Monday, April 18, 2011

Choices and the Spending Diet

Oy, life is freaking expensive!!!

Last week, the water meter reader guy came around and knocked on the door.  He asked Justin if we might have a leak somewhere because our usage seemed to have dramatically increased.  Um, yeah, I'd say.  I just got the bill today and it went from under 30,000 gallons for the last quarter to 43,000 gallons this quarter.  Where the hell is that leak?  Or did we suddenly start taking really long showers?  That was an extra $120 I did not want to put to the sanitation department.  It could have gone to the credit card to pay their stupid annual fee.  Another charge i was not expecting and over which I had no control.

We're getting the people who we lease the water softener equipment from to come out tomorrow and check it to make sure it's working properly.  Other than that, I have no idea why the meter is reading so high.  As far as I can tell, nothing's changed.  Where do you look for a leak if it's not the water softener?  Do you call a plumber for that?

Anyway, choices.  Really, saving money seems to be all about making good choices with your spending.  And spending on needs and not wants.

Today, after discovering that every single television channel I want to watch on cable needs the digital box, I finally decided to bite the bullet and pay the $5.99 a month to have one in our bedroom.  I spend the majority of my day at my little desk in here and the television is always my background noise.  If I want to have reruns of Roseanne on the Oxygen channel, then damn it, I'm going to have them.  And we were forced by our monopoly cable company to upgrade the package because our one year deal on the "bundle" ran out.  We were entitled to an HD box and remote with that.  I simply could not bring myself to return that digital box that is already in the family room when I went over to pick up the new HD box.  Just couldn't do it.

And then...I had shorts to return to Old Navy.  Old Navy, you old nemesis you!  It's the only place I can find pants with elastic waists and cute little dresses that don't cost a fortune.  Jamie had told me to order his shorts in his old size and sure enough, they were too small and I had to return them.  I walked into the store and knew I was in trouble, but at least I stuck to the clearance rack for myself.  The new size shorts for the 14 year old still do not fit and we're going to have to go back this weekend.  Again.  And I have another $10 off coupon if you spend $50.  I think I'm in trouble here.  It's choices time.

Oh.  I had to stop at the grocery store on the way home to pick up a salad mix for dinner tonight.  Why, oh why, do they put those pretty spring flowers in the front of the store????  Well, obviously to get you to buy them.  I wanted something pretty and springy on my desk, since I'm sitting here most of the day.  I found a beautiful orchid-like plant in a very pretty white and pink ceramic pot.  No price on the display.  Of course no price, because you wouldn't buy it if you knew it was $19.99!  Yay me, I said no way, take it off and put it back for me, please.  Maybe that will make up for the two pairs of shorts with elastic waists I bought myself off the clearance rack with the $10 off coupon.

So, today was all about choices.  Where did I want my money to go?  I made dental appointments for the kid (and unfortunately the cat, who also needs dental work to the tune of about $400).  I put the water bill in the stack to be paid and called the water softener people.  And I had them put the plant back.  Because it was definitely not a need when our water bill has gone up $120 and the kid and the cat have to go to the dentist.

Why is life so expensive?

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