I didn't manage to post yesterday, as I was too tired and ever so slightly depressed. For I have to report a frugality fail. A fail which was entirely my own fault.
www.thetrainline.com, which is the best place I have found for buying cheap tickets. Had I been more than a day in advance, they would no doubt have been cheaper, but as it was, I managed to get a return for a painful but not unreasonable £39 - even saving about £6 in the process.
No sooner had I hit "Confirm" than something else hit me. Not literally, of course: that would probably have been fatal. For the thing that hit me was a bus.
A bus! So conditioned am I by my pre-frugality days that I had gone straight for the train option, and had never even considered a bus. With an air of futility, I turned to http://www.nationalexpress.com/coach/index.cfm and searched for bus tickets for the same journey. And sure enough, they would have come in at £21. Almost half the price. Certainly, the journey would have taken an hour longer, but that would have been okay. And so I had a comfortable and speedy journey there and back again, but have wasted £18. £18 would have fed me for over a week.
More and more I am realising that frugal living is as much about mindset as anything. In the first place, I have to get into the habit of asking, Do I really need this? And if the answer is yes, then my second question and natural follow-up has to be, What is the full range of my options? Until I retrain my brain to remember that I truly cannot spare this money, I will continue to throw away pounds on the more luxury option. The old saying may be correct, Look after the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves. But what is the point of looking after the pennies and living on the same savoy cabbage for two whole weeks, if I don't first and foremost look after the pounds?
So I have fallen. Nothing to do now but get back on the frugality bicycle and pedal for all I am worth.
Total Expenditure: £40.95