We’re a pretty frugal family. While the jury is still out on whether it’s “extreme” frugality or not, there’s no denying that we like to save money.
Every time I wash cloth diapers (which is twice a week, in case you’re wondering), I think about all the money we save my using them and it makes me a bit giddy. (Never in a million years did I think I would get joy out of something… like that.)
Some money-saving practices change depending on your season in life (thank goodness!) and others are ingrained in our habits for the long haul (also a good thing). Still there are other money-saving (and money-making) opportunities that I just plain won’t ever embrace.
I imagine the same goes for you.
We want to get out of debt fast, and I hope you do too, but there are some things that are more important than being debt-free or getting some extra cash. No matter how strapped for cash I am or how desperate the times are, there are some things I just won’t ever do, no matter what the pay or savings.
They fall into the following three categories:
I am not willing to break the law to save money. That includes everything from cheating on taxes to downloading pirated media.
I should also point out that I’m not concerned with enforcement. I realize that there are many ways to make money that, while illegal, aren’t regularly enforced. It’s not a matter of whether or not I’ll get caught. If it’s illegal, I won’t be doing it whether anyone else knows it or not.
Anything unethical or immoral
There are many activities that will make money or save money that are legal, but are still unethical or immoral. I won’t throw out any examples here (I sure don’t want to give anyone bad ideas), but suffice it to say that I don’t choose money-making or money-saving endeavors that go against my conscience.
So, how do you decide if something is unethical or immoral? The number one test for me is asking myself if I feel good about it. When something is shady, bad, or inappropriate, I have a bad or uncomfortable feeling. If you’re used to listening to that feeling, then it’s easy to recognize. If you find yourself trying to justify or talk yourself into something that you feel uneasy about, consider this a red flag.
Another test to know if your money-making or money-saving idea is moral and ethical is the grandma test. Would you be proud to look your grandma in the eye and confidently tell her about your plan? If you could (and you have a sweet, honest grandma), then you’re fine. If you’ve got a shady grandma (I’m sorry), choose another respected person, like your mom.
Anything that would jeopardize my marriage
This one might seem a little odd on its own. In fact, it’s not one I normally would have thought of until I heard the experience of my sister’s friend. Her husband was commuting with a woman he worked with. He had a rather long commute and thought it would be a great way to save money on gas. The hours they spent together on their commute were the beginning of the affair that ruined his marriage and broke the hearts of his wife and children.
For me, there is no amount of money that is worth the risk or losing my marriage. I would gladly pay extra money in gas (or whatever the other expenses may be) to avoid that risk. Don’t put yourself in the way of temptation in the name of saving money. Some things are worth much, much more.
Thankfully, there are many, many other effective ways to make money and save money. There’s no need to break the law, be unethical or immoral, or risk your marriage.
How About You?
- What would you never do to save money or make money?
- What shady ways to save or earn money have you heard of?