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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Done and Done!

Well, it looks like I've pulled off another Christmas. It's not extravagant, no scenes from Christmas Present in "Scrooge", but it's covered, right down to stockings. Good presents for 13 people, Irish cream, cards and postage, a big dinner and most of the food for a party, all for about $350. And all my bills are paid with a (very) little left yet.

Must be the poverty I was raised in, or the Scottish and Swedish genes. :) I'm so careful with money, so budgeted and strict that I can tell you at any moment exactly every cent I have to my name. Every buck I spend is in a running ledger in my head that I tally several times a day. Always have, going back to high school. Do other people watch every cent so closely? I don't know. It's how I've survived.

My husband would get twisted that I'd leave for work with only a quarter in my pocket, but I didn't need any money. I don't make impulsive buys, never have. Don't see things that I 'must have right now;' I'm not self-indulgent in that way. Maybe a candy bar once in a while, but I'm an ant by nature. I'm more concerned about my obligations than my wants. The worst fight I ever had in my marriage was over Ian wanting new head shots that would make us 8 days late on the rent. My parents must have beaten fiscal responsibility into my head with a club.

It pays to be a careful spender. Especially when you have no resources to fall back on and you have to be. I know that if I do anything off-budget I have to balance the books elsewhere and do without something else. And I make my choices accordingly. Takes planning. It's not easy to stay so on top of things but I'm not willing to go through tsuris because I've been careless.

Wish I knew how I do it so I could teach others...

8 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I think without intending to you did lay the framework.
My folks used to say that (1) other than a house and MAYBE a car, if you don't have the cash don't buy it (2) pay yourself first and (3) pay your bills second, only then do you consider the "wants" in life.
You aren't the only one who keeps a total of every cent spent.
....
Congratulations on getting Christmas organized. I still have a little grocery shopping to do for perishables which will have to wait for the last few days and for some reason, when there is a man in the house, cleaning has to be kept up on an intense level...other than that...I'm with you. Hurray for us!!!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Yeah, I'm careful with money, too. Could say I squeeze a penny so tight, poor ol' Abe squeals. But I can't say that I ever left the house (as an adult) with only a quarter in my pocket. Gotta be prepared in case of an emergency, too.

Austan said...

Lawless! It's a challenge to bring it all in within budget, isn't it? Like a puzzle. I agree with your parents. The habit of owing is an addiction like any other. If you don't have the cash to spare, don't buy anything.

My parents used to call me The Miser. :)

Austan said...

Susan- that's what I had the quarter for, to make a phone call. :) That was pre-cell phone days.

CarrieBoo said...

Oh my goodness, I remember having just change for a phone. ;) It's all so complicated for me now. I was a miser who watched every penny and never used credit, bar two cars (one I still own) and obviously I can't get around a mortgage! But I married into huge debt and that has clobbered me. Finishing this LOC off is like the last part of a diet! Aaaarrrgggh! Kudos to you, Laura! One day I hope to be back there.

Austan said...

You will, Carrie, you're smart with money. There's a peace that comes from being on top of your money that I wouldn't trade for anything.

paulg said...

"Wish I knew how I do it so I could teach others..."

Me too.
You could teach me; I'm Mr. Impulse Buy all the way.

Austan said...

Well that's where you start. It's just a habit to break is all.