Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spin Cycle-Money Matters

Okay, so it's Saturday. I officially suck. In my defense, I was unable to post yesterday because I was out playing sober cab at a birthday party for one of my dearest (I won't say oldest) friends. I spent half of the night going through laptop withdrawal and wondering why the hell bars don't provide WiFi. (A sad commentary on my social life, I know.) I hadn't posted on this spin earlier in the week because money is a huge, complicated topic and I capitulate between resignation and paralyzed fear when I think about our country's (and my family's) economic state.

I have always been a "more is more" girl. I've always openly admitted that I have caviar taste and a bologny budget. That said, my main strategy for surviving lean times is, "Appreciate what you have." I don't know about you, but I have cupboards full of nice things that I don't use; occasionally I come across something I didn't even know we had. If I take the time to take really good care of all I have (clean and detail the vehicles, scrub and organize my home, take care with my clothes and my books, my yard and my plants,) I have far less time available for coveting what I don't have. Besides which, do I deserve "more" when I don't appreciate what I've been "given"? I'm thinking not so much!

I'm big on re-purposing things: posting items that we can't use on Freecycle and Craig's List, bringing used kid's clothes to Once Upon A Child and books to Half Price Books to be exchanged for cash (that will be used on new ,or "new-to-us", clothes and books. I've looked into coupon clipping sites, fascinated by the concept of double coupons and coming close to receiving money back after a grocery trip, but always feel that I'm in way over my head, like they have some kind of hive mind packed with knowledge incomprehensible to me. In the end I always fall back on something that my husband first said to me ten or more years ago, "As long as we're together, we can get through anything."

Here are a few links to help get us through the hard times:

Foxway Budgeting Plan

The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn

Appreciate What You Have

Money Makes The World Go 'Round