1. Oh this is too funny! Thanks for giving me a laugh this morning. It’s wonderful how you don’t want to disappoint each other. I have to stop myself from taking some of my craziness too far. This manifests with my Aldi shopping. I often forget to take my stash of grocery bags. We’re in the car running errands and suddenly I let out an “Oh F!” Mr. G says “What?!!” I tell him I left all the bags in the garage and he says “Let’s go back.” He knows it just infuriates me when I forget crap. Of course Aldi is on the way home from everything we need to do, and returning home at this point is out of the way. Are we going to spend an extra half hour driving to save $2? No. Do I beat myself up for ten minutes? Yes.

    • The struggle is real with those Aldi bags. I can’t tell you how many times I’m that weirdo who is trying to carry 87 things because I forgot my bags and don’t want to buy more. I get really excited when I forget my bags and find empty cartons in the store!

    • Right? He’s so silly sometimes. He already does a ton of coaching and other extracurriculars, but now he’s starting to scheme a bit more. It’s fun how contagious side hustling can be!

  2. There’s nothing to better confirm your aligned values than your partner going to the extreme! But you’re absolutely right that moderation is a smarter way to save. If I had forgotten my lunch for a 9-hour stint and subsisted on a Kashi bar, by the end I would have been ravenous and made a poor food/money decision on the way home. Balance is the key.

  3. I tend to take goals too far. Usually, it ends up biting me in the ass. Like when we bought the house, and I was buying curtains and curtain rods bit by bit to avoid stressing our finances.

    Then I got distracted by general life stuff, and a year later, the curtains and rod we used weren’t available. That caused a huge headache because my husband is literally OCD about matching. So I had to change curtain rods and finding the right length was a pain and… ugh. All so that I wouldn’t put an extra $75 on the card.

    One of the (only) good things about Tim’s ADD is that he encourages me to live a little more in the present. I tend to live only for the savings goal, which means living for the future while life happens all around me. So he usually keeps me from losing perspective. Except, apparently, when it comes to window dressings.

  4. It’s funny how you get in habits of thinking. When my 10-2 shift (eat a late breakfast, no need for lunch) turned in to 10-6 (not gonna make it 9 hours w/ drive time) on Monday, I didn’t just walk over to Bojangles or the Chinese place, like I might have a few months ago. I walked over to the grocery store and picked up an apple and a pack of peanuts, because we don’t casually pick up take out anymore. Was it a better choice? I don’t know, but it was certainly a different one.

  5. I find myself in this same situation right now. I am so laser focused on getting our debts paid off, I find myself struggling to think about other things. I think it’s because we have so many little irritating debts.

    I must always remind myself that yes – it is JUST money. It’s important, but shouldn’t ruin your life. We have to remember that it is okay to spend sometimes and not beat ourselves up about one forgotten lunch.

  6. Oh my goodness. Mr. FI and I did this SEVERAL times in the beginning of our FI journey. Like Mr. P, there were several times where we debated between buying something or just going without when it came to anything from lunch one day to buying food in general for the last few days of the month because we had already reached/maxed our food budget. Not that we just didn’t eat at the end of every month, but we did have less-than-satisfying meals and made it much harder on ourselves trying to scrounge up random foods to get by until the next month came along. Unfortunately, this behavior was easy to justify after seeing how hardcore other ER couples could be. We held ourselves to very high and rather ridiculous standards right off the bat and it honestly took a few months before we realized we didn’t want our journey to be that way. Like you said, saving extra money is great, but it supposed to alleviate stress and guilt, not cause more! I’m glad you and Mr. P are choosing to let things roll off your shoulders making adjustments to your savings so that it can be more flexible and less like a prison sentence 😉

  7. I recently transferred to a new job where the only lunch option on 85% of the days is to bring a lunch. Of course, the side-effect to this is a great deal of savings but it does require a lot of planning ahead. Part of my planning, is being aware that crap happens and there will be a time when, like your husband, I will forget. For those days, there’s the emergency can of soup. I keep a few cans of Progresso, along with a bowl and spoon, in my office.

    Now, if I could survive on junk food…I work in a large agency and one division or another is always having food or snacks to celebrate who knows what. If I am starving, I can always find calories to get through the day.

    I think it’s great that the two of you are working toward finding the balance in life that works for both of you.


  8. I’ve totally been there and it’s not fun!
    Lucky you were there to help him out but I guess this just shows that there is such a thing as being too frugal sometimes. Definitely worth bringing lunch when you can and you remember though – it saves so much indeed.

  9. Allie @ Bold N Balanced

    I can relate to the hyper focus for sure. When planning for this year, hubs and I decided that “fun” (or mad money as you call it) is not going to derail our progress. If I want to grab a coffee with a friend, I shouldn’t feel guilty, if it isn’t an every day thing. Shifting our mindsets can be hard when we have such big goals, but living life is just as important as you said, it’s important not to lose sight of that!

  10. Mrs. Lewis (@LewisandWife)

    I have been in this same situation and have since tried to avoid it by stashing some frozen food or quick cooking food in my food bin at work. I also have a sash of snacks on hand just in case. I admire you reaction to your husband trying to survive on just a few Kashi bars. Any time my husband takes a step back and chooses not to spend on his own I’m always leaping with joy inside. Cutting back on his “wants” has not been as easy as it is for me. Good luck in your year’s endeavors!

  11. I’m not sure that I have ever contemplated *not eating lunch* to save money (I’m like you and get crazy hangry quickly, so this is never really an option), but I can relate to taking goals a little too far. I have definitely given Mr. ONL the stink eye for some of his purchases at various times, when I felt like I was trying hard to cut wasteful spending, and then here he was, having the nerve to spend THREE WHOLE DOLLARS on something dumb. 🙂 I’m glad that you quickly got to a place of perspective and made your man eat some lunch!

  12. Sounds like you two landed on the right decision (eating > not eating), but I totally admire Mr. P’s dedication to your goals! A lot of people would let one slip-up be their downfall, and it would quickly go from one meal out to a purchased lunch every day. Good habits are so much more important than a couple dollars here and there.

    • Illness is a hard one to combat. In my couponing days, I had quite the stockpile of cold meds. They can be so expensive when they’re not on sale! Now I try to take a more balanced approach.

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