"I LIKE SAVING MONEY, I do, I really do!!" Repeat 1000 times until you actually believe it.

I was listening to the radio this morning and the announcer mentioned that many people who have not been affected by the recession (who's that???) are embarrassed to purchase luxury items such as jewelry, high end cars, or designer clothes.

This, in turn, is not good for the economy, because companies that produce these items are suffering. You know the story. So to those of you who are loaded...get out there and buy yourself that new diamond tennis bracelet and that Hermes Birkin you've been eyeing up!! Help the economy! Keep your housekeeper and your gardener...they need the work.

Okay, now I'm going to talk to the rest of you.

I am not a person who has alot of luxury goods, but I have been trying to be really careful. Knock wood, Brad my husband still has a job, but he who knows what tomorrow will bring.

In the spirit of saving money I've been trying to ENJOY spending less.

Take my car, for example. My minivan is five years old. Lately I've been eying up some cool SUVs. They look great, but I'm going to resist. My car is paid for, it runs great and as long as I keep it clean I'm cool. Yeah, I don't have a sweet Lexus LS 570 with rain sensing wipers and alloy wheels, but at least I won't have a fit if my girls spill ice cream in the back seat.

I've also been working on little things like skipping the McDonald's Diet Cokes and Starbucks Cinnamon Dulce Lattes. (God help me)

Some things I haven't cut back on. My husband would love it if I let go of our cleaning lady who comes every two weeks, but I'm not ready for that. I need her, DESPERATELY. Plus, she needs the work and she's been with us for 8 years. I can't do it to her.

My 9 year old has Ugg boots and a North Face fleece. These are the normal uniform for kids in our town. Throw in gymnastics, tennis, swim lessons and a beach club and things REALLY add up fast. I hate to admit it, but around here, these things are the BASICS. Even when you're "being careful" normal life is EXPENSIVE.

I really hate being panicked and tight on money. It stresses me out and it REALLY stresses out my hubby. So, as part of my quest for self improvement, I have to THINK before I spend. I have to be aware of what's coming in, and what's going out. About college savings, retirement and a safety fund in case, god forbid, my husband loses his job.

Scary stuff.

My strategy is to try to enjoy the feeling of not spending. Yesterday I didn't spend one dime. I made my own coffee, ate at home and didn't shop for anything, not a magazine, not a candy bar...nothing. Sure it's hurting the economy, but I'll let the rich people spend their cash.

If I'm good now, I can spend my golden years hitting tennis balls and looking out at the ocean from my awesome retirement home on the beaches of North Carolina.

And you're all invited to visit me.


clemsongirlandthecoach said...

Yes, it's really, really bad. However, I agree with you about the cleaning lady. She needs the job and you deserve it.

I used to have one...back in the day...


Pink Preppy Party Girl said...

Everyone is stressed about money these days. We are trying to make some large investments in the stock market and it is difficult to know just when. Cleaning people are essential to my mental health! I get a good value for my cleaning $ though. If you have someone that is great, works fast, and charges a fair wage, then you really should keep them.

jenn said...

I'm trying to cut some luxuries, too, and it SUCKS. Trimming the lunches out with friends, buying random pick-me-up accessories, and (deep breath) the Starbucks' lattes. Did I mention that it sucks? A lot?

Anonymous said...

It does suck. No new fridge or car for me for quite a while. :-( But at least we have a house and not in foreclosure like so many are. Gotta count our blessings.

Dr Zibbs said...

Well let me just tell you that one of my clients is one of the super high end jewelers in the region and at an event on Tuesday night..you would never know that things are tight because people were spending.

Tammy said...

We have watched our spending too. We don't order out all weekend like we use too and Christmas is on a tighter budget.

Jan said...

I am buying a new TV for Christmas and that is a big deal for us. Money is tight but staying home and watching TV is cheap entertainment. I am just thankful that we all have jobs!

Feener said...

i hear ya. i have been trying to cut the mcdees out, but i can't do it. nor is my cleaning lady going away. i had gotten rid of a steady sitter back in sept. and that was the best thing, b/c that was a serious amount of money that we could save. oh yes i too want a new car, the passat wagon really doesn't fit for carpools. i have just been trying to spend less on those target purchases. waiting for sales, and only buying with coupons. i went to toysrus today and had 25 bucks in coupons to use. hubbies job is NOT secure in the least of bits and i am terrified.

Kel said...

WooHoo...party at Jills house! :p

Say It Out Loud Girl said...

I can relate on so many levels. I LOVE to treat meyself just about every day to a large Diet Coke from the McD's drive through. I tell myself it's my special indulgence (how sad is that?) and even though I can buy like 100 cans of Diect Coke at Costco for 5 bucks, it just isn't the same. I have challenged myslef to enjoy spending less. It ain't easy.

Also what is a Birkin? Rhymes with Merkin, you need to Google that and you'll laugh out loud.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

What I do is clip coupons, find deals, and shop at thrift stores. That way I can still get treats occasionally, but I feel great about it because I've gotten an awesome deal.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya...my husband, although working continously freaks out- I mean, sometimes it's exhausting- but HE is the one who wants to lunch out daily...and eat breakfast out daily- I make it at home, he likes the social aspect. I eat out with him 2x a week, and he eats with his friends 2x a week out or insists on going out to dinner 1-2 nights also. that adds up. I'm trying to tell him.

silverdot said...

you are so right. i've really been cutting back and i can't believe how much better i feel. i grew up on the beaches of NC. oh it would be nice to retire there some day.

Mom on the Run said...

Well, DOTR is the original cheapskate, so seriously I think I've just morphed out of the spending mode I used to be in when I was younger and I don't even think about it anymore. I think when I didn't have to do so much driving (once the kids started driving themselves) I had no reason to go out of the house, so I didn't. So since I don't cruise Target four or five times a week, I end up with a lot less stuff.

Gee, that's depressing--sounds like the only cure is getting old.

Kat said...

I can't imagine that anyone isn't affected by this recession. That just seems crazy to me. Hmm.

I have a cleaning lady too. Her name is Kat.

Karen MEG said...

Good for you Jill! I also have a cleaning lady every 2 weeks and we've had her for 8 years as well. She's not even that great at cleaning anymore but we keep her because she's almost like family now.

The last couple of months I've changed where I shop for groceries, stopped some indiscriminate spending (like pulling back on my daily drive-thru Tim Horton's coffee) and believe it or not, our bills did go down significantly. But then a NYC trip and Christmas shopping came along and I am so afraid of what's -a - coming in January. Ugh.

Speaking of Uggs, when I was in NYC recently I noticed that EVERY YOUNG GIRL was wearing a pair, every single one!!!!

Jaina said...

I have knock off Uggs from Costco...but I love them, they're super warm and comfy and great for cold evenings in the desert.

The Mrs. said...

I know what you mean. I have to make it like a little game for myself. For instance, I've been playing eat the food that's in the cabinet!

Website Content and Copy: Caffeine Court, 2007-8.|Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.