Monday, March 21, 2011

Money just costs too much.

I'm probably never going to make a lot of money. And that's OK. I mean, I guess I never really expected to. I don't really need a lot of money. And what exactly IS a lot of money these days? Apparently, much, much more than I make.

I don't remember ever being very materialistic (Mom - correct me if I'm wrong - yes I just gave you permission). Back in the mid-80' when preppy was all the rage, I do remember wanting a piece of that alligator and little polo guy on the horse. There was an off-the-rack Izod and Ralph Lauren store over on Sterling and War Memorial and every once in awhile Mom would buy me a name-brand shirt so I could have the little logo on the front like my friends. No matter that it was irregular - I certainly didn't care. No one knew the difference.

I look around this house now, and probably the most expensive thing that I alone have purchased is my laptop. Sure, I have a couch and chair from my marriage, and the boys have their bedroom sets, but that's about it. My bedroom is a misfit hodge podge of 1) an armoire that goes with my oldest son's baby furniture set, 2) a Thomasville dresser hand-me-down from my parents, 3) two end tables that were my dad's when he was a boy, 4) an antique sewing table that my parents refinished and 5) a headboard from Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

In my post-college days, I had a series of apartments that I used to say were furnished in "late Grandma", simply because most of the furniture was courtesy of my mother's mother who passed away. And as I sit here now at my lovely little ReStore desk, I see no reason why I would want to get rid of perfectly good furniture when it's still usable and in good condition.

I guess new stuff is nice and all, but I just don't know that it's worth the money you have to shell out for it. I don't have a flat screen TV. I have a JVC beast that sits just perfectly in my oak entertainment center (a luxury purchase when we were living in Leavenworth). If I got a flat screen TV, it wouldn't fit in the entertainment center. So... why get one?

I kind of feel the same way about cars. As you may or may not know, I finally traded in my 2001 Honda Odyssey for a 2010 Chevy Traverse. TO THIS DAY I still feel a little guilty driving a new car - almost embarrassed. Like, the Honda wasn't good enough for me. Not true. But it was a wise financial decision based on how much money that Honda was about to cost me versus starting over with a (nearly) new car. (I mean, WHO buys new????)

Same thing with the clothes I buy these days. There's NO reason to pay full price anymore. Do you REALLY need to? I have to brag a little here... I have been looking for a fun little dress to wear in the evening after my wedding, but refuse to spend more than my wedding dress ($100 on the clearance rack - and no, I didn't know that when I tried it on, and yes, it's to die for.) Anyway, I stop in at Wannabe's - you know, that little consignment shop on Willow Knolls? Guess what. Beautiful, strapless, fun little White House, Black Market sundress - $16.99. Ladies? You and I both know what that stitch of clothing would retail for. I felt like I had won the lottery.

Speaking of lottery, my kids think I'm insane because I wouldn't want to win it. I tell them, "I guess if I could pay your college tuition and put something in my IRA toward retirement, I'd be OK. But I'd give the rest away." I mean, the more you make, the more you spend, right? I was unemployed for over a year and made it - barely. But made it. So it can be done.

And yes, I splurge. It pains me, sometimes, though. I think Coldstone Creamery is way too expensive, as is Culver's and Five Guys. I'm more of an Avanti's kind of girl - decent food for a decent price, thank you. And no, you won't see me at any of those cute boutique stores where a pair of pants is $170 and a blouse $200. Good Lord, that's like wearing a car payment.

How I figure it is that I either missed the memo saying that the field of journalism would NOT be a super-profitable career, or I did get it and just didn't care. I do know this - I love what I do and I am thankful for what I have and I don't wish for more. Now how many people can say that???

1 comment:

  1. Hi my name is danny :)

    To quote from you

    "I mean, the more you make, the more you spend, right? I was unemployed for over a year and made it - barely. But made it. So it can be done."

    If only more people were like you :) Indeed money costs too much nowadays and its buying power is waning.

    Anyway I would like to add that that the lack of money is usually preceded by the want for things.

    Multiply this with an endless cycle of desire and you naturally have insufficient money.

    Which leads to loans.

    which leads to loans to pay off the loans.

    Do that in a national scale and viola - people then start to occupy wall street.

    Do you still write as a journalist?


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