Wednesday, September 10, 2008

List: Things I Am Avoiding Spending Money on...for Better or Worse

1. New Carpet. I can't even talk about our carpet. It grosses me out. But the gross factor is only outweighed by the paralysis factor that kicks in when I think about a) moving furniture, and b) choosing new carpet. Where to begin? It feels like a big commitment, both the choosing and subsequent moving.

2. Kids' Birthday Presents. I don't want to get all political here, but I don't know a single child whose birthday party we've attended recently who Actually Needs Something. So can we just agree to quit this gift-buying business, unless the spirit moves us? It's not that I don't like giving gifts. I don't like to on demand.

3. Pajamas. In general, the pajamas I own are those someone else gave me. That should give you a sense of how old my Real Pajamas are, since the last legitimate time someone should have given me pajamas was when I was about to get married. Seven years ago. I also resist buying kids' pajamas, except at Christmas, when we follow a family tradition of giving new jammies on Christmas Eve. My thought is that pajamas don't matter, so why not wear old tee shirts and leggings or shorts? Past dusk, members of this family aren't trying hard to impress anyone. They don't have a choice: Mama ain't buying jammies.

4. Cafeteria Meals. Our little public schooler loves nothing more about kindergarten than using her PIN and choosing from the menu options in the cafeteria. She has a newfound sense of power. She is now a powerful consumer as well as a powerful example of how small children are already being schooled in Buy Now, Pay Later. Or, Buy Now, Never Even Know Who Pays Later or How. After she came home with two little yellow notes from the School Food People saying, "YOU OWE US," we had to make some rules. For instance, You May Buy Your Lunch on Mondays and Fridays Only. On Tuesday, she took her lunchbox to school, put it on her desk and it remained there unopened and festering until Wednesday morning when her father retrieved it.

"I knew you were going to be mad, but I couldn't help myself," she admitted as she recounted just exactly what terrific meal she chose for herself.

5. Running Clothes. See Pajamas, above. I don't need to look cute when I run. I can't look cute when I run, I am pretty sure. In fact, don't even look at me when I am running. Thank you.

6. Disposable Items (mainly paper towels). Honestly, it just feels like throwing cash in the trash to buy a paper version of what a washable dish towel will do.

My husband and I do not see eye-to-eye on this one. And don't worry; I willingly spend money on toilet paper (the cheap kind).

7. Electronic Devices. I am the person still using a first-generation iPod. I have a cell phone high schoolers make fun of. My hands-free device still has a wire. Our household is one of the few I can think of that has a TV shaped like a box--you know, with depth to it.

When it comes to electronica, my philosophy is, if it ain't broke, don't replace it.

Stay tuned: the list of Things I Waste Money On is much, much longer.


JJ&K said...

My deprived nieces! Now I know I should get them cute jammies for bday presents (something they may actually need...hehehe). Great post. I could probably take a page out of your book and stop spending money on some of these things.

Debbie said...

I too have a first generation ipod! Works just fine, thank you very much.
But I will say that I do like soft toilet paper. Mama must have her Charmin.
Laughing about the cafeteria story. So cute!