10 July 2008
It's too darn hot. Watch the video of the day to see why.
A couple on The Today Show volunteered to cut their budget in half. Everyone was amazed at their bravery. These are some of the ways they saved money:
1. Made their own coffee instead of going to Starbucks
2. Actually cooked dinner instead of going out to eat.
3. Traded babysitting with friends instead of hiring a sitter.
3. Made the kids' lunches instead of going to a fast food place.
4. Gave up manicures and pedicures ($35 week)
5. Went to a park with the kids instead of going shopping and having lunch at the mall.
6. Shopped at the Farmers Market
7. Washed their own car instead of paying -- $25!!!!! -- to have it washed.
8, Mowed their own lawn, saving $25
I was appalled at the things that the family had considered "normal expenses" and how amazed the Today Show staff was that they would actually be able to go without these "necessities."
Starbucks for breakfast? Good grief. We have never gone out to get coffee in the morning. We've been grinding our own beans (our luxury--we do pay $11 a pound for Peets French Roast) for 35 years and making our own gourmet coffee.
I recently wrote an entry about our dinner-a-month with the kids, how we each took turns taking one kid a month out to a restaurant meal. Going out to eat routinely with all the kids, or routinely picking up fast food meals because Mom doesn't cook well was unheard of. Even when I was working, I still came home from work cooked dinner at night. It never occurred to me not to.
We occasionally went to fast food joints, but it certainly wasn't the routine for lunches.
Manicures and pedicures? Sounds lovely, but I've had two in my life -- the day before my wedding, and the day before Walt's sister's wedding a year and a half ago. I can't even imagine getting a regular manicure and/or pedicure on a regular basis. (Even my mother's weekly appointment with her hairdresser seems extravagant to me, since I go to Supercuts and have my hair cut, but wash and brush it myself.)
Walt has never hired anybody to mow the lawn. He's always done it himself--and in the early years without a motorized lawnmower!
"Going shopping" in a mall has never been an enjoyable occupation for me (unless it's in a book store). I really hate wandering around a mall looking at all the stuff that I really can't justify buying.
As for the Farmers Market, you can't live in Davis without knowing about the Farmers Market. We used to go together when I could still bike, but Walt still goes about once a week to pick up fruit, which is so much better (and cheaper) than at the local supermarket.
Who in the world pays $25 to have the car washed. We DO use a car wash around here, mostly because the water is so hard and not good for the finish of the car. But we get the $5 wash that comes with a gas fill-up and the car always looks good. What more could cost $20?
Looking at this news story makes me realize that I am so far below the "average" person in spending that I wonder why Walt still looks askance when I purchase something he considers "frivolous." (Those "miscellaneous sundries at Longs")
I remember the Disneyland ad where the parents realize that for only $1600 a week they can visit the park with their kids.
I think I'm getting an idea why there is so much debt in this country!!!!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
MILES TO NOWHERE: 56 miles