Last night, The Dave and I had our annual How Poor Are We? conference. It started with a bang and some quiche and I quickly learned that some of our goals (oppressing the 99% and owning Lisbeth Squirrlander) were a little farther off than I initially realized.
The internet tells me that one of the top resolutions for 2012 is saving money. The internet also tells me that in order to save money, I need to turn down the thermostat, find a smaller cable package and well, I’ll let the brilliance speak for itself…
“Walbert also suggests buying generic and store-brand products, which often cost 30% less than name-brand items. If you spend the household average of $5,760 each year on premium brands, switching to store brands on only half of your items could save you $864 annually.
Finally, you can help your waistline as well as your wallet by substituting tap water for soda. If you normally spend $1.50 a day on soda, dropping that expense can shed $550 per year from your budget.”
Other tips included not buying diamond rings for every finger, when just one will suffice, and importing your caviar from Alaska, instead of Russia. No wonder people who lived in the Depression want to smother us with their thrice-reused tin foil. Really? That’s how I should save money. Buying generics and not spending $1.5o/day on soda. Who are these people who sit there and say, “OH WAIT?! In order to save money I need to buy the cheaper ketchup?! THANKS MSN MONEY!”
I haven’t had cable in SEVEN YEARS. My thermostat never rises above 67 in the winter and my daughter isn’t even going to know that there is an actual BRAND called Cheerios. She’ll think that’s a nickname I made up for Circle-O Cereal (made from all natural sawdust!).
This is not to say we don’t spend on luxuries. And by we, I mean me. Because the last thing Dave actually bought was his gallon of Suave soap, which he held up and announced, “It’s soap, conditioner and BODY WASH! In one!” So, as you can see, he wins.
In the budget, I have a line-item for clothing. And that is about $50/month. But since I don’t have a budget for buying things like books or stick-on mustaches that’s usually what comes out of the clothing account. This year, with my waistline rising and falling like the tide, I did actually spend money on clothes (Tip: buy the $10 Wal-Mart jeans instead of the $20 Target jeans!), but I also spent money on books and mustaches and yes, books.
I have a problem.
At this rate, my clothing budget is like the national debt. Ellis will be paying it off after I die.
So, because I really want to
buy Lisbeth Squirrlander stop living like a spoiled (albeit literate) American, I have decided that for the next six months I will not buy the following:
- Fake mustaches
- More books
In sum, I am not spending money out of my clothing budget. And I know that somewhere Oprah is reading this and she is all, “Girl! You got to do things for yourself!” But I think that’s dime-store psychology (take that Oprah!). Really? Do something for myself? I have so many clothes they don’t fit in my drawers. I have ready access to a library and a car (although, I’ll have to make peace with the librarians, more on that later). I have a room in my house that is just dedicated to me and my computer and my lack of pants. Isn’t telling an American to think of themselves more like telling a fish to be more wet? Unless that fish is fried up on my plate, I don’t think being wet is what it needs. Also, while I would never knowingly fry up an American and eat it with tarter sauce, the metaphor remains.
Therefore, I officially declare 2012 to be NO PANTS 2012! And even as I type this, I want to punch myself. Because, I’m all, “Look at me! I’m sacrificing! I’m not buying items that rank on the lists of most Americans right below ‘toilet paper’ and a ‘decent meal.’ Aren’t I so amazing?! It’s going to be sooo hard.”
But honestly, not buying a book is already hard. Right after I made this comittment last night, and Dave squealed like a 12-year-old at a Justin Beiber concert because nothing makes him more misty-eyed than someone saving money, I resolved to return one Christmas present and use the proceeds to buy Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children because I was panicking. I needed to own that book and I didn’t have any gift cards and how was I going to live without buying a new book. A NEW BOOK!
And somewhere someone is working a 60-hour-a-week job to feed their babies and I am just grateful that they don’t have time to read this because if they did try to punch me through the internet, I’d probably deserve it.
I know it’s crazy, but does anyone out there want to join me in no pants 2012?