Be as Frugal and Less Wasteful as Our Parents

by David Ning · 11 comments

fix eye glassesOnce in a while, an event reminds me why we aren’t as frugal as our parents. Yesterday was such a time – my glasses broke. More specifically, the screw that holds the frame together popped out and so did the glass, sending everything flying.

It was actually quite funny. I was writing my review of Ally Bank at the time, and I almost literally said “The bank was eye-popping… literally”. Instead, I went to look for the tiny screw driver and of course, I couldn’t find it.

The Simple Free Fix

Without a screw driver, I was stuck. I couldn’t just leave it there and continue to be blind (and falsely believe that everyone I see are beautiful). I looked around, and the solution was there – tape.
It’s not the prettiest solution, but one that my parents would’ve probably done themselves. No, it wasn’t that they were more clever than i was. My parents, or the previous generations in general:

  • Didn’t have the means (or believed) that buying a replacement was necessary.
  • Rather fix whenever possible because everything were expensive

Wealth May Play Tricks on Us

You know, just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

  • Just because we have a big credit limit doesn’t mean we need to use it
  • Just because it’s only a few bucks a month doesn’t mean we can carelessly waste it
  • Just because clipping coupons are time consuming doesn’t mean we don’t do it
  • Just because we can buy new doesn’t mean used is a bad option
  • Just because…

There are countless examples, and if you take away just one thing in this post, it’s this. Think.

Think about whether there are better options out there. Think what the purchase will get you long term and more importantly, think of the money spent and what you did to get it. You may conclude that it’s money well spent, but you may end up realizing that you are actually working twice as long just so you can go out to eat a few times a week.

I’m going to my optometrist to borrow a tiny screw driver now. I really don’t need to buy every time.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Meaghan says:

    Nice post. Good and practical advice.

  • Here’s my biggest problem: slickdeals and fatwallet.

    “Just because something is an incredible value doesn’t mean you should buy it and try to validate your purchase later.”

  • Gypsie says:

    I currently use fishing line to tie my glasses back together (you can hardly see it.). Also, after replacing the screws in your glasses, dab clear nail polish on each of the screws to ‘glue’ them into place.

  • marci says:

    $10 at a garage sale years ago 🙂
    And most of my gift giving is something sewn – not just clothes.
    Comes in very handy for a grammi also – sewing merit badges on
    grandkids sashes and doing all their repairs cuz I live across the street
    from them 🙂 (their mom’s working and in college too)

    Glad you found a friendly optometrist 🙂

  • Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas says:

    Nice post. I feel you on the eye-glass screw issue – have had similar situations while traveling abroad as well as many instances in the states. Luckily at home I have a little screw set, but abroad I’ve always found friendly optometrists who have replaced the missing ones and tightened the remaining screws.

  • marci says:

    and here I had a sewing machine in my dorm room at college….
    and a 10×16 efficiency apartment 🙂 Mine are portables, not
    cabinets. Only way to go. Put it on your list. I made sure all of kids had one when they left home – my boys actually sew better than my daughter 🙂

    • MoneyNing says:

      My wife have needles and strings to fix our clothes if anything happens, but we just don’t need enough new clothes to justify a sewing machine. Maybe in the future though 🙂

  • marci says:

    Look in your sewing machine tool spot. There should be a tiny tiny screwdriver in with the tools for the sewing machine. It works on glasses.
    Trust me 🙂

    And yes, I consider a sewing machine a necessity in every household. How else can you do all your mending/repairs, sew on patches, sew curtains, home decor, and gifts and in general save one heck of a lot of money.

    • MoneyNing says:

      No sewing machine here yet. Remember, I’m still in an one bedroom apartment.

      My optometrist did help me fix it though. She actually tighten all the screws on the glasses so hopefully none of them will fall out soon.

  • Great post.

    Just because you can– should you? Here is my thought process:

    It’s tempting, but do you need it or do you want it? What if you bought one today and your job ended tomorrow?

    I then ask myself some questions:

    Is your job secure?
    Is your emergency fund funded?
    Are all your bills current?
    Do you have credit card balances?
    Should you? Really?

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