The Importance of Being Frugal

Mr Millennial rang me just before he walked into work.

“I saw the specialist this morning”, he said to me, “I need to take six weeks off work”.

I stopped what I was doing and started some mental calculations. “How much sick leave do you have?” I asked.

“Five days” was the reply, “the rest will have to be unpaid. I wanted to ring you before I go and tell my boss.”

“Okay”, I said, resuming cooking my lunch, “I want to know what the specialist said, I’ll talk to you at home tonight.”

For a lot of families, news like this can be financially crushing. Five weeks is a long time to go without a paycheck, particularly if emergencies come up, and especially since we are still saving for the wedding, spending a lot of money on his health and I have a wisdom tooth removal scheduled in a couple of months.

Luckily for us, we save more than Mr Millennial’s pay every month, including saving for the wedding, and we have enough money saved up to pay for medical costs and any unexpected surprises. Financially, we haven’t been affected by this five week period of unpaid leave, other than having less in our savings account than expected. The only difference I’ve noticed so far (and we are three weeks in now) is that dinner is cooked when I come home each night.

For me, this is the importance of being frugal. I can’t imagine anything worse than having to choose between our health and money. What if we couldn’t afford to take that time off and we had to work through it? What if that made him worse?

Health is priceless. Unfortunately, the reality is that we often have to put a price on it, whether than be paying to see a specialist, paying for a medication or surgery, or taking unpaid time off work.

The beauty of frugal living is that we can afford to put this price on health and to prioritise our health above all else.

Here’s hoping he’s healthy by the wedding!

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