This past Saturday I found out that my local BJs had gas which was about 30 cents cheaper then most local competitors and since The Wife and I both had our gas lights (literally) on I figured I would fill us both up. The Wife hates getting gas so I figured I would do it for her and since our son was napping I wasn’t missing quality time with him. After filling two cars up, The Wife asked how much money did I actually save considering I had to drive to BJs (maybe 10 mins away) and wait on line for gas since I am not the only one that wants gas for 30 cents cheaper then every other local competitor? When I told The Wife that I probably only saved a couple bucks she said it wasn’t “worth” the 45 minutes or so to fill up two cars.
At this point I had to figure out the real number
The Wife’s Car first
- 17 gallons at $3.79 = $64.43
- 17 gallons at $3.49 = $59.33
- 13 Gallons at $3.79 = $49.27
- 13 Gallons at $3.49 = $45.37
Total amount saved? $9.00. Not exactly the stuff that makes millionaires which is why I don’t believe that normal people can’t frugal themselves to wealth. Can frugal be used as a verb? I am going to run with it. Even if I saved $9.00 every week we are only talking about saving $468 per year. So why do I do it?
Not All of My Time is Monetarily Valuable
I hate when people just assume every waking hour is equivalent to a dollar amount. Real life doesn’t work that way. I can’t say something has to net me $30, $40 or $50 an hour to be “worth it.” What happens if it is $10 but I wasn’t doing anything anyway…maybe the number has to be closer to $50 an hour to get me to miss something important to me.
This particular Saturday morning I woke up with a fantastic headache contributable to scotch, pumpkin beer, Sam Adam’s Octoberfest and old faithful Bud Light. I wasn’t about to do any work. Zero. Instead I was probably going to wallow in self pity on the couch until my son woke up from his nap.
This sort of reasoning makes even less sense if you have a salaried job. You can figure out your “hourly wage” pretty easily but does it matter? Choosing to do something else doesn’t mean you could have been earning more money. The only comparison one can make is whether the dollar amount is worth more than the exact activity you would have been doing instead.