So we're all trying to save money in this rough economy, so I thought I would share just a few things that my wonderful husband does to help save us money. I'll just say at the top of this post that it should be obvious from previous postings that I absolutely adore him and his quirky ways....
1. Have automatic settings on the thermostat during the day. Seems obvious right? Well, I work from home so his automatic settings mean that I get to experience sweat-shop conditions while I work. Yes, I have a fan. That helps blow the hot air around. And yes, I could adjust it. But then I am in danger of experiencing the "look" when the electricty bill arrives.
2. Switch electric companies every few months to get the best rate on kilowatt hours or whatever they are. This I cannot complain about. Except that my bill payer system cannot keep up with all the companies I have added and deleted. Currently we are with TXU - props to the old man's company b/c they saved us about $120 last month.
3. Keep every light turned OFF in the house in the evening, save for one lamp. I basically cook by candlelight. When mom comes in town, she asks for permission to turn on the lights! No wonder Matt still thinks I am somewhat acceptable to look at. At night, I look FANTASTIC in the glow from the candles. Hmmm, maybe he's on to something.
4. Scour internet deals for hotels. That's a great thing right? Well, unless you purchase a non-refundable advanced fare for a Hampton Inn in Savannah. And it saves you $20. And then you find out the people you are renting a condo from in Hilton Head are willing to let you have it for the entire week at no additional charge (when you were only going to have it for 4 nights) - and you can't get your $$$ back for the Hampton no matter how many managers you speak with.
5. Purchase CDs & movies from Best Buy with Best Buy rewards $ or gift cards. Set the CD on the counter for at least a week. Decide if you really want it and feel guilty all week. Make the decision that you don't need it. Then return it with a full case of buyer's remorse.
6. Walk around the mall with your wife. Pick up a lot of things. Talk yourself out of every purchase except for the one polo and sandals your wife forces you to buy. Hey, it was on sale.
7. Eat leftovers. Eat the leftovers of the leftovers. And when those are gone, eat bread and water.
8. Stick to a list at the grocery store. Do not, under any circumstances, deviate from the list. Even when you see toilet paper and recall that the last roll was just put in the bathroom, DO NOT BUY IT. Just wait. And then use newspaper.
9. My personal new favorite: Decide that if you pass away unexpectedly, your wishes are to be buried in a smaller casket. Exact words: "Fold me up in half so I fit. Don't spend the extra money for a large one"." Ummmmm......... I don't really know what to say about this one - it came from a conversation on Friday night when we were talking about our wishes if something were to happen to us (I know, how's that for light & airy weekend convo?). But I just had to laugh. It was pure Matt. Who else says "fold me up and throw me in"???
In all seriousness, he does a great job in providing for this family. So I do my best to respect his money saving ideas...and most of them are good ones. We'll just say this - I am not known to be the most responsible saver. When my brother and I were young 'ins and received an allowance, I would blow it all in a week (oops I mean 1 day) at Wet Seal & Dominos Pizza. My brother would save and hoard until he had enough for Super Nintendo and about 10 games. But that just wasn't my style. I like instant gratification. And I don't like money burning a hole in my pocket.
When I went to college, I did learn a little something about budgeting & not spending more than you have (Mom - I hear you laughing - stop laughing!!!), but seriously, I worked A LOT to support my lifestyle..ummm bar tab. BUT it only took one bounced check for $20.99 to Tiger Tans (which ultimately cost me $75 with all of the fees) for me to realize that was not a good road. So I NEVER made that mistake again.
And what was my 2nd job out of college? Personal Banker & Investment Representative.
I envision my parents probably had a great laugh the night they found out that was the position I had accepted.
Me. Meagan. Spender. Guilty.
I was advising people on saving money and investing. But it was probably the best job I could have had at the ripe age of 23. I learned to save, invest and make our money work for us. And that job lasted almost 5 years - and while the economy didn't not always cooperate with my investment decisions for us (like losing 40% in almost all of our retirement dollars - but who didn't??) - we did allright.
And learned how to manage money.
For the most part.
I mean, I take care of all of the bill paying, investment stuff, etc. Everything is paid on time, in full. Yay for me.
But I am prone to the occasional, or often, impulsive buy. Whereas Matt sticks to a strict list for the grocery, I am more inclined to wander every aisle and "see what looks good". Plus - half the time when I do that, I realize I have left a key ingredient off of my list - and I save myself a trip back to the store - saving gas $$$!! Good job, Meg.
So as I have made adjustments and grown up financially, so has Matt. We have balanced each other. He has become more relaxed about $ since we first married and I have become tighter.
So, it's a good thing.
I have convinced him that the pain & bitching of a $5 haircut is not worth the agony of waiting for it to grow out. Spend the $18 at my lovely hair salon and have a great convo with Miss Becky ---and be happy with the service & cut you receive.
And me, well, I live in the dark and don't complain. Sort of.
And I try not to complain when I take my Sunday afternoon nap, set the thermostat on a comfy 75 degrees only to wake up in a pool of sweat an hour later. Check the thermostat and see that it has magically made its way to 78 or 79. In the dead of a Houston summer. I used to think that the AC had a problem during naptime. But no, it was just Matt's wandering finger on the "up" button again.
Wait - no, I totally complain about that. I do have my standards.