Friday, February 10, 2012

Fabulous Frugal Fridays


Welcome to another edition of Fabulous Frugal Fridays.  In the Frugal column I have pitiful little to report.  It was just another week: triumphantly we kept under the grocery budget, and so far our monthly spending is also where it needs to be.  

Now for the FAIL.  I first have to shout out to my friend-I-haven't-met-yet, Vicki, who writes that I have to stop beating myself up.  Thank you and hugs to you!  Bear in mind this: Frugal Fail is really just a cutesy alliterative reference to the gamer world, where a "fail" just means it didn't work.  Mostly what I'm trying to do is just help myself improve my habits.  Certainly some of my so-called fails aren't really fails at all, but just things to note.

That said, this week I truly have a FAIL, and it's a doozy: I washed my husband's Bluetooth.  Again. The first one was a really nice one he'd received as a gift; he left it in his pocket and that was it.  Now, he doesn't blame me, even though I'm the one who does the laundry.  However, regardless of who leaves stuff in the pockets, it affects us all.  Like the time I didn't check my kids' pockets, only to nearly ruin an entire load of our laundry with red and blue crayon.  (Thanks to my friend Mandy, I learned about the wonders of Zout.)  And in that instance, it turned out those crayons came from MY pockets.  This time, we actually knew the Bluetooth was missing and that pocket checks were called for.  I sort of groped the pockets, not thinking how tiny it was.  I found it resting on the moldy lip of my front loading washer at the end of the cycle.

So you're thinking, yeah Shannon, here you go beating up on yourself again.  But the thing is, I am habitually lazy about this. About checking pockets. It's insane.  I don't even know why I don't want to check pockets, I just don't do it.  It's like this weird remnant from my spendthrift days.  There was a time in my life, just after college, when I found myself nearly $15,000 in credit card debt.  How does one do that?  Many ways, but primarily I just didn't care for my things.  If I damaged or ruined something I just bought new.  I was constantly getting food all over my blouses because I at on the couch instead of sitting at the table.  Who cares?  A new blouse will only set me back $20, right?  I often bought things on a whim without measuring them first, or even trying clothing on, then never took anything back to the store when it was all wrong.  I chronically bought food that ended up spoiled because I was in the mood for carryout, and I would just throw it all away, even good Tupperware that my mom had given me because I didn't want to clean it up.  Sometimes my apartment would get so messy I'd end up buying the same items twice because I'd forgotten what I already had.  It's actually embarrassing to think back to those days.

For the most part I'm not that way anymore.  I'm in charge of what's in my fridge, not wasting food, taking the time to really think about the purchases I make, and always returning an item if it wasn't the right thing.  I try to keep my clothing in great condition to make it last a long time. I keep things clean and orderly so that I don't have to duplicate purchases.  In general things are good.  The Bluetooth is a disappointment because my husband needs a hands-free device for his work though work probably won't pay for it.  Which means we have to.  He is kind and doesn't blame me in any way.  But I have two little boys!  I have to check pockets! 

It just shows you that weird little habits, left unchecked, can cost you money.  But upward and onward; I am inspired to make this a great weekend!

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