Friday, June 18, 2010

Pretty Much a No-Spend Thrift These Days

I can be a cheapskate, with severe deficits. I've learned to know, and rise above, my spendthrift limitations, however. One of my worst faults is I can find something to buy in any store on Earth. So I have learned some tricks. The biggest is simply not to place myself in the path of temptation. I am not a window-shopper -- not a shopper at all, actually. I stay out of stores. If I must shop, I go in with a list or mental list, enter with a pair of mental blinders on, and bing/bang/boom, I get out quickly.

I'm better buying off the internet. I don't pay full price for anything, other than food. (And I'm one of those coupon mavens, discounting Senior day shoppers). if I am taken with something (besides food, that is), I wait at least one week to think about the purchase. It goes without saying again it's on sale, right?

That said, when I do buy, I buy the best quality I can afford, thinking, hoping, it will last.

Mom and I sold a clothing and accessories line that was close to couture. The main reason we did was it was fun to be in business with each other, but also to buy at a seller's deep discount. Those beautifully classic clothes (think Katharine Hepburn
or Lauren Bacall) I bought in the '80s and '90s are still gorgeous today. I get compliments every time I wear them. If I grow tired of something it's like saying goodbye to an old friend, and I pass it along to be enjoyed by someone else.

Another 'trick' is to pay cash for something. After a project I put my self-employment tax in the savings account, and I sock away $100 for fun money. I've found it's vastly harder for me to shell out cash than whip out the plastic.

I don't use a cell phone. Dad bought me one for the car for emergency use. I don't have the number memorized. This is also a quality of life issue; I don't like to talk on the phone much. I have more than enough books to read, but when I read a review of one that strikes my fancy, I get it from the library. Excy and I love movies and music. We get our movies from satellite and Netflix has worked out best for us, since we're in the country. I guess the last movie theater we went to was back in the winter.
Unless it needs the 'big screen' or is in 3D, even matinees are over-priced for my taste, and I don't care to hear other people chewing popcorn, texting, and talking. Plus if you have to get up you can't stop it while you're away from the screen! (I am beginning to suspect I am distantly related to Larry David).

We seldom eat out. Living in the country means a commute of close to two hours round trip, so it'd better be a special experience. That means NO fast foods, and we don't care for 'chain' restaurants. We tried a Chilies and an Olive Garden once and didn't think we were missing much. We like small, local, ethnic, or specialty restaurants. The quieter the better. And I do like to cook, so we stay in a lot. If you've read my blog any length of time, you know this is not only an animal sanctuary but a sanctuary for us, too.

We love to travel, but don't much because of the animals. When we do, we see a lot of things that are free or inexpensive or worth it to us-- visits with family and friends, museums, concerts, theater, stuff like that. Our pleasures are things and memories and experiences money can't buy.

Tell me some of your 'cheap-skate' tendencies.


Doris Sturm said...

I couldn't have said it better becaue I feel a lot like you do and I too live in a small town where arts and ceaters and good restaurants are not avialalble. I do enjoy a movie on the big screen (there's a .99 cent movie teather in Valdosta) but I rarely go because it never seems worth the travel time - I'd rather watch Netflix at home with my pets (near the potty. I've become a very chosey person with my time, food, friends, activities and like you, they have to be really worth my effort. To me there's nothing better than home cooking and I'm tired of feeling "ripped off" at a restaurant when I see what I'm getting for the money.
I like your sanctuary - seems like a good place to be :-)

Ms. Anthropy said...

I couldn't help but laugh when you mentioned people chewing popcorn. I'm that way with people crunching chips, or smacking. Drives me up the wall! I'm beyond frugal and only shop if it is absolutely necessary. Haven't been to the movies since "Ghost".

ReformingGeek said...

I'm picky about where we eat out. Sometimes we plan it based on the potential for leftovers.

At home during the day, I turn the thermostats up a few degrees so the A/C doesn't come on until late afternoon. Our units are efficient and can cool the house down to a comfortable temp for Hubby in no time!

zodiblog said...

One of the best tricks I can think of is to move to rural Spain. There’s nothing to spend money on here even if you wanted to. I’ve learned to live without so, so many things that I used to consider absolute necessities. We don’t even have a microwave here. (We could buy one of those but it would cost close to 200 Euros and function about as well as a cheap one from 1985 by American standards….so we didn’t bother.)

BTW, if you’re related to Larry David then we will be seeing each other at family reunions often. Because I must be his long, lost son.

And I’m a travelaholic as well. It is my passion!

Tony Single said...

Ah yes, I know all about being a cheapskate. Wifey and I will buy no name groceries and clothes, and any luxury items we want are always at discounted prices. I tend to read a lot, so the library is always one of my "must go" places. I play a lot of videogames, but they are mostly ones that I bought second hand and will last me a long long time. We walk everywhere and catch only public transport, and often times we'll just sit and talk with one another. Yup, the pleasures are simple, and hopefully, not expensive! :)

Me, Myself and Pie said...

I definitely think paying with cash helps me spend less. (As Dave Ramsey says, cash hurts more.) Other than that, I'm a major garage sale junkie...that's where I buy most of my stuff!

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a sweet comment! =) said...

I can really relate to your post. From the having your own source (for me it was a bookstore, books at cost) to the eating all your meals at home and hating shopping.

Great site and I look forward to browsing around!