More From the Confessional

It’s been a long time since I confessed my morning person tendencies. Since my audience is expanding, and there are new readers out there (Thank You!), I figured I would give another peak into the quirks that make-up the real me.

I am … a saver.

Given a choice of saving or spending, saving wins most of the time. You know that stimulus package that put a extra $40 a month into our paychecks? Emergency fund. My new part time job salary? IRA and mortgage paydown.

Okay, “saver” is a bit generous. “Tightwad” is probably closer to what some of my friends would say. Personally I prefer “fiscally responsible”.

I remember I was a pre-teen when my mom showed me that Rice Krispie treats could be made with store brand “Crispy Rice” and still taste the same! Generics became my friend that day.

Rice Krispy Original Treats

I must admit, though, that if I’m bringing items that others will see, I’ll pay for the name brand … and hope I can find a coupon for it! I’m a little ashamed to admit that. I wouldn’t mind if someone brought a generic product to serve me. I’d respect it actually. I guess I’m too afraid of being labeled “cheap”.

It has been 20 years since I saw Amy Dacyczyn of The Tightwad Gazette on Phil Donahue. She was preaching to the choir with me. Her newsletter (I was a subscriber) and books (I check them out of the library periodically) taught me to be more methodical about it.

I was trying to come up with examples of my fighting in the face of frugality, yet even my most spendthrift ways have had fiscally sound elements!

With the money I received from the sale of a house, I moved for England for two years, living primarily off savings. Mentally it was what I needed. It was the adventure of a lifetime and well worth every penny I spent. That statement is easy to say because before I left I mentally set aside 3 months of living expenses for when I returned home, plus enough to pay cash for a used car. It was scary watching my savings account drop and get closer to the “move home” balance, but I was never tempted to touch those funds.

Squirreling away money comes naturally to me. Squirrel!

Squirrel Feeding

Yes, I get teased for not having cable or for stoning my own ballroom gowns (with the help of friends!) to save 50% or not having gone out to lunch in the last 4 years. But all of that meant that a huge cut in pay didn’t result in losing my condo.

I don’t sit at home keeping warm by rubbing two pennies together! I still do things and buy things, I just have the money up front. How un-American!

What are your money memories from growing up? What are some of your frugal tips? I always could use new ones!

4 thoughts on “More From the Confessional”

  1. I love to save too. Un-American? Funny. Or sad – but true. I drape paper towels over appliances in the kitchen to let them dry so I can resuse them (if they’ve been gently worn) and i rinse out zip lock storage bags and drape them as well. I do it for frugality and for “green” reasons. Seems a waste to use them once. And I use cloth napkins – for two reasons – again for the green reasons – not to go through so many paper products – but also because they’re aesthetically pleasing – pretty, more substantial – and I have a thing for a pretty table setting. Makes me more mindful of what I’m about to eat. Love the squirrel image. Because I tuck my pajamas under my pillow in the morning – my daughter teases me about “burrowing and scurrying about,” like I hide my treasures underground.

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  2. I hadn’t thought of reusing paper towels. That makes sense. I typically use old white washcloths for all of my cleaning around the house and just wash them in hot water afterwards.

    Like you, I wash and reuse ziplock bags. I have noticed that the ones in the stores now aren’t as durable as the ones sold a few years ago.

    I also use cloth napkins. They feel nice and look so pretty.

    “Squirrel” was my favorite part of the movie “Up”, and so perfectly described my scattered brain. I love that to you it has a different connotation!

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  3. Hi! Found your blog through AllthingsFadra and have really enjoyed your post today. I hate to admit that I’m not a saver, wish I was… We do a lot of baking to save on buying the packaged stuff. And when my daughters trousers get too short, we cut them and turn them into shorts 😉
    Raquel

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Raquel.

      Homemade cakes always taste better (and are less expensive!) than the packaged kind.

      Cut offs were definitely a permanent feature of my childhood. I would grow in 3 – 6 inch spurts, which must have driven my mother crazy.

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