Saturday, October 16, 2010

Frugal Struggles

As I washed the windows at work today and chatted with the mother chaperoning her little club scout selling popcorn I wandered "when does frugal become too frugal?" "How do I decide if something's worth it?"
I've been to the deep end of the frugal bin to the point where I was sewing my jeans just to keep them together because they 'fit right'. Because finding a pair of jeans for a big gal like me in a pain in the neck. I mean my thighs aren't that big. So I kept sewing and patching until I had one good pair of jeans. No one can live with one pair of jeans. Therefore, I shrugged of the 'perfect fit' and got something that fit but wasn't the fit.
Sometimes you think you don't need something that you really do, such as my jeans, and think up stupid excuses on why you shouldn't buy them. Well, sometimes you need to take that plunge and just get it.
For months now I've been toying around with buying a laptop. I needed a new computer since my old one was really slow and would sometimes take up to an hour to boot up. I was frustrated and annoyed. Last week I saw an add in the Sunday paper for a HP laptop. I went and got it. I thought up of every reason why not to get it but I thought of an excellent reason why I should. I need for college. Education comes first.
So, how do you decide when something's worth it? We've all seen it. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts alike sell things to you for a reason, to be able to afford things like camping, or maybe going on a day trip. Either way they are benefiting from it. "Well, $3.50 (the price for a box of Girl Scout cookies) is outrageous!" First of all the troop themselves do not get the whole $3.50. The money gets broken down between manufacturing, the council so they can keep the camps up and running, among other things. The troop only gets a very tiny sliver of the pie that equal only a few cents. Here's the break down:

How the Cookie Crumbles at Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana

Below is a breakdown of the proceeds from each $3.50 package of cookies:

  • $1.55 goes to council-subsidized programs (girl and adult recruitment, adult education, programs, camp and camping activities, and program-related staff salaries and expenses)
  • $0.90 goes to troop support (troop profits, girl incentives and Cookie Dough)
  • $0.90 goes to sale-related expenses (cost of cookies, promotional materials, training cookie volunteers, etc.)
  • $0.15 goes to administrative support (office services/supplies, accounting, fund development, administrative salaries, etc.) (Source:
The price of a box is worth it. Besides, if you can afford a cup of coffee everyday you can buy a box. Better yet just donate a dollar or two and walk away knowing that you're helping a kid achieve his or her dream. So when it comes to charitable cases just as this, my wallet is always opened.
Especially when the local church makes candy!
P.S. I count Girl Scout and Boy Scout fundraisers as a local good. 100% of the proceeds stay within the community. Can someone say guilt free?


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