Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today, asking about frugal travel and more broadly, lifestyle inflation.
(Today’s post is inspired by Mr. 1500’s 3-leg, all-day flight from Denver to Florida to save $20 per person.)
Mr. 1500 note: Flying from Denver to Jacksonville is painful; not a lot of options…
We have two small children who thrive on a consistent bedtime/wake-up routine, and who turn into Satan when their schedule is disrupted. We live 45 minutes from the airport, and less expensive, off-airport parking adds another 15-25 minutes to our get-to-the-airport timeline.
Mr. 1500 note: Mrs. 1500 is completely right about our kids’ disposition. With adequate sleep, they are angels. Without:
Mr. 1500 thinks nothing of booking a flight that leaves at 5 am or arrives back to the airport at 11:30 pm. These are the cheapest flights, and he can save tens of dollars by booking them.
Mr. 1500 note: That’s tens of dollars per person.
Mrs. 1500 rebuttal: Sigh…
What Mr. 1500 fails to consider is the effect this has on the children, turning them into vile creatures who take their sleepiness and discombobulation out on us. Getting them back on their schedule takes a few days, too.
And it doesn’t stop with crazy flight schedules.
Mr. 1500 recently read this article about a new flight seat design where you stand up during the entire flight, with only a saddle-style seat upon which to rest your bottom.
Oh yeah, let’s book flights on that plane to save fifty cents. I think Mr. 1500 would book a spot in the cargo hold to save a dollar…
Mr. 1500 note: I totally would. Hell, I’d ride in a class lower than the chickens if I could.
First class? Put me in last class baby.
<At this time, Mr. 1500 takes over the post.>
Mr. 1500’s Thoughts
I started thinking about my over-the-top frugality while out on a walk. Mrs. 1500 has a point. I still try hard to save money whenever I can. Probably too hard:
- Thermostat: I’m perfectly fine keeping our home in the low 60s. Mrs. 1500, not so much.
- Old clothes: Up until a few years ago, I still had underpants from high school. They had holes in them, but hey, air conditioning! Unfortunately, Mrs. 1500 intervened and tossed them away.
- Manual labor: I change my own oil, shovel the snow and move my own rocks. I’ll probably never give this up because I like the exercise that comes along with the labor.
Why am I so eager to save a buck? I thought about it for a while and then I realized something:
With the exception of Asterisk the Car*, I’m still living like I did when I was one year removed from college and $60,000 in debt.
But, circumstances have changed. I have a family now. I also have money.
I have decided to back off the frugalness in certain cases. For all of our summer travel, I booked reasonable flight times. It hurt a little to give up some extra points just to fly a couple hours later, but we won’t have to incur the wrath of miserable children. I’ll be more mindful when it comes to other decisions where we could trade a few dollars to get some time or sanity back.
It’s still a struggle though. I don’t want to ever waste money.
How About You?
- When is it OK to stop being super frugal?
- What items are OK to let go?
- If you have found yourself in a better financial position, what have you let go?
*Why is the car named Asterisk? It’s because I’m super frugal*.
See what I did there?
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