Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Grasshopper and the Ants

Sunday morning the installer for the wood stove stopped by to measure everything and set a date for installation. It was so hot and sticky outside. I'm sure we were the only people in Dutchess County thinking about wood stoves.

Later we cleaned out the garage, cut wood for the upcoming winter and worked in the garden. It seemed like we were the only people moving around for miles. I told my husband that I felt like ants to everyone elses grasshopper. (Was it a Disney cartoon with the grasshopper singing, "Oh the world owes me a living...")

I guess in many ways being frugal means being like those ants scurrying around. The rewards are paid back to us in money saved and less time spent at work. Most of our projects net long term savings like installing the wood stove or replacing our older innefficient oil burner. It can be hard to wait for the fruits of your labor but let me give you an example of how it can be.

Last year we replaced our oil burner. We also went on the budget oil plan where your usage from the year before is divided over 10 months into equal payments. At the end of the heating season we should have a zero balance. Instead we had a credit of $264.45! When the new budget payment plan starts, our monthly payment will be lower despite rising oil prices.

Frugal and cheap aren't necessarily the same thing. To be frugal, you need to spend money wisely, simply spending less is not enough.

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