Is there a point when you go too far to save money?

This may seem like an odd question, but is there a point where one can go too far to save money? The reason that I ask this is because I follow a few other money saving blogs. Every now and then I come across a way of saving money that seems to go a little too far. Saving money is great, but is there a point when it can hurt a person or family more than help them?

I think the answer to that question is yes. You have to ask yourself, WHY am I trying to save money? Are you trying to get out of debt? Buy a new car? Go on a great vacation? Save some money for a rainy day? Any reason to save money is a good reason, I personally think that there has to be a balance. Of course it's great to save money, but depriving yourself all the time isn't good either. I read something online a while back where a family said they didn't go out much or visit family (even though they didn't live terribly far away) because it cost too much. That made me kind of sad. At the end of your life are you going to be happy that you saved $40 on a tank of gas, or wish you'd spent more time with your family and friends? I also remember watching an episode of TLC's "Extreme Couponing" (yes, I've seen two episodes, and they were stupid) where the woman was HORRIFIED at her son asking for something that they didn't have a coupon for. On Extreme Couponing they usually pay little to nothing, so I seriously think a $3 treat for the boy who was behaving himself would have been perfectly acceptable. I guess it just wouldn't have been extreme enough for the show. I've also read where people spend so little on food that they miss out on a lot of foods they really like. I totally get not buying expensive treats all the time, but why not once in a while? That is exactly what I mean, if you are doing little things to save money, whether it be couponing, cloth diapering, conserving electricity, etc, you should definitely treat yourself from time to time!

I'm certainly not saying that those with absolutely no disposable income should go out and waste their money, I am just saying that ultimately the person who does with the most money is not the "winner." Spending a couple of hours a week to save some money with coupons is awesome. Spending all day, every day obsessing about coupons/what is on sale is NOT. We should enjoy life! If that means a visit with some family who live out of town or a box of fruit snacks at full price, so be it.

So what does everyone think? Where do you find your balance? How do you treat yourselves or your family?

Speaking of treating yourself, Coach factory outlets has a nice 30% off coupon that can be found here. :-) This could make for a pretty good deal if you are a Coach fan!


Bailey said...

There is a reason to have a budget, it is to live within your means. Saving money allows you to have money in good times and bad. However, like anything it can become an obsession and unhealthy and it has to have a balance. There are times when parents don't have the money in the budget to buy a toy and kids need to learn to accept it. However, denying kids and adults pleasure, just for the accumulation of wealth is not the point of budgeting. Budgeting is supposed to allow you to have the resources to enjoy family time, hobbies, and interests because you have been responsible with your money.

Amy and Meagan said...

I definitely agree with everything you said Bailey. Budgets are important. It's great to allow some "fun" things in the budget if at all possible.

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