An interior decorator friend of mine taught me the Three "E" Rule a few years ago and it has helped relieve a lot of frugal frustration.
The "E"s stand for Ease, Economics (Cheap), and Elegance. Now this is how it works. You can any combinations of two Es but you can NEVER have all three. For example:
If you want something to be Easy and Elegant, it won't be Economical. (In other words it will be expensive.)
If you want something to be Elegant and Economical it won't be Easy. (You have to do a lot of work to save the money.)
If you want something to be Easy and Economical it won't be Elegant.
Get the point?
When I first heard this I was taken aback. How can you not have all three? But this rule is true. In the ten years since I have heard this I have not been able to disprove it- trust me I have tried.
When I am planning an event or setting a financial goal, I keep this rule in mind. It helps to keep me realistic in what I am trying to achieve. It also helps me to spend if I need something to be Easy and Elegant when I don't have the time to do it myself.
Lastly, and most important to me, if I want something to be Economial and Easy then I need to realize it won't be Elegant. However, it will be presentable. This helps me to be realistic in what the outcome will be and I am okay with that. I would rather save the money than save face :)