Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Being a Tightwad

The is the second in what I call my "Being Series."  The first was Being a Father.  The third will be Being a Renaissance Man.  Should have that one buttoned up in the next week or so.

I'm all about saving a dollar.  Some call me cheap and tight.  I call myself frugal.  I honestly have no interest in racking up a bunch of debt that I will have to face midlife.  That's the point at which I should be getting in a Corvette and heading west to Route 66.

I do a variety of things to save money.  Some things are small like using coupons and watching sales.  Other things are more involved like switching to CFLs and unplugging certain electronic devices when they aren't in use.  Our family lives comfortably, but by no means do we live extravagantly.

I'm a big fan of reusing stuff.  That's not because I'm some rabid environmentalist, rather because it saves loads of cash.  I pretty much built an entire electric fence for my garden with free items.  I compost for fertilizer in the garden.  The garden is probably a slight net loss when compared to buying food.  I enjoy that though... and it really does taste better.  I reuse paper towels if they aren't too dirty.  I wear pants twice without washing them if they aren't dirty.  Burnt motor oil is used for other lubrication.  We eat a lot of deer meat.  I hardly ever use paper anymore.  I take advantage of as much free entertainment as possible.

The biggest area in which I save is by doing without.  My clothes are not fancy and I always buy on sale.....preferably clearance ;)  (NOTE:  I do not skimp on shoes.  My feet have to last me for the rest of my life so I always by top quality shoes.  I still shop the prices, but I will not buy cheap shoes.)  I drive a 7 year old car.  My tractor is as old as my Dad.  We don't travel a lot.  We don't eat out a lot.  I do admit that we  probably over did it on our home.  We're not suffering because of the mortgage or anything, but it's more house than we really need.  I often think that we should have built half as much house on twice as much land.  That said, we do love it and have no plans to sell any time soon :)

So why do I do all of this?

I do it so that I can spend the money on things I really want.  Electricity, food, clothes, interest payments.....those aren't really things that I want.  To be honest I'm not really sure what it is that I want.  I want my wife to be comfortable and I want my kids to become good men.  I do want to have that Vette wide open on The Mother Road one day, but beyond that I'm not really sure.  I guess that's what the idea of "Back 'er Down" is really about for me.  I'm not chasing money any more, and I'm comfortable with that.  As a result I somehow feel like I need to save it to compensate.

I'm a work in progress.  That's the one thing that I know for sure ;)

Y'all take it easy,


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