We have just finished the busiest time of the year with Black Friday over and yes I was among the throngs who huddles over a computer from late Thursday Night laboriously looking for something to buy and hoping its the best deal in town. Just getting a deal is a win-win-sounds familiar?
I don’t know when I actually started this craze of shopping for deals but vividly remember at our first international students’ orientation that our International Students Advisor said one of the international students had actually paid $10 bucks for $40 worth of groceries at Walmart.
I have to bashfully say that I didn’t go through with learning those tricks and trade in savings to impress anyone like that. I however do remember the first shopping trip to Walmart to buy a sheet set and toiletry supplies and what I found astounded me. How is it we could have six versions of toilet paper on the shelves to do the job. What are you kidding me…
I was totally hooked and enamored (and reeled in) on consumption for the next ten years.
I worked side jobs on campus alongside with my full course loads and did whatever I could to keep consuming. Some jobs as a Resident Assistant paid off helping my parents to reduce their monthly stipend for me. Other small jobs just kept the extra freedom to make those crazy early morning Black Friday trips to Macys more commendable and affordable. I wanted all the coupons for free stuff if I could.
It wasn’t until I had my first child and making the career choice of becoming a stay-at home mom that I realized I did need to slow down my hunger for consumption. During this time I finally learnt those tricks of the trade of saving on an one-income household and using coupons.
I had another mom-life blog back in those early days that documented my savings rate and it became my affirmation that a penny saved was indeed a penny earned.It confirmed in many ways and allowed us as a family to have another child and pay off a home. Nothing like being Mortgage free!! Yay!!
Over the next few years I kept rigid traditions of a book present for the kids on Christmas Eve and a large moderately expensive toy for Christmas Day. I have stayed with families during the holidays who have found joy in having their kids wish lists bought to reality that literally hit the ceiling high for Christmas Day. That’s just not going to be us.
I also have grabbed off community and family extra clothes and gear the kids would need for extra curricular interests. All these blessings have helped us to keep us going through with our finances.
These days my savings mentality isn’t as rigid as I have been able to hold jobs that allow me to save substantially. We are still stringent in many of our old ways with our finances and find accountability between spouses prevents fights about money and surprises on the credit card statement. Plus it helps that the enamor of consuming has worn off. Getting older is really getting wiser in many ways.
Do you agree” a penny saved is a penny earned”? If you agree what are your triumphs?