My boyfriend and I recently decided to assess ways of cutting back on our spending. We don’t eat out, we don’t have debt, and neither of us is prone to impulse spending. Overall, we’re pretty good with money. So, we did what any frugal couple in our shoes would do: we tried out cheap toilet paper.
The Kirkland brand was five dollars cheaper than Charmin and–hey–$60 per year adds up over time. If we can reduce a few household expenses, that money can be redirected to a new home or graduate school. It sounded like a foolproof plan.
I optimistically slipped the new roll onto the holder, feeling like a successful adult. The toilet paper was lackluster, falling somewhere between paper towel and sandpaper. I was unimpressed, yet I was not deterred from my mission of saving money. “New home,” I reminded myself.
The next day, I sat down and noticed the roll I pulled from read “Charmin,” and a separate roll with scrolling flowers sat on top of the toilet tank. I chuckled to myself before going to ask my boyfriend his thoughts on “the cheap stuff.”
Before I had the chance to finish my question, he replied, “It’s awful. We need to go back to Costco.” So, we picked up a pack of Charmin Soft, so excited that I even hugged it a bit before tossing it into the cart. Never have I been so happy to shell out an extra five bucks.
We’re still looking for someone to take the 29.75 remaining rolls of frail and flimsy 2-ply, if you know anyone.
Simple needs should be lavishly met.
I recently hear the above sentiment, though I don’t recall where. It really resonated with me because it suggests that each of us is free to determine the bare essentials necessary in our own lives, and then offers permission to splurge in the areas that make everyday life just a little better.
Simple needs should be lavishly met means that I don’t need to feel guilty buying 10-ply toilet paper, the perfect trail-running shoes, a comfortable mattress, or an incredible kitchen knife. By allowing oneself to spend freely in areas that alleviate discomfort, promote joy, and support long-term goals, we allow ourselves to increase our quality of life.
Psychology studies have proven that humans have a much stronger aversion to suffering than attraction to pleasure. In other words, science has shown that using great toilet paper is going to have a more positive effect on your well-being than that expensive new car.
I don’t know about you, but I think this is wonderful news! Our day-to-day lives are filled with simple needs. What small but recurring inconvenience might you rectify with a small investment? Perhaps sharper nail clippers, a pair of tweezers that actually pluck, shoes that don’t hurt your feet, a mattress that doesn’t hurt your back, or toilet paper that isn’t rough and uncomfortable?
If you could improve one tiny aspect of your daily life, what would you choose to do? What’s stopping you from taking action on that small change today?