My Fight With Frugality: A Story of Weakness



On the inside, I strive to be frugal but many times I succumb to a moment of weakness.  I try to reach MrMoneyMoustache levels of frugality but often fall short.


My latest temptation came at a dinner gathering for work. I had several options of frugality from which to choose:

A) Extreme Frugal: Pack a PB&J and bring a canteen

B) Reasonably Frugal: Order a cheap menu item and order a water

C) Un-Frugal: Order an average item with dessert

D) Punch Frugality in the Throat: Order apps, multiple drinks, desserts and an expensive menu item


I walked into the restaurant aiming for Option B but ending up being Un-Frugal with Option C.  I guess I still need to hone my frugality skills so I can save more money for investing.  My goal is to learn and move forward and try not to give in so easily to temptation.

12 thoughts on “My Fight With Frugality: A Story of Weakness

  1. DD,

    Don’t worry about about it, those situations happen. Sometimes your stomach speaks louder than your mind, wallet, and investing goals. Luckily, Option C every once and a while won’t take you off of your current path!

    Hopefully the dessert was delicious!

    Bert, one of the Dividend Diplomats


  2. I feel guilty after spending sometimes, too. The only thing I can say is try not to hold yourself to MMM standards. He’s super, super frugal. I consider myself pretty darn frugal, but even some of his tactics are too much for me! Sometimes it’s for the best that we avoid diving into the deep end. It’s okay to start slowly, and remember, we ALL have moments of weakness!

    And thanks for including me on your sidebar!


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  4. As long as you don’t make this a normal occurrence – don’t beat yourself up TOO much. We’re all striving for early retirement and I know that retiring early beats eating an expensive meal today. However, we still need to live from time to time, although in the early retirement journey we learn to live in less expensive ways – to experience the world and enjoy it without having to drop money.

    However, if you can get away with biking around town instead of driving your car you can allow for a few more expensive things. For example MMM buys good, healthful, organic food from the local hippie store (I live in the same town). They make very good brats/sausages. Cool place.

    Wallet Engineer #1


    • Thanks for the suggestions. I definitely need to use more opportunities to bike. The local hippie store sounds nice. Most of the grocery stores near my house are standard food suppliers.

      Best Regards,
      Dear Dividend


  5. I have an extra motivation to order water and keep a restaurant order small as I am trying to lose weight. Maybe if you had another reason to not order a drink with your meal you would find the inner strength to resist? I still order a drink sometimes when going to a restaurant (mostly at buffalo wild wings, I get my monies worth out of free refills there… plus it is a reasonably priced combination of entertainment and dinner mixed into one).

    In regard to eating out in general I don’t see a major reason why it is a bad thing. The other week my oven ignitor went out and I had two meals out that week. So sometimes stuff happens outside of your control. Could I have improvised better and made something at home still on the stove-top? Probably, but it was nice to have a little break anyways.


    • You just made me crave some wings and a brew at BWW’s. You’re right though, there is a balance between frugality and enjoying some of life’s perks (e.g., wings). I hope you get your oven repaired without incurring too much cost.

      – Dear Dividend


  6. I love the perspective that you took on this post. I’ve just realized I give myself these mental options when I’m thrown into a “sooo, we’re here lets be social and spend some money being social situation”. I’d say on your choice of options I hover around the B/C option as well. I need to work harder on this, especially when I have no problem being the person to pull out a bagged meal at dinner without blinking an eye!


    • I haven’t thought of it that way but you make a good point. A lot of it probably boils down to be “socially” accepted in group environments. I’m sure part of it comes from not wanting to be viewed as a “tightwad”. Somewhere in life I think some of us have been trained to equate spending money with having a good time but it doesn’t have to be that way.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Dear Dividend


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