The News Tribune logo

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Being Cents-able

I purchased a used copy of Your Money or Your Life by Dominguez and Robin and it became one of the many books waiting to be read in my room. Frugality has been a large part of my adulthood out of necessity. This book came up in Internet reading I did on that subject and since I was having a very bad year at work and longed to quit, the notion of being able to live on less was enticing. Summer, home repairs, and a sick mother sidetracked me.

At the end of the summer, as we watched financial institutions fail and the stock market fall like a lead brick, we learned that there was a possibility of my husband’s job ending and our income being drastically cut. My quitting was no longer an option, but the urgency to stretch our money was renewed. After some digging through the stacks of books in my bedroom I found Your Money or Your Life and with highlighter in hand I began to read.

The book is not about creating a budget. It is about developing a new appreciation for your time, life energy, and knowledge about where that and your money goes. I am still in the baby steps of financial independence and living the sort of life my heart yearns for, but on the 8th of January I paid off Christmas and today I put $100 into savings.

I must note that I am the one reading the book and attempting to change my life. My husband is frugal by nature, makes a great deal more money than I and we have different spheres of financial responsibility. I say this to point out that my finances amount to my salary and the drizzles and drabs of money I get each monthfrom other places. My resources are responsible for food for six, sundries for three, and clothing for two along with gifts, a YMCA membership, music lessons for my grandson and a tutuor for my Special Needs daughter. That said, if you are interested in my financial journey, read on.


Lorraine Hart said...

While we work this hard to keep it all on track, the oil companies again show record profits. I don't see any of them showing any responsibility towards the family that is their country.

My son has now been laid-off. My sister, who worked her whole adult life for Nortel, is now looking at losing her pension.

I'm having a hard time feeling good about giving money to banks that have made us pay debts many times over, without ever chipping away at the principal because of the whopping interest charges. Who bails us out?

Stephanie Frieze said...

I wholeheartedly agree, Lorraine. Why there is a double standard for the Average American vs and companies. Our life energy is the grease of the corporate machine. I would like to see more of them lose their jobs.