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  6. I agree with being completely cheap regarding groceries does affect your quality of life. Do you really want to eat Ramen all month?

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  7. Balance is key to a happy and healthy lifestyle (^_^)

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Thanks for commenting!