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We Frugalites are a proud bunch, with many strategies available to us to maintain our budgets. In this article, I am going to share my idea of the Frugalite “Last Straw.” My own recent experience with this was an eye-opener to me on how this concept could be useful for making sure a Frugalite on a strict budget can stay the course.
What is a Frugalite “Last Straw”?
To me, a Frugalite “Last Straw” is a moment when you see the price of something and decide, “Nope, I am not buying this anymore!” It could be an item or a service. It could be something you’ve bought for years or something newer to you. At its most basic, it is the idea of saying, “No!” to something in order to maintain your budget and your concept of a fair price.
Daisy’s Inspiring Frugalite “Last Straw”
It wasn’t long ago that Daisy herself was writing about her own Frugalite “Last Straw” regarding the rent increase she was facing on her North Carolina apartment. With no law in place to protect tenants and an influx of tech companies putting pressure on the rental market, landlords were adding huge amounts to leases. Whereas so many in the region were simply buckling down to pay these huge increases, Daisy simply said, “No!” to what amounted to a $600 a-month increase.
To read the full story about how Daisy leverages her own frugality to live a glamorous lifestyle of world exploration and travel, check out this inspiring article.
My own recent Frugalite “Last Straw”
My own recent “Last Straw” is on a decidedly smaller scale, but I hope will also inspire others who are having to make difficult decisions about what to buy and what not to buy.
First of all, a bit of background: I am proud to be a homesteader on my half-acre homestead and aim to be as self-sufficient as possible. I grow a lot of my own food and barter for items I don’t produce with my local friends. What I don’t produce, I buy only twice a year at the bulk store in a nearby city. As a result, I am not often looking at prices in the local grocery stores.
One small luxury I used to allow myself was buying gourmet burger buns at a store in a local village. With prices rising all the time, I recently had an experience of “this is the last straw”! Four brioche burger buns for around $3.25. “That’s it!” I said, “I will make my own from now on.”
Now, for some of you, that amount might not seem like a lot. For me, I think it was all of the other things that I could buy with $3.25 that made me think: almost all of my milk for a week! A fair amount of gas! In the background, I already make all of my own bread on my homestead. I have enough organic spelt kernels to make anything I want. Sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly why something is a last straw. I was mad, really really mad! I thought, “I’m no longer going to pay you for these at this ridiculous price when I know I can make them myself for basically nothing!”
Why “Last Straws” are important
A last straw is that moment where you get mad enough to take action, or, unlike me, it could be a more thoughtful moment where you realize you can’t buy that anymore and continue to stay on budget. I think most Frugalites would acknowledge that staying on budget requires careful monitoring of the said budget. It requires reflecting on what’s possible with that budget.
So, you might be wondering, did I stick to my guns on this? You betcha. The next time I had a burger, I made a simple pan-fried savory bread. Some of you who are more ambitious might have made a whole batch of yeast-raised buns and frozen them for future use. For me, I like something quick and easy, which is why I generally stick to quick breads. I made my fresh warm savory pancake/burger bun in the time it took for the burger to cook. My cost? Pennies plus time.
While I probably could afford to buy buns, it’s off my list for now. My savings over the year? $39 that I can use to buy an extra tank of gas. Win-win!
I believe that the financial challenges we are all facing are only going to increase in the long run. That’s just my opinion, but there it is. If I am right, then one of the ways we can all improve our situation is to become producers, rather than consumers. This is the mindset shift that I teach about on my website. Here is a great article from the OP on this topic.
The “Last Straw” can be a great thing
Sticker shock is becoming a regular occurrence at the grocery store and all other retail locations. Could you see yourself taking action on any of the scenarios offered here? Do you have one of your own Frugalite “Last Straws” that you can share with us? Please tell us in the comments below.
Colette is passionate about sharing her knowledge of thrifty living and self-sufficiency. She has developed her skills in self-reliance living in the suburbs, the city, and more recently, on her own Half-Acre Homestead. Colette lived five years completely off-grid and without running water in an eight by 24 foot tiny home while designing and building her own 18 by 24-foot eco-cabin. Her website, Half Acre Homestead is attracting followers from around the world who want to become more self-sufficient. Colette invites you to stop by the Homestead and check out all of the great resources including the practical How To Guides, A Tiny Home Resource Center and her organic gardening stories on her blog. She shares her wholistic model (body/mind/spirit) for achieving self-sufficiency in her Free Course, “Growing Self-Sufficiency: The Whole Picture.” Stop by the Homestead today to register free of charge!