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10:44 a.m. - 2011-02-04
When you got it, SAVE it!

Thanks to two snow days in a row and my disinclination to get involved in projects that require my full attention when the guys are in the house and underfoot, yesterday, not Sunday, was the Big Bathroom Re-Do. I am quite pleased with the results. Everything is sparkly clean and the new curtain came out very cute. I'm also happy to report I was able to assemble a small 3-tier coated wire catch-all shelf unit all by myself. I'd had it lying around in its original packaging for years and years but never knew just where to use it. Now it's living happily beneath the bathroom counter behind the spiffy new curtain with custom-fit cardboard inserts across its shelf bottoms so stuff doesn't tip over and fall through the wire grid, content as only a shelf unit that's finally holding things can be. I like helping things fulfill their destinies, it's a hobby of mine.

Of course this raises the question of why I'd buy it in the first place without knowing where and how I'd use it. The answer is simple, it was most likely on sale for a stupid good price in a clearance bin somewhere. Trolling clearance bins is also a hobby of mine. Now this hobby, like all good intentions, can toddle you off down the road to Hell if you let it. I don't buy things just because they're a fantastic bargain. They do have to have a purpose, if not an immediate one, then must have a fairly high potential to be useful someday. Otherwise I'd end up with things like sacks of sequined mussel shells and 3-packs of gigantic granny panties in size 60XXL and 14 cases of tripe-in-a-can all because they were such a bargain as to be irresistible.

However, items such as cleaning products, organizing tools, stationery, picture frames, and utilitarian clothing like sweat socks and t-shirts can be safely purchased knowing that the money isn't going to waste. I'll get around to using them eventually. Hence the Little Shelf That Could and its new home beneath the bathroom counter.

Yesterday was also a great day because not only was it payday, but we got our federal income tax refund and half of the retroactive pay raise Mick was due from when his contract expired last May. The other half will be in his next paycheck. In one fell swoop we went from emptying pants pockets of their spare change to buy milk to being flusher than flush.

Let the games begin. Me advocating that ALL the windfall be socked away in the savings account immediately. And Mick stumping for going nuts for a while and then, maybe, putting away what's left (if there is any). Lord knows I love this man to distraction, but he is a complete bobo when it comes to what he thinks is found money. Without my hard discipline Mick would end up one of those amazing hard luck stories about Lotto winners who win $139 million and four years later they're broke, bankrupt and living on Skid Row.

Okay, he's not quite that bad. And certainly his desire to spend is mostly aimed toward me and Wolf. Mick luuuurves to spoil us with things and treats and entertainments we normally can't indulge in. BUT having been through this process with him before and the both of us waking up with really ouchie financial hangovers I am being very firm this time. All good relationships require compromise and after some sweet but determined lecturing from me Mick has mostly come around. The vast majority goes into the savings and on Sunday we'll head down to the gigantic ugly mall to whoop it up a little. Conveyor belt sushi, an IMAX movie, book shopping, bra shopping (just for me, obviously), a couple of cool hoodies or accessories at Thugs-R-Us for the kid, and a spree at the Lego store for Mick and Wolf. Enough to take care of Mick's spend and spoil jones, yet modest enough to satisfy Scrooge McSage.

Btw, Mick knows I'm right about this and he's not pouting too, too much, but I had to laugh when he called all excited this morning to try to bribe me with an immediate purchase of my new stove. If, you know, I wanted it he'd be fine with not moving the rest of the money into the savings account until after. Generous, ain't he? I giggled and called him on it and pointed out that the stove was being purchased with the state refund money, not the fed or his retro. There was a long pause, then he sighed and said he'd take care of the banking during his lunchtime.

Poor mannie. Honestly? I'm a junkie and know all about the rationalizations that come with feeding your habit. Mine is tobacco and his is overspending, but it amounts to the same thing. I am truly sympathetic, but will not be budged. Besides, unlike my idiot thing with Virginia Slims, Mick will be happy if later this year we get into a jam with car repairs that we have the dough handy or (gods forbid) they cancel summer school and we have to scrimp by on our savings.

Though, (she says with an impish grin), I think I will let Mick 'surprise' me with a couple of charms for my Pandora bracelet.

Hey, I can't be too harsh on my guy, now can I? ~LA

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