Saturday, September 12, 2015

Re-thinking my options

Did you read that title and think I was re-thinking being home?  NO WAY!  SO far so good as they say.  I am however re-thinking how I do things.  Let me explain.

There is a little fact out there that no matter your income, whether $30, 000 or $100,000, the normal family will live paycheck to paycheck.  In other words, your bills will rise to meet a pay increase.  It takes a lot of discipline to keep that from happening.  Mainly because it happens without our being aware of it.  We get a mentality of  "Oh I will go ahead and get that cause I can afford it now", or "I can splurge a little cause I have this extra".  Sometimes it's just the fact that because you have the money to buy something new, you never consider just fixing whats broken.  That is where I am now.  Even with living off DH income for the past 6 months, we still had the cushion of my check.  As a result, if we needed something we would buy first and think later.  Now, while ends meet and then some, we know our income has been cut a lot.  It's changing my mindset.  This past week I have rethought 3 different needs.

1)  We have a Sony Cybershot digital camera.  We've had it a while.  Currently duct tape holds the battery/memory card compartment closed so it can function.  Not aesthetically pleasing, but functional.  That is until this week.  Now the battery has died.  My first thought was we needed to by another one.   Those cameras right now are about $100.  More than I want to spend at this moment.  I need the camera in order to get my "Frugal Maven Country Store" set up.  DH's MP3 player takes pics, but not very clear ones, and our cell phone is a cheap pre-pay.  I really didn't want to spend that money right now.  We have greater priorities.  Then it hits me.  Can I replace just the battery?.  Well it turns out I can.  In fact the battery, shipping and all has cost me $5.77

2)  We have lived here for a little over 19 years.  We have the same mailbox we had when we came here.  The box itself is faded, and the post is slanted back some and so when it rains the mail gets wet.  Our first thought was to buy a new everything and replace it.  Now I'm not saying we won't replace everything, but before we do, we're going to dig it up, see if the wood post is still good and if everything is still good, I will re paint it and we will re install it instead of replacing it.

3)  I called our cable company this week to cancel our HBO.  We don't watch anything on HBO and so didn't need to be paying the extra $10 a month.  While on the phone with the customer service agent, I asked about a basic cable plan.  Well, if there is ever a time when you may cancel service, the "promotions" come out of the wood work.  I ended up saving $30 a month, with the exact same service we have now, just in a promotion.  Good for a y ear, but at the end of that year I can call and if the promotion is still in effect we can re enter the promotion.

4)  Not really in the repair mode, butt definitely in the rethinking options mode;  We turned off the AC yesterday (yay) and went to put box fans in the windows to cool the house when needed.  Problem is two of our box fans were no longer working.  These I can't fix and so we had to buy two more box fans.  Yes and initial outlay of money, but it will pay for itself when our power bill is less.  Anyway, last night Rubic tells me his fan didn't have a power cord in the box.  Now I'm looking at having to turn the AC back on so he can sleep and making a trip back to the store to exchange the fan.  Then I think about the broken fan.  Sure enough the power cord from the broken fan fits the new fan.  Problem solved, the AC stayed off.

My point is to rethink your options.  Regardless of your income.  The splurges, thoughtless purchases, and "I'm worth it" expenses can keep you from your eventual goal especially if that goal is transitioning to one income, retiring, or paying down debt.  You can "Nickle and Dime" yourself out of success.

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