Friday, July 1, 2011

Frugality vs. Miserly Acts

So, got some good news: hubby's not getting laid off this year. The financial picture is also looking better for me personally since I've been working at a paying temp job that keeps continuing longer than I thought it would. I keep getting good news to where I really should have a little confidence in my life being stable (or at least not feeling like I'm going to have to enact my doomsday plan).

Hey, if you're smart you have a doomsday plan. An agenda of what you'll do if your life completely falls apart & there's no incentive for you to follow law and order or care about anything. Maybe you parents can't relate since you'll have your kids to care for, but those who aren't should be able to. If you understand working toward a passion and knowing that if it fell apart tomorrow you'd never want to do anything else, then you definitely understand why one would have a doomsday plan. It's "doomsday" because you have no incentive to give a damn anymore. Some may be happy becoming homeless and not mind all the bullshit that comes with poverty but as long as I've got a brain, I'm going to have contingency plans.

When you plan for anything, though you know you're going to need money. Because of this and my perhaps paranoid nature, I'm a serious cheapskate (frugal, if you want to be nice). Now if you're able to show me the value in spending a little more or I experience this value firsthand, I'll spring a little.

Generally, though if it comes to something like eating out or going someplace that will cost me money, my knee jerk reaction is to say "No, we don't need to spend the money." I'm so bad on this that if my husband buys me something as a gift that I don't need, I'll tell him he didn't have to spend the $ on me.

One birthday, I was told to pick out some clothing & it was like pulling teeth to get me to get things. For one thing, I'm picky. My method of clothes shopping is I walk in & if something calls to me, I'll consider it. If it's unique enough, makes me look absolutely gorgeous & I can think of uses for it, I'll get it. I also felt things I saw were too expensive & that my hubby shouldn't be spending so much on me.

Once I get going, though, I can find more stuff I like that suits me & has the proper price. Doesn't help that I grew up with very little money. Most of the clothes I have I got through store discounts or on sale.

Trying on clothes recently though, I realized I desperately need to get some new stuff. This is because I'm freakishly tiny. How tiny? Apparently, I'm a size 0 if you look at one retailer's website (a clothing place I like due to the uniqueness of some of their items). My bust-hip-waist measurements match that size perfectly. It's eerie.

It also makes clothes shopping a bitch & a half, as I've stated before. The worst part is, I wasn't even fat in high school. I was being called skinny then & asked if I was anorexic. Can't imagine the flack I'd get now, especially when many of my classmates are larger than they were in high school. I must be the only person on Earth who loses weight during times when everyone else gains it.

Let's see: lost weight in college, lost weight after getting married (or at least haven't gained it), lost weight after moving to NYC. I've also never been a vegetarian or had what anyone would call the best diet ever, though I probably eat healthier than I did when I was younger (no soda & no fast food unless it's a chain I like that I can't get in my area). Hasn't changed a damn thing on me.

See why I keep my regime as it is? I also try to avoid too much exercise since I were thinner, I'd have to get clothes from the children's section.

As part of this, I feel like I'm becoming a miser if I don't get some new clothes. I consider one a miser if they could afford something but are just sticking to things that aren't fitting or have long outlived their usefulness. I'd like to think I'm not going to end up some recluse you see on Unsolved Mysteries who everyone thought was on hard times, doesn't talk to anyone about their personal life, then dies & you find out had millions of dollars they never used or enjoyed while they were alive.

I also saw family members throw money around like it was water. Couldn't save if their lives depended on it. I saw it as wasteful back when I was very young. Guess it also doesn't help that my mom borrowed money from me when I was a kid; she always said I should become a loan shark. My father also stole money from me to fund his drinking since I was the kid who saved allowances. Yeah, if only it were legal to be a loan shark! I could get some big strong guys to help me collect on debts. That would be fun.

Is it no wonder I'm an attorney? Is it no wonder I don't like wasting money?

As for my loans, got every intention to pay those when it's feasible to make a dent in it & will actually mean something in the grand scheme. Maybe loan providers should start helping get my business funded if they want their money that badly. Perhaps help these unemployed lawyers get work. Until then, shut the hell up & get with modern times. You aren't getting repaid by the students + the system itself is well documented as corrupt and not going to collapse with massive defaults. You've also brought it on yourselves.

I'd say as much to anyone trying to bitch at me for doing what I have to in order to survive & not worrying about kowtowing to a system where I'm not getting any kind of reward unless I follow an "all or nothing" scheme. Give me credit for what I can do (ex. partial payments) or expect me to do the bare minimum. It's the rational thing to do. Funny that even my law school bankruptcy professor said that credit card companies were evil; I wonder if he'd feel the same about student loan companies.

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