Friday, May 2, 2008

We Call It “Frugal”

With the exception of our bad car buying habit, Jeff and I are probably the cheapest most budget conscious people you have ever met. I really believe that I was born with a brain that calculates the cost-benefit of everything. From the obvious (finding the cheapest place to fill up) to the does-it-really-freaking-matter (figuring out the “value meal” pricing at McDonalds and ensuring my order minimizes my out-of-pocket cost).

The field of Finance was a natural choice for me and choosing Jeff as my life-long partner was just plain luck. I don’t know too many other men who would sit with me and help me find the 46 cent mistake as we reconcile the credit card statement (am I revealing too much?).

Often, our jobs spill over into our real life and we theorize whether we can classify something as a true savings vs. cost avoidance. That makes a big difference in financial modeling. It also probably makes a big difference on whether you, Internet, will still be my friend after reading this.

All of this to say…here are the top 3 ways Jeff and I saved money in the month of April…

#1: Haircuts = $18 + $18 + $40 = $76 SAVINGS
I shaved both of the boys’ heads and Jeff cut six inches off of my hair. He doesn’t know it yet but he did such a good job, I may have him attempt highlighting it next. Which could turn in to a $100 trip to a real salon. Is that how much it costs? I have no idea. Wish us luck.
#2: Fence Repair = $200 SAVINGS
Rather, than spending hundreds of dollars to fix one side of our fence, Jeff decided he could put aside his calculator and laptop and become a handyman for a day. After 8 hours of blood, sweat, and tears, he completed it… and the gate actually works better than before. There weren’t actual tears, but he has shown me the blister on his hand no less than 400 times. We also had some damage on the fence on the other side of the house, and unfortunately our neighbors want to replace the entire fence, rather than just repairing it with the 2-3 nails it would require to fix. And they don’t want to replace it with just any fence…they want one of those fancy-shmancy board-on-board fences. We (and I use the term “WE” loosely) made the executive decision to reluctantly agree to the fence we don’t really need in an effort to prevent bad blood between neighbors.
Jeff is too nice.
So, if you are ever in the area, please stop by and say how nice the East half of our fence looks.

#3: Ebay = $57 SAVINGS
Let me just say Ebay is the greatest invention EVER. Mimi has opened my eyes to the wonderful world of Ebay and things I never knew to look for. She recently splurged and bought me a pair of Gap jeans for my birthday. This is something I would never do; because there is no way I could ever justify spending $59 on jeans (see “budget conscious” above).

On a side note, the name of the Jeans are "Long and Lean". The sales lady convinced me to try them on and I love the way they fit. Who knew I was long and lean? Let's just say they're not the first two words that come to mind when I am asked to describe myself.

Anyway, the brand new Gap jeans were such a nice gesture, but since I am weight watchin’ right now, they soon became baggy. She started to search on Ebay for the next smallest size. And then somewhere along her searching path, she began having a high level of confidence in my weight losing ability and decided to order two pairs in a Size 8. While I appreciate her confidence (albeit overconfidence) in me, I don’t know how she reasoned that I would drop 2 sizes in the time it took the jeans to ship.

So at about the same time, I began searching for the Long and Lean Size 10 jeans. After many unsuccessful attempts, I finally won a pair for…drum-roll please…ONE DOLLAR AND NINETY EIGHT CENTS! About a week later I received the size 8’s in the mail and tried them on. Although they buttoned, they left little to the imagination and Jeff banned me from wearing them until I drop another 10 pounds. I was getting so impatient waiting for my $2 size 10’s to come in. When they finally arrived, I ran inside…dropped my pants…and was devastated when I realized that attempting to zip them wasn’t even an option. I mean seriