Saturday, October 30, 2010

halloween

Ahhh, the annual pumpkin carving. Except for the first time, at my house. And an ever changing guest list. And no real idea how many people are coming. And really, that makes it pretty hard to know how many pumpkins to provide, to those sweet sweet people coming over for carving. And coming over meant, in many cases, driving more than an hour and a half to get to my house, and just for the one night (although invited for longer than that!).

In the end, we bought 17 pumpkins for the 13 people who came over. Someone didn't carve though, because we still have 7 untouched pumpkins this morning. Exactly how that happened, I'm not sure....

So now I have 7 extra pumpkins, and absolutely zero desire to take the back where they came from and ask about their pumpkin return policy on the day before Halloween. Really? I think the demand is going down and that they won't really want them back. My wallet, though, after only two of the 11 who should have paid for their pumpkin actually paid, is hurting, and returning those 7 pumpkins would really be the best thing.

Which brings me to needing a little bit (ok, a lotta bit) of accountability. I am not good with money. I like to buy pretty things, new clothes, stuff for my house, and treats for my friends. I like to buy these things whether or not I know I can fully pay off my credit card balance each month, which is a new problem for me, because I used to be pretty sure of exactly how much I had available at any given time. I have moved into denial. Serious denial. Denial to the tune of "I spent 3 times as much as I knew I could afford this month and may have more than depleted all emergency savings". Which is not good, when I make a pittance as a teacher and dear sweet hubby who loves to see me happy with my friends at the house and a party underway and pretty things on the shelf and feeling confident about my clothing is a full time students, extremely part time interpreter. He makes enough each month to cover his cell phone bill. Which is a great help, but also indicates how broke we are.

We have made a couple of teeny tiny changes to help us out financially, but really, we need to do so much more. We changed alarm monitoring companies, which will save us about $17 a month. We found out about a discount on hubby's cell phone, which will save hubby about $15 a month. I am on the cusp of giving in and canceling the home phone line, which is a hard thing for me. I grew up with a home phone line and having one seems sort of like a security blanket for me. But I don't really see why I should pay almost $40 a month for a phone line that is mostly used for the alarm system, and at only $10 more a month I could change the alarm system to use the internet line....For a net savings of $30 a month. All in all we're talking a teeny tiny change that is really hard for me, and for no good reason, either.

What's really a challenge is that we don't really have very many places where we can make cuts. I personally made a few risky decisions financially within the last month -- buying new furniture for the living room, and some new clothes (some were actually necessary for school), and going out of town a couple times, and hosting a pumpkin party....But for the most part, we are pretty solidly frugal. We buy store brand food 95% of the time. We hardly ever eat out, and when we do, we almost always have a gift card or some kind of special deal (like happy hour at Sonic, or 2 for 20 at Appleby's) to help keep us spending less. Neither of us have a daily vice to give up, like a starbucks a day, or anything where our $3 could add up throughout the month. We've been pretty consistent about not going to Target just to walk around, and only going when we have a 10% off card AND coupons to use on our list. So what is left to do? I'm not really sure....Maybe we're supposed to not go in ANY stores, until Christmas. Which is really hard, since there are presents that need to come from somewhere before then....

Oh, me, oh, my. What have I done?

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