Wednesday, February 10, 2010

what you already know, paper deals

"Telling you how to save money is like telling you how to lose weight. Everybody knows how to lose weight. You need to eat fewer calories than your body uses.  To save money, you need to spend fewer dollars than you earn. In both cases you need to adjust your rate of consumption to your rate of work. The 'Don't save more, earn more' philosophy is a very one-sided approach. And it has one big flaw. Nearly everyone that earns more automatically spends more. For this reason, most families seem to have exactly enough to get by. There is a point at which the quality of life and the standard of living depart...where earning more results in a personal cost and erodes the quality of life." Amy Dacyzyn

Is it true with you? The year Mike and I were married, he had just graduated from college and I still had two years of nursing school left. We moved into a little 2-room apartment above our landlord's garage in July. Neither one of us had a job. We had just vowed that we would not take the $3000.00 pell grant offered to us because we didn't want the government to pay for our education. We were staring at $11,000.00 tuition and we had a couple thousand dollars in the bank, most of that wedding gifts.  So we prayed. Hard. My husband had a teaching degree, but we knew that we were not going to be staying in IN after I graduated, so he didn't really want to pursue a job in teaching at that point. He had grown up in a family that had a construction business and applied at an excavating company. He got a job digging ditches at minimum wage. I remember the day he came home with news.  He was so discouraged. We pressed on. I got a campus job and a job as a nursing assistant at a local hospital. Then Mike got on preload at UPS. So he worked 4-8 am at UPS, then went immediately to the excavating job from 8-5. I was in school full time and working two jobs. But we paid those school bills every time they were due and didn't take out any more loans ( I had one from my freshman year-Mike had none.) And guess what happened? Our plan to wait 2 years for kids didn't exactly pan out. 6 months after we were married, I got pregnant. The summer between my junior and senior years, I rode my bike 2 miles to work 7 months pregnant under the hot Indiana sun because Mike needed the car to get to his job. But I worked hard all that summer and we paid cash for a used car in September. Let me tell you car has ever been as special to me as that one! Abby was born over Thanksgiving break of my senior year.Now, let me be honest here. It has not been easy. But it has been worth it. Mike and I are generally on the same page when it comes to money. That helps. But even so, just as happens with most families, the more we have earned over the years, the more we have spent. It just happens. We justify it in so many ways, and they are not necessarily bad decisions. So what is the point of all this?

"You will learn some nitty-gritty strategies and will bring into focus what you already know. But I hope you will come to regard this as a national tightwad network, providing support as you reach your goal."  Amy D. And that is exactly how I feel!

Daily Buck (how I saved or made a buck) I REALLY wanted to buy lunch at work today. But  instead I ate a very spotty banana and some leftover soup. Blogging helps me be a better tightwad! I need to have something to write about! And if you ever need paper,  LOTS of paper, go to your local newspaper. They sell end rolls of newsprint (off white) cheap. (Just FYI for you triad folks, the HP Enterprise doesn't print anymore, so go the News and Record in Greensboro) I bought 5 end rolls 4'X hundreds of feet for $10.

Happy Saving!

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