(Photo courtesy of clipart-library.com)
…but I won’t do that. Anyone remember that Meatloaf song? Am I dating and aging myself here? Maybe, but…there are some things I will do, in the name of saving money. I want to keep my finances in check so I can accomplish all I want to do. But there are things I won’t do, extremes I won’t go to in order to reach my goals. I am not sure who will agree with me, but there are lines that I just can’t and won’t cross.
I will always have cable television. There is no sense in thinking that getting rid of it is a reasonable option, because it is not one for me. I think people are “television people” or they’re not, and I clearly am. That being said, I will try to get the best deal I can – and I will leave a service or provider if I don’t think the deal I’m getting is a good one. In fact, I just did this the other day. I enjoy certain programs that I’m just not willing to forego. I fall asleep each and every night to Forensic Files. My local ABC station is just the best, and I couldn’t be without it. I need to have certain channels – I just do. I have to be able to see my crime shows, and of course wrestling. I’ve purchased the NHL Center Ice package for the entire season. I live in Scranton, PA and being here, it is hard to follow the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Islanders, the Washington Capitals and the Colorado Avalanche – none of these teams are exactly local. I am glad that the availability of watching them is possible to me.
My friends and family will always get gifts from me. I enjoy buying things for those I love. I take extra care to try and buy things I know (or at least hope) they will like. Getting a good deal on gifts is important to me. Preparing and planning is key – I am always on the lookout for items I know will be good gifts. Recently I am becoming organized, and I’m happy knowing what I have – and who I still may have to buy for. I have even gone so far as wrapping things in advance – yet that may not have been the best idea when you have three very active and nosy kittens in your house!
As much as I love buying things for people, I also love just being with them. And because of that, I will never stop entertaining. It’s fun just being together. I am lucky to have very generous friends and family. When we have a get together, everyone usually brings something. This makes the cost of having a “party” not fall on one person – everyone pitches in, and it works very good for us. I love having people to our house. Especially when they bring a lot of food, which means tons of leftovers and less cooking for me in the days afterwards!
Something I will never skimp on is pet care. I love our cats so much, and I couldn’t live with myself if I did something that compromised their health or well being. I do research all different ways to cut costs – I purchase their food wherever I can get the best deal, and I am not brand loyal – they are really good in that they are not picky. At all. I do stick with the 9 Lives Urinary Tract formula – because years ago, Stan had an infection and I never, ever want to go through that with any of them again. If they get sick with something that looks like we can’t handle – off to the vet they go. I do try home remedies with them, just like I do with myself. If what I do isn’t working, then we consult the professionals. I have thought about pet insurance, but just as I was about to make a decision – I heard about a different kind that might be a better fit for us. So it’s back to the drawing board with this, so to speak.
Wrestling is another essential interest for me. I have been a die-hard wrestling fan since January 4, 1999 (yes, I do remember the actual date). Since that time, I have attended countless events both close to where I live and far away. I have been lucky enough to attend fifteen WrestleMania’s. For an interest that for the most part started on a whim to satisfy my oldest son, it has given me so much more than I had ever thought. I have made friends and I have made memories. My mother had once told me she always wanted me to do “that trip you take” because she said I looked so happy describing it to her, and all the fun I had. Despite the costs and despite the fact that the WWE is in a real downward spiral (why, I don’t know – they have such good talent) it will always be an important part of my life, and therefore will always be fit into my budget. It is essential.
Traveling is important – I enjoy seeing new places, and visiting places that I’ve enjoyed before. I don’t want to give that up. We are trying to use our money towards experiences and not things. We have so much that we own. It’s fun to go away – it doesn’t have to be far, and it doesn’t have to be fancy. I use a travel site that I earn points on. I get email coupons that give us discounted rates. I choose places that have decent ratings – we don’t look for perfection. The places we decide to stay at have to be reasonably priced, clean and safe. Reviews on travel sites really do help. One time though, they were way wrong – my nephew and I stayed at a place that really was like a no-tell motel – not sordid with people, but…dilapidated! It was a horrible place, but it gave us laughs and many memories which made it money well spent!
Looking good is important to me. I want to look clean, put together and presentable. I don’t buy what some people would call “high quality” items. The items of clothing and shoes I own that are what would be referred to as “good” labels have come from thrift stores. I care for my clothes as if they cost me a fortune. And it’s because of this care that my clothes last for a long time. My t-shirts are washed inside out, and hung on hangers to dry. The only things that go in the dryer are the more durable items I have. I have washed sneakers in my washing machine to make them look new again. Yes, you can do this. I take small risks to see if I can continue to look good for pennies. It doesn’t cost a lot to wash a pair of canvas shoes and perk them up. It would cost much more to buy a new pair. When it comes time to retire an item (that no one else would wear) it goes in the trash. If it is still in good shape, and I just decide I don’t want it anymore – I will donate back to the thrift stores, which is usually where the item came from in the first place. It’s the circle of life in thrifting. As long as there are reasonably priced options for me to look good, I will take advantage of these ways.
I am thrifty. I want money for experiences, as I’ve stated – not necessarily for things anymore. Even though, there are bottom lines that I just can’t and won’t cross. What things do you refuse to do, in your financial quest for a comfortable future?