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Archive for September, 2008

Expensive Weekend

September 29th, 2008 at 02:57 am

Well, nothing major like medical stuff or car repairs, but for us--we usually spend about $20 plus church contributions every weekend.
But we got a babysitter last night and had a great dinner out, then went to a Harvest Fest and spent more than a little on things like hayrides for DD and walking around food today. And of course this makes me anxious--I know we have a nice emergency fund and we hardly overspent, but I'm an emotional spender, and this sort of market news makes me hyperconservative with my spending.

I went to an estate sale yesterday at a posh house a mile or two away from us. It amazes me the junk people accumulate--this house was jammed full of stuff--odd decorative stuff and furs and dozens and dozens of fancy pairs of shoes. Sales like that always make me want to dejunk. So much stuff that you can't take with you.

Stretching Between Paychecks

September 23rd, 2008 at 03:33 am

My university operates on a 9-month pay schedule which means they haven't paid me since June. We've been fine as we (almost) live on DH's income, but it sure is tight for my co-workers. I've bought several of them coffee lately, and have heard plenty of tales of eating the last cans of soup in the cupboard before next week's checks.

I'm so happy we have a decent size amount set aside. I sort of naturally spend less when I'm not being paid, but we don't have to, and that's a relief from the financial anxiety many of them feel.

But I have to admit, all this government intervention and bailout makes me a little anxious. We'll all be paying for this for years.

Back on the plan again

September 19th, 2008 at 03:40 pm

It's been an expensive couple of weeks.
We have delightful Brits staying with us (there goes the grocery and wine bill), I spent my birthday weekend in Chicago (very rainy so much shopping was done), and we had the lovely b-day doo-dads--cake and flowers.

So, scared again by the prospect of eating Chinese tuna in my retirement, we're pulling it together again. I've listed some ebay things, doing a freezer inventory, and hanging laundry on this my lovely day off.

Dental pain in the pocket

September 4th, 2008 at 07:13 pm

I just got the happy news from my dentist that many of my silver fillings need replacement, that I need a crown, and as a result of bad orthodontia years ago, one of my teeth is on the move--meaning a bridge and maybe veneers.

He'd like to do lots of work--ending up with a grand total of over $10,000. This may be spread over some time, but I'm currently wondering whether bank robbery might be the answer.

Somehow my small economies at the grocery store and ebay sales feel very paltry.

How Luxury Lost Its Luster

September 3rd, 2008 at 06:09 pm

Some of you might recall a discussion we had a while back on luxury items, particularly designer handbags.

I just finished a book called _Deluxe:How Luxury Lost Its Luster_ that had an interesting discussion about "entry-level" fashion items like designer bags and perfume.

I'm not sure it completely explained the conspicuous consumption thing better than say, Thorstein Veblen did all those years ago, but it's an interesting look at marketing--especially to young women. Her analysis of the "it" handbag both made me sad and mad.

It's an interesting read--and happily for me--at the very budget-friendly public library.

Ugly Car Expenses

September 3rd, 2008 at 05:29 pm

DH just e-mailed with the lovely news that my car needs both new brakes and a new tie rod. Just when I was feeling good about
payday being a month away. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

I will say though, I'm not spending much.
Expenses have been limited to a coffee at school and not much else.

Since it's cooled off here, maybe I should make chili tonight instead or picking something up at the double-coupon shopping extravaganza? That might save a buck or two.

Sigh--I hate car expenses.