Friday, June 19, 2009

Plucking Pennies

I mean pinching pennies.

Wow has my attitude changed about personal finances. Things changed for us when Luv Bug came home and we had extra expenses for him. The next step was moving to a new house and then when we had to start paying for part time child care. Gone are the days of my Tar.get shopping sprees. That's for sure.

Since the economy has plunged my attitude has changed on spending. We always try to have a certain amount in savings, and now it is imperative. I work for a family business and things are going well. My husband's job seems to be secure, but we are not naive enough to sigh with relief.

I guess I have always been somewhat financially savvy in the sense that I would pick up items for gifts when they were on sale. I start my Christmas shopping in September. We go to the library instead of buying books all the time. But, I do love my clothes shopping and used my credit card for one favorite store. I have since put a halt on all clothes shopping, will pay off that small bill , and stay away from the mall. It is now a personal challenge to use the clothes I have, wear shoes and shirts that I have had but didn't really wear. I have no problem taking shoes or clothes from friends if they are getting rid of them. I have heard of many groups of women doing clothing swaps. I think that is a great idea. There are now book exchanges going through the postal service.

My MIL gets all the toys for Luv Bug at local garage sales. She has picked up nearly brand new toys for a mere fraction of their retail price. I have gotten creative with gift giving and also taken it down a notch. One of my biggest weaknesses is gift giving. I love to do it and I often go over what would be a necessary amount to spend.

A huge goal of ours is to plan out our menus to avoid the multiple trips to the grocery store. We also take advantage of the many farmer's markets in our area. We are lucky enough to live next door to a mini farmer's market and often given fresh strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli. I want to try and figure out how much money this will save us by the end of the summer.

I am also very conscious of donating. I give all of my used magazines to the local library (this is also good for recycling). I donate items to our local food pantry and have considered sending some clothes I no longer fit in (boo) to the charity Dressed for Success. Many of Luv Bug's old toys we can donate to the Korean adoption agency where Luv Bug came from. The babies need clothes, bottles, burp clothes, etc. to use while they are waiting to go home to their parents.

I wanted to express that even though there are way too many cliched phrases going around, some new some old (staycation, less is the new more), I believe that there is never anything wrong with focusing on the people in our lives than accruing more possessions.
If I have $20 bucks to go out for drinks (that's enough for drinks, right?) as opposed to buying a new shirt, I will choose the former because we need personal connections more the stuff.


Kristin said...

Great can sometimes be frustrating pinching pennies but it shows us what is really important.

Clare said...

Great post - you've inspired me!

Peeveme said...

Amen, sista!

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

What great ideas you have! I especially liked your idea to "plan menus" ahead. DH and I are bad about this and end up making more trips than "needed" to the grocery.

Melissa G said...

Wow, well said. This ecomomy is crunching everything. I have a vice for gift giving too.



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