Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Saving and Splurging

For my dearest cyber pal, Sal, who asked me to do this. I've been mulling it over for days. It's a bit difficult to come up with ten of each, I think. For those who were at my Enrichment class last month, you might want to skip the saves and head right to the splurges.

Ten ways I save money are...
1. by being technologically ignorant. I don't have an iPod and, as previously confessed, do not even know how to download a song. From what I hear from friends, this saves me loads of money.
2. by being a late bloomer. I just got my first cell phone this year. It's a pay-as-you-go plan and Michael and I together spend about $30 a month on our phones. Also, I don't know how to text...maybe that goes with #1.
3. by clipping coupons. I read store ads and stock up on things when they are on sale and I have a coupon for them.
4. by "going green." I use those compact fluorescent light bulbs and when an appliance breaks, I replace it with an Energy Star one. (Okay, the appliance costs more, but in the long run it saves on my electric bill, right?)
5. by subscribing to the concept of "delayed gratification." For example, I had my eye on some shelves at Michael's and bought one each week for three weeks with a coupon from the newspaper. It took a little longer to get what I wanted, but I got it for less!
6. by shopping at the Salvation Army on Wednesdays! I feel really lucky that I live near a great thrift store where people obviously wealthier than I take their one or two children's hardly-used and sometimes never-used clothes. I love getting my kids jeans and pants there...and Wednesday is half-off day.
7. by being too impatient to shop with children. Surely, those women who actually don't break out into hives at the mention of taking their kids to the mall with them spend more money than I. Surely, they do. I am not good about taking kids in public unless it's to a kid place. The mall? Only to get their pictures taken.
8. by having children who don't really eat. (I'm stretching here--this is getting hard!) Tracy is amazed that when we have chicken for dinner, two breasts is more than enough to feed my little family of six (of course, it helps that Maia doesn't touch meat).
9. by only buying books that I know I'll reread. I live ridiculously close to the library and made this rule for myself when I moved into my house. This also saves on having too much stuff in my house--it's a double saver: money and space!
10. by buying my girls' dresses at the Kahn Lucas outlet. How did I ever pay more than $3.00 for a dress before I made this discovery?

Ten ways I splurge are...
1. by hiring a babysitter twice a month (once for Ward Temple Night, once for a "fun" date), sometimes more.
2. by buying good toilet paper. I am a complete T.P. Snob and I embrace it! I cannot scrimp on the quality of the material I use to clean my bottom. I can't and I won't and I don't apologize for it.
3. by joining the pool behind my house each summer. It may cost a little more than other pools in the area, but walking out my door with my barefooted children and arriving at the pool 60 seconds later is priceless to me!
4. by buying Christmas and Easter outfits for my children. I cannot resist holidaywear.
5. by buying Gala apples. Those things are nature's candy, I tell you. I have raised four apple snobs who won't eat cheaper varieties.
6. by having a fabulous amount of life insurance on my husband. If he goes, I'll be sad enough without having to be poor, too.
7. by being a car seat safety freak. I really do check the expiration dates on my car seats and throw them away and get new ones when the time comes. I realize that it probably doesn't matter, this whole expiration date thing, but I just have to follow the manufacturer's recommendation.
8. by buying ridiculous amounts of bows and ribbons for my daughters' hair. Just last weekend I was at the Kids Nearly New Sale looking for great deals on stuff for my kids when I was victimized by a woman who was selling adorable hair bows. One bow cost me more than Maia's Tommy Hilfiger and Mudd jeans put together. See the problem?
9. by ordering pizza when I've had a really busy or stressed day (but, of course, I always have a coupon when I order).
10. by keeping my Michael's car running. This poor car has been a complete money pit, but I cannot help but keep it going. It means so much to me that I don't have to wake up kids to take him to work or interrupt dinner prep/homework time to pick him up. It doesn't mean the same to him, but he begrudgingly humors me.

So, there you have it. The little ways I think I save and splurge on a regular basis. Please, share yours. I'm curious to see how many ways Tracy saves. Hee hee.


Joni said...

