By in Saving, Wealth | 5 comments

Categories: life, values, spending, saving

“I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.” Albert Camus

OK, my secret is not as magnificent as that of Albert Camus. But in my quest for authenticity I will share something I normally would keep to myself.

MAIN TOPIC: The BarbaraFriedberg Way to Cut Spending

I am incredibly lucky in that most of my work is done away from a traditional office. That means, if I have a computer and internet, I can get my job(s) done. To up my productivity, once or twice a week I head out to Panera, the public library, or a beautiful hotel lobby. As long as there’s free internet, I can work!

Getting out of my home office is a productivity matter. If the environment doesn’t change once in a while, I get way too sidetracked and distracted and my productivity goes down.

Does that happen to you?

Here are the pros and cons of each location:

PANERAFree coffee refillsNear Lowe’s, $1 Store, & Goodwill drop offNOT FREE
PUBLIC LIBRARYFreeBooks & magazines to read during breaksNone
HOTEL LOBBYBeautiful settingMy favorite hotel just dropped internet for anyone except guests


Before moving on to the practical application, my decision making regarding spending is based on a VALUE for COST premise. If the cost is worth the pleasure or value I receive from the spending – GREAT. If the COST OUTWEIGHS THE VALUE – not so good.

 Read more about this philosophy in The Secret to Saving without Sacrifice.


When I go out during the day, I always pack my lunch. For a break, I take my sandwich, some carrots and go out to my car (or the lobby of the library) and eat. (I still can’t believe I divulged this.)

Why do I do this? Because …….. the $10 it costs for lunch out does not give me $10 worth of pleasure. Conversely, the $2 worth of coffee- yes, worth the money for me.

Here’s how it plays out:

Annual Savings from bringing lunch 1 time/week:

Save $8.00/week X 50 weeks = $400.00/Year


And now for secret number 2; my husband and I spend the extra $400.00 on something that we really value, such as:

2 Nights vacation in a hotel

2 tickets + dinner for a Broadway show

Several trips to a minor league baseball game

Now I realize there are those out there who probably think I’m overly frugal cheap. Or would rather eat lunch out than go to a hotel, show, or ball game; and I get that.

The reason I shared my secret is to open the door to discussion.

What are the ways you save and where do you splurge?


Get a notebook and label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and keep it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance goals, thoughts, activities, and plans.

  • Evaluate your spending for a week and cut out the lower value/higher cost activities.
  • Look into flexible account spending changes for ways to get more money in your pocket for minimal effort.

YAKEZIE SHORT CARNIVAL: Coupons are they Worth the Hassle? @ Beating Broke, 6 Sneaky Ways Grocery Stores and Retailers Get You to Spend More Money @ Frugal Confessions


  1. Hello Barbarafriedberg! Thank you for the mention:). I hope you enjoyed the article.

    Amanda L Grossman

    May 29, 2010

  2. Hi Amanda, I love secrets,(especially those about sneaky retailers). Thanks for stopping by. Best, Barb


    May 30, 2010

  3. I do enjoy going to the library for studying/working. Unfortunately, the one closest to me closed down recently for remodeling.


    Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    May 30, 2010

  4. I LOVE IT!!

    My public library has a great room for people to settle down in. Not sure about wireless access, but since I don’t write the blog on the net itself, it’s actually better to not have the distraction and just put the links, etc in later.

    Hmm. Now if you’d said that you go to the local bar to write… that could have been something I’d want to keep a secret. Or I’d want to join you. 🙂

    Jacq Jolie

    May 31, 2010

  5. @Jacq Jolie- OMG you just gave me a wonderful idea… Do you think they have internet access at a bar? Something to think about. You also have a good point about writing the blog without the distraction of the internet. Thanks so much for the great comment!
    @ Shawn-That’s awful about the library, govenment budget cuts at work!!! Thanks again for the visit.
    Best regards, Barb


    June 1, 2010


  1. Citi Cash Bonuses I Missed | Money Smart Life - [...] A Personal Secret I Should not Divulge @ Barbara Friedberg [...]
  2. Money Hackers Carnival – The BBQ Edition - [...] Friedberg presents A PERSONAL SECRET I SHOULD NOT DIVULGE posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal [...]

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *