Tightening the Belt

My wallet is giving me an ass-kicking.

I stopped working full-time earlier this year. I’m now a full-time mom with part-time aspirations: we eat well, we’re more relaxed, and K-Pants mows the house with his rock ‘n’ roll walker.

But I’m still internalizing the new budget. In this economy, I’m sure others of you have gone through this…?

Some things aren’t an issue. I never got manicures, and my sister cuts my hair. However, my previous budget had a generous wine allowance. It also let me say “yes” to almost anything. Extra appetizers? Yes. New boots? Yes. Five-star restaurant? Did you even have to ask?

Now the answer is “maybe,” if I’m lucky.

The summer was a real doozie. As family and dear friends came to town, I shook off Maybe’s constraints. Dinner out? Sure! A new pair of jeans? Oh, yes: I’ll feel so hot!

Then the credit card bill landed like a piano on our heads.

Now I’m at “no” with a chance of “maybe.”

But I recently discovered Freecycle. You probably know about it: people post things they don’t want, and you pick them up. Freecycle and I are acquaintances using each other for mutual benefit. I just got a fabulous pair of rain boots and a new (old) sun hat.

My husband is horrified. You don’t need to go to a stranger’s house to pick up things they don’t want! Buy yourself rain boots. But I enjoy the hunt on Freecycle. Also, if I pick up your once-worn rain boots, I can transfer the saved money directly into the gelato budget.


My icecreamonomics would be more successful if K-Pants weren’t lactose intolerant. I thought he would be my ideal partner in spending down our ice cream money, but it just gives him tummy ache.

However, the Pants does love the all-natural frozen yogurt at our local Juice Factory (holla!). So, if you’re in the Boogie Down anytime soon, we’ll take you there with some ice cream money we just came into via a new (old) Diaper Genie.


6 responses to “Tightening the Belt

  1. Hee hee. My husband mocks my occasional thrifty tendencies. I think, though, it’s because my thrifty tendencies are directly tied to my guilt over a non-thrifty purchase. Example: I go out and spend money at Ann Taylor LOFT. I come home and it suddenly becomes direly important to me to wash out the plastic ziploc sandwich bags from lunch and reuse them, and I scold Hubs for trying to throw them out as we do 99.99% of the time because couldn’t we save money – and the environment – if we reused them? Of course I get looked at like I grew a second head while I’m doing this. But then Hubs sees the LOFT bag on the floor and the mocking commences.

    • Love it! There’s always a bit of an imaginary game going on in my head where I’m moving beans from one pile to another and then back (i.e., new clothes: you’re in! plastic bags, you’re out!). I hope you look hot in the new outfit, whenever it comes along again!

  2. WHAT!? Isn’t being a SAHM all about getting pedicures and spending hubby’s money. 😉 Check this out… This was my laugh of the day:


    • I don’t know if you remember this story, but when my sister, C, was little, she didn’t want to read. Mom said, “You have to learn to read. How will you ever get a job?” She replied: “He’ll work.”

      Irony here is that she just started college. Maybe it’s for her back-up options, as per the article.

  3. I think you should be proud 😉 And I love JD’s Loft/plastic bag story. I do it too — buy clothes at Target and Old Navy (which makes my husband feel bad), then drop $200 on a coat at Ann Taylor. Just consider it an investment.

  4. Agreed. My investment jeans from the summer make me feel hot every time I wear them!

    P.S. Why is it we’re all so into Anne Taylor? I got my favorite “investment” coat there last winter. 🙂

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