Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Frugality Cycles

ISPF writes something that rings very true to me--she's talking about the idea of "cycles" of frugality. She does a very nice little graphic of what one could call a "frugality wave"--it's like a sine curve, where the line is one's actual expenditure and the x-axis is one's average expenditure. I feel like I've been in a high, even extreme section of the frugality cycle recently, saving more than 25% of my take-home pay, and now I find myself chafing a little, wanting a little more room, a little more income of which to dispose towards pleasurable ends.

Here's the reason this doesn't worry me: like ISPF, I cycle within a fairly narrow range--for me, the amplitude is no more than $100 or so. I'm never not saving anything at all (we're talking cash here, not retirement--obviously, because that's a paycheck deduction), and I'm certainly never spending more than I make. I also don't think the high point of my spending is excessive, though I may have to keep an eye on that end if the pattern remains the same and my salary increases.

For the moment, though, I'm happy to look at this the way ISPF does: it's just a natural fluctuation, and as long as the extremes aren't too extreme, it's nothing to worry about.

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