That was great, Mendy. I mainly save by filling up the gas tank at Fairford, living close enough to work that Jeff can walk (so only one car), and staying out of British stores and restaurants (more or less). I splurge on the gym! And my haircuts. And so many more things, but I agree, good TP is a must:)

The Loveridge Family said...

I TOTALLY agree with you on the toilet paper...what is the point of one-ply anyways...totally useless...you gotta get the good stuff!

Cami said...

Wow. I am tempted to do this just to see if I even TRY to save money.

The Tidwell Family said...

Ditto to what Cami said.

Very impressive lists!

Jared & Christina said...

weird question...just exactly where can you find the expiration date on a car seat? I'm getting ready to switch Leah into a big one and probably should check.

Tracy said...

Why are you trying to suck all the joy from my life? I'm sooo glad Chris doesn't read blogs or I'd be getting lectured on how great Mendy is. I choose to stay in my happy bubble where I don't balance checkbooks, don't look at credit card bills & I water my money tree daily. But I will join you to buy $3 dresses for my girls!

The Spiveys said...

We joined BJs so we can buy diapers and wipes there. It seems cheaper than some other places. But, like Tracy, I have a hard time leaving a plance with only the things I really need (much to Kris' dismay!).

Christie said...

That was a great post, I enjoyed it. It is fun to see that even the marvolous money manager mendy (Quadrouple points)splurges sometimes :-)

Jenni said...

You are a super shopper Mendy!! I must go to this dress outlet - is it really in Lancaster?!! I could get cheap adorable dresses and whoopie pies all in one trip!!:)

Wendy said...

I save money by coloring my own hair - even fancy highlights! I guess to really save money I could just drop the charade and let my (very) prematurely gray hair assert itself...but some things, like good toilet paper, are worth more than money!

Cynthia said...

Okay, I can't do my own blog but...
1. Ditto on the iPod/download thing
2. Don't pay for TV (rabbit ears)
3. No internet (the library is our friend)or landline phone.
4. Don't buy movies (the library is our friend)
5. Saw a movie in theater last month for first time in 2 yrs
6. Absolutely abhor clothes shopping. Hubby makes me go about 1-2 times/year to buy something for myself. I hate it!
7. Go out (including pizza) once every couple months.
8. Our financial planner at Smith Barney knows us well. :)
9. Bedroom furniture consists of our bed...and W's crib and change table (you should see our closet!).
10. Hang dry ALL our clothes-2 yrs strong. You'd be amazed how much lower our BGE bill is now.
Splurges: (this one took me 20 mins)
1. Gym I hardly ever use since lil' W b/c my options are 10pm or 4am. (Yawn)
2. Food. Mostly vegetarian and buy fresh fruits/veggies all the time (but I do pick ones on sale).
3. Ice cream. No, it's not food. It's a category in and of itself! And it has to be Breyers.
4. Non-stop flights. When we go West to visit family, I'm a non-stop snob.
5. Babysitters. Okay I've only done it once, but man it was a treat.
6. Peanut butter (I'm racking my brain here!) We like the "natural" with the oil on top.
7. AC. We like it pretty cool in the summer.
8. Name brand foods for my baby.
9. Taxes. Involuntary spending, but believe me, it surpasses anything else I spend money on each year! I'm a total grump around tax season.
10. Okay, okay, I give!
This was more like a "how boring and dull is Cynthia" list than anything else. A bit depressing, but I really hate spending money. Boy, I really need a hobby or something! :)

Brenda said...

You will have to tell me about the dress outlet!! I am always looking for cute dresses and the only place I can find them is at Burlington Coat Factory, but they are so expensive!
Love your post, by the way! I do many of the same things. Except for the coupon thing... maybe someday (:

Cheri said...

This was fun to read. It seems like a good exercise to take a look at how you're really spending and saving.

Corinne said...

Mendy, you are a woman after my own heart :)

mom2qtboys said...

It was so good to see you in the flesh the other day! I love this post by the way-I do many of the same-except the hair bows of course and eek I do take my kids to the mall in the winter sometimes and bribe them with those 50 cent rides if they don't break or destroy anything. Also I hate to say it but I buy cheap TP. so if you hate that much you better go before you come to my place.

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill