Monday, July 30, 2012

Money and Value

It's always an exciting day when the Visa balance gets paid off.  Smiles all around!

I remember the days of multiple credit cards all racked up to kingdom come .... NEVER AGAIN!   Cash is one of my buddies.  And items of value.  And money smarts.

It's amazing what a difference five years make....I would now rather save up the money for something of good quality (and could be a bit expensive, depending on the item), than buy a bunch of crap for cheap while clutter collects around the house.

I would rather save up for vacations and experiences than be drowning in items, clutter and anxiety with no holidays or prospects in sight.

At my job, I see many many people rack up their credit cards over and over again, using their houses as ATMs to finance whatever.....mostly consumer debt.  Our housing market is booming and has been for over a year but one day that bubble will burst.  I wonder what those people will do with no safety net.

One of my co-workers has refinanced her house multiple times during the 5 years I've known her.  She works two jobs and tons of overtime just to make ends meet.  I know she has no savings and some bad habits and it worries me that there is no plan - she is just trying to survive until the next paycheque.  I think it is that way for many people.

Hubs and I have fared quite well with our one car - we commute to work together and both locations aren't too far from our house.  Our car has quite good gas mileage.   Whenever I fill up the tank, I always look to see what the previous fill-up amount was - the norm these days is $95.00 to $100.00/fill.  Many people drive trucks in my area, and boy do they pay through the nose for gas.

We have done a better job with groceries - I have been planning meals and trying new recipes, trying hard not to let items go to waste.  Hubs and I eat mostly a veggies, fruit, meat and fish diet with occasional carbs (usually once or twice a week).   Hubs eats more bread than I do and we try to limit dairy.  We usually eat at home although we do treat ourselves every so often. 

Save and splurge has been our mentality for quite a few years now.  What's yours?

24 comments:

  1. So housing is booming there? That's interesting. Not so in Australia - where we are currently having jelly wobbles. Oh - you just commented on my post I see when I am busy commenting on yours. How amazing!!

    But I do like this new change of sentiment though - where people are choosing to have less stuff, better made (and preferably locally so, wherever local happens to be) rather than masses of cheaply made, fall to bits rubbish. I would SO much rather have less, but better quality, made to ethical standards, products. And I notice in my work, that my clients are increasing feeling the same way too.

    I'll try the prayer to St Anthony and see if that helps!! I am still hoping it will turn up.

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    1. Canada isn't too far behind with a housing crash...kinda scary. Glad your clients have their priorities straight!

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  2. A balance lifestyle. Usually, when I shop now, I believe in buying quality than quantity. Also I buy what iI need now rather than hoarding just because there was a sale.

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    1. I am the same way now but I wasn't so until a few years ago - my Mom always buys on sale and hoards so it took me awhile to break that habit!

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  3. Hello:
    Hungary remains a cash economy with very little credit of any kind. Not such a bad thing, we feel.

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  4. I love to cook and we have a veggie garden.
    Only spend money when we have the cash and save up for mu Hermes scarves...
    our reno has been eating into our cash flow but it is looking so fabulous that I do not mind in the least.

    Cannot imagine debt in my elder years...
    must be prudent and mindful.

    Thanks for the reminder!
    Hostess

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    1. Your reno will be so worth it though, will check your blog for the latest reno news!

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  5. Like Pamela, I hardly ever buy on sale, I think people use it as an excuse to pile up on stuff they barely want or need, I'd rather buy a few things I really love at full price each season.
    Food wise, our weekly spend is tiny, my friends are always amazed at how little we spend, but I've never thrown out any food out in my life, I use up everything, it's just the way I was brought up.
    My car is 14 years old, we only go out for dinner (a curry) once a month - hubs is the one who can't manage money in our house!

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    1. That's true, people can't resist finding a "deal"....even for stuff they normally never buy.

      Yay for your car! That's amazing! Good for you about your groceries too. Last month we made a conscious effort to eat up what was in our freezer first before buying anything else.

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  6. My Mr works in finance so he sorts everything out from the mortgage to insurances etc and I make sure that all bills are paid. Our biggest splurge is holidays, because we live on a very dull, tiny island. I just don't have extravagant tastes so that saves us a small fortune, I'm sure!

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    1. We splurge on holidays too, we feel vacations are far more important than blowing money on toys and trinkets.

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  7. Since the wedding, we are in a state of re-organization and I am trying not to be depressed about it. We didn't go deeply into debt for it but we took on some. But we will climb out again.

    I try to economize by buying only what is needed (clothing wise, not necessarily handbag/accessory wise but am getting better). I don't like stock-piling food but rather have enough for our needs. When I do buy new items, a previous item either gets donated or sold. After being in Chicago the past couple of days, surrounded by extreme consumerism, I came home ready to purge the closets/possessions again. The only thing I bought in Chicago was a tin of tea--quite proud of myself.

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    1. That's great Bliss! Don't worry, you'll pay off the wedding debt soon. I have another round of purging to do in some rooms in our house.

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  8. It's a bit scary to think that people have been using their homes at ATMs. My family would not allow any debt at all, period! My husband is the same way and even hia family business is managed without debt, which is really amazing IMO. We plan everything and also take time to be thankful for what we have. I think the conscious gratitude makes one less likely to be drawn into impulse shopping or reckless spending of any nature. Oh, and I love to cook, which I believe helps with the budget and the waistline.

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    1. It's awful, you know it's bad when you have some repeat clients who remortgage every 6 months to a year, two years, etc and you remember paying off their credit cards LAST time. The same cards are racked up again. Couples never learn until they split up (which has happened too) or they get declined for a new mortgage.

      Kudos to you and to the family business, that's great!

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  9. Frugality has been my lifestyle for 20+ years now. I can't recall the last time I didn't pay my credit card off in full. Our main area of splurge is travel: we spent the whole month of July in France, thanks to having bought a 20-year-old motorhome. Frugality is why I could retire at 51. I feel for people who are in financial trouble because of their bad habits and the recession, but it is sheer foolishness to spend more than you have. I'm so pleased to read that you and many of your commenters have good sense! Being debt free is a wonderful feeling, I'd hate to give that up.

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    1. That's wonderful Shelley, good for you for being able to retire early and to travel whenever and wherever you want. No doubt you have made sound choices to be where you are!

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  10. I am frugal. I don't go out really. I buy staples and cook from scratch. I keep all expenses low.
    I do not use credit cards but pay cash I have saved up to buy everything.

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  11. You sound so smart for someone your age. I think a lot of younger professionals now are just loaded with credit cards and living way beyond their means. It's sad really. They feel they deserve to treat themselves to expensive purses and designer goods that most would never save for in many years. It's messed up. It's part of our consume culture.

    I am with you. I'd rather have a trip to a wonderful place than something sitting in my closet!
    xo
    Kim

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  12. I'm like that too, i don't like to have too many clothes - just things I wear over and over and we've always put holidays - or experiences- ahead of things, always works!

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    1. Absolutely - I would never give up vacations/experiences for anything!

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