• Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

    How We Spent Money on Our Wedding, Or Not

    by  • May 1, 2012 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Wedding Cake

    There Is No Price Too High for Delicious Cake

    Image: Cat

    When I was younger, I never dreamed about my perfect wedding. Rather, I spent my adolescence imagining the day I could become a reclusive editor in New York City, living in my fabulous apartment with my multitude of cats, free from the limiting requirements of “marriage” and “other people.” So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself engaged rather young (for people of my generation/education level/geographic area), and confronted with the reality that no, we could not just go to city hall, because my husband has lots of family that would like to see us get married and eat cake.

    I’m not big on having feelings in public, or spending money, or having people look at me unless I’m doing something very funny or charming, so the whole idea of a wedding was slightly abhorrent to me from the get-go. My own issues aside, my then-fiance and I knew that we wanted to keep a strict budget (graduate school stipend and non-profit salary for the win). Luckily, he is from an area of the country that is infinitely cheaper than our current city, which made the planning process a whole lot simpler. Once we had a public park reserved and the save-the-dates in the mail/email, we got into the nitty-gritty details, and that’s when I found out just how ridiculous the whole process can be. Take, for instance, this scene from a local rental company we visited:

    Abby: Hello! We are getting married, and will need some chairs for the ceremony. What are the cheapest chairs you have?
    Rental Store Employee (RSE): These are our white wooden chairs.
    Abby: Yes, but are these the cheapest chairs you have?
    RSE: These are our white plastic chairs.
    Abby’s Internal Monologue: DID I STUTTER?
    RSE: Well, these are our cheapest chairs. They’re brown.
    Abby: We’ll take them!

    And even those were far, far more money than I wanted to spend on plastic chairs that people would be using for all of ten minutes. To the point that my husband and I had a legitimate argument where I told him that we only needed ten or so chairs for the older folks who would need a place to sit, and he made the (correct) point that if we were asking people to travel to this inconvenient rural location for our wedding, at the very least we could provide them with a place to sit, and could I please stop being so miserably cheap about these things?

    At this point, almost a year out, there are things I wish I’d done differently. We kept to our budget, and had a really nice little wedding, if I do say so myself. But my stingy tendencies did, I think, get in the way of enjoying certain things. For instance, I was very strict about not purchasing anything for other events. And do you know what? I regret not splurging a bit on a nice new dress for my bridal shower, or that fancy clutch for my wedding. These are purchases that wouldn’t have broken me, and would have added some frivolity to an event that I otherwise imbued with a sense of obligation and financial stress. You might notice a pattern emerging in my behavior – I tend to be strict to the point of purposeless unhappiness in certain financial areas. While our wedding was lovely, I could have loosened the reigns on my spending, and it would have been fine.

    Have you had to juggle the budgetary delight that is planning a wedding?

    Cheap Sex, the Married Edition

    by  • January 7, 2009 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Two years ago I wrote a post called Cheap Sex where I talked about how I took advantage of store promotions to fill my birth control prescription and save money. Now we’re married, thinking about kids, and I figure it’s time for a cheap sex update!

    We’re in the process of switching to a new method of fertility control called the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). Note, this is NOT the same as the much-maligned “rhythm method” which fails because it does not account for ongoing variations in a woman’s fertility cycle. The FAM method is the ultimate in cheap sex. All you need is to learn the method from a book, video, or class, and purchase a thermometer. Basically, a woman measures and charts several physical indicators (including waking temperature and cervical fluid) and uses the chart to determine when she is fertile. When she is not fertile, it is safe to have unprotected sex. It’s simple, effective, and CHEAP!

    Of course, this method isn’t for everyone. It requires some knowledge and responsibility to chart effectively, and does not protect against STD’s. It works best for women in a monogamous committed relationship, like me!

    The benefits of this method include increased awareness of my body, and my charts can help me have more meaningful discussions with my doctors in the future. The charts can reveal hidden health issues, help a doctor schedule tests and procedures at the proper time, and correctly identify the date of conception. As we’re cutting costs and planning for children, this method is a great way for us to keep on having cheap sex.

    If you are interested and want to learn more, I highly recommend the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler.

    Wearing Disposable Contact Lenses Too Long: Cheap or Frugal?

    by  • October 17, 2007 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Contact Lenses Case

    Sometimes my contact lenses don't see this for a day or two.

    I have been nearsighted at least since I was in the third grade; thus I’ve had glasses at the early age of 9 years old. That pretty much disqualified me from becoming one of the cool kids. Then again, so did directly sitting in front of the television to watch all of those episodes of Tom and Jerry.

    When I hit junior high and had an accompanying hormonal response to girls, I desperately wanted contact lenses. After an appropriate amount of badgering and promising I was responsible enough to take care of them, my parents eventually relented and let me have my first pair of contact lenses. Back then, contact lenses were to be treated like gold, as disposables were unheard of. I don’t know how much my parents paid for my first pair of contact lenses, but they made me take care of them like a newborn child.

    Since then, I’ve gone though various phases alternating between glasses and contact lenses. Currently I’m in a contact lens phase. Over a year ago, I bought a one-year supply of 2-week disposable contacts. Today, in our bathroom closet I have about half of the order still remaining. You don’t need to do the math to figure out that I’ve been wearing my contact lenses past the recommended two-week period. At this rate, the remaining contact lenses will last until about another year from now.

    I’m fully aware of elevated risks of eye infection by wearing contact lenses too long. I always take them out at night and soak them in solution. My crime is that I wear them for a little over a month before disposing of them. Half of me does this because I’m lazy; the other half does it so that I can make my contact lenses last longer, thus putting off getting another eye exam, contact lens fitting, and a new supply of contact lenses.

    Am I being cheap or am I being frugal?

    For disposable contact lens wearers: do you follow the manufacturer’s schedule of disposal, or do you wear yours past that date? Is it to save money or for another reason?

    photo: .imelda