Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Question of the Day #7

My friend Todd needs a place to crash for a while. He is an excellent carpenter who installed a fabulous, non-leaky, not squeaky front door for me a couple years back. And yes, he does look good in a tool belt. ; )

Since we can all use a little help from our friends right about now, we cooked up an exchange:

Suzanne gets an outdoor coffee table for her lower deck, a little molding around the sliding door in the kitchen and the securing of some boards on the upper deck.

Todd gets an aero bed and a roof over his head.

And everyone's happy.

What fabulous tips can you share to conserve cash and still get what you want?



  1. I carpool with a neighbor. Two days a week I get her kids as well as mine from school. She does the same for me two days a week. We trade off the other day.

    Not only are we saving gas, we get a few extra minutes in our days when we can stay at home and not have to drive!

  2. God, the economy sucks. I figured out today that although my take-home is 3x what it was 10 years ago, my rent has doubled, and I can spend up to six months to a year out of work - so basically, even though I should be ahead on paper, I somehow wound up back where I started. Frustrating, no?

    I live in NYC, so I take public transportation or walk everywhere I can. I bag breakfast & lunch every day instead of buying it there. If you go out with your friends to dinner, bring the party back to your place for the booze. Try to buy food in bulk, & buy drink mixes (iced tea) instead of bottles.

  3. It's the "and still get what you want" part where you lose me. My wants are few these days. Time to read, to eat dinner while it's still hot, shower by myself, talk on the phone uninterrupted. Notice how those things don't cost money? As it is I wear clothes with stains. Oh I go to the library or trade books with friends. There, I do something to save money yet still get something I want!

  4. And you mentioned books! What could be better than books??? ;)

  5. Tell Todd we want a covered patio in the back, so we need the roof part built. And we want a custom built pantry. Eventually we want custom built kitchen cabinets. Let's see. That should house him here for what, 3 years?

    My wife, who is a fantastic cook as you know, makes lunches for me to take to work and I clean up the kitchen in her wake. I'm a good sous chef.

  6. Yeah, we're all hurting financially these days. This list is kind of depressing, but here it is anyway:
    1. Fired cleaning lady.
    2. Fired gardener.
    3. Make sandwiches for my hubby instead of his buying lunch out at work.
    4. Date night is now every other week, instead of once a week.
    5. Date night consists of dinner at Chevy's and a walk on the beach, not dinner at Ruth's Chris (unless they send us a really bitchin' coupon, like they just did) and a trip to the movies or book store. : (
    6. Netflix has been replaced by frequent trips to the library, where I annoy people by hovering over the new returns cart.
    7. No more instant oatmeal or other convenience foods.
    8. Lots and lots of potatoes, mac & cheese, and ramen for dinner.

    Kind of feels like being in college again, only without the being young and having no kids part.

  7. Hmmm! I can relate to a lot of these ideas,raising a family in the seventies with no money.
    I traded child care with a friend. She finished her degree and I started a home based business. Kids were happy and the moms were happpy.
    Later in life, again no money, I bartered with a decorator friend of mine for an exchange of services. Got burned in that deal! Lesson learned.
    But I still like to look at a good tool belt! : )

  8. Conserve cash and still get what I want? Sister, I work at a non-profit, so this has always been a way of life for me. And kind of a hobby, too!

    For starters it does help to have modest needs (or wants). I don't watch TV, so I don't pay for cable. I cook at home as much as possible, and a take the leftovers to work for lunch (I never buy lunch at work unless going out for some sort of celebratory thing with cowokers), and I make sure to go to at least 4 yoga classes a month to justify the gym membership. Ideally I go to the gym a little more than that, but one does need a baseline!

    My biggest extravagance is my clothing habit, but I manage to keep that relatively self-sustaining by woking one Saturday a month for store credit at a consignment shop - I basically work for clothes. I also take my unwanted clothes to clothing exchanges where I trade stuff with friends. Lastly, I find some really great things at the Salvation Army and Goodwill (and Frenchy's when I'm visiting mom).

    I economize on most of my stuff this way so that when I do see a great pair of boots or something I can go for it.


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