Flowers, for me? You really know how to make a girl feel good at a housewarming.
Yes, please, come on in. Have a look around. My home is your home. Or, um, well, you’re welcome to hang out here, anyway. And help with the dishes. If you brought chocolate, you’re welcome to stay over.
So! You may want to check out the brand-spanking-new About section, which should pretty much clear up any questions you might have about who I am and what I’m doing here. I’m thrilled to be starting this new venture and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
For years my friends have often asked me how do you do it? and I guess I thought it was finally time to, well, you know… tell you how I do it.
Here are a few basic things you might want to know about where I’m coming from:
- I own my home, and by “own” I mean “I have a gigantic mortgage that pretty much rules how I conduct my finances.” I may go into The Tale Of The House some other time, in more detail, but I mention it so that you know I don’t rent. I have the mortgage, the yard work, the home repairs, etc. It’s mine. (Mine, my ex-husband’s, and the bank’s. I’m all about the sharing. Though I’m still waiting for the bank to get over here and help with the raking.)
- I own a decent enough car and in this case, I do mean own. I try not to take out auto loans.
- I own and use credit cards. I do not carry a balance, however. I use them because they’re convenient, I get extra protection on my purchases, it makes for easy accounting, and because they give me money back. Also I’m not organized enough to make sure I’m carrying cash.
- I believe in giving money and time to charity as a matter of course. I do both, even when sometimes it would be a lot easier not to. Part of the reason I make charitable donations even when money is tight is selfish; it reminds me that no matter how I’m feeling, there are plenty of people who have less. And as long as that’s true, I will donate a portion of my earnings.
- I have expensive taste. I love the finer things in life. Some of those things I just don’t get to have right now. Most of those things I get to have with careful shopping, budgeting, and patience. Some of those things I will merely whine about wanting. Lucky you.
- There is a time and a place for compromise. Toilet paper, for example, is not the place to decide to save a few cents. Just sayin’.
- My children receive allowance because I view them as being in training for a life of positive habits regarding money. I mandate the percentages they must save and donate. They are practicing their skills on their discretionary cash. I can only hope that my son will not head to college spending all of his spare change on gum and action figures, and that my daughter will learn that sometimes it’s okay to purchase things you want to have, regardless of how “pretty it looks with all the money in there together.” We all have a ways to go.
- I believe my children’s material needs come before my own, but I also believe I’m ultimately doing them a disservice if my own needs aren’t met. Also, when I see a woman whose kids are clad head-to-toe in brand-new designer duds while she wears mom jeans and a 15-year-old torn t-shirt, I want to scoop her up and take her shopping. Right after I smack her upside the head.
- I believe that sometimes you have to spend some money to save some money. That doesn’t mean buying a case of Spam because it’s on sale (even though you really hate Spam), but it does mean structuring your budget in such a way that you can afford to stock up a bit when the stuff you need and use regularly is on sale.
- I believe in knowing, really believing, that money isn’t everything. It sure is nice. But I don’t want it to be the boss of me. People who let money be the boss of them are not happy people. I have more than enough to be neurotic about without sitting around worrying about money.
That’s a good start, I think. So come on in. Get comfy. Let’s roll up our sleeves and really TALK about this stuff. And for heaven’s sake, pass the cookies!
Mir, I love you more than ever now! The site looks great and your advice is spot-on. I love all of the bullet points, but especially the one about the mom jeans (so sad!) and the idea that money isn’t everything. So true.
Looking forward to lots of good hints, tips, tricks, and links to bargains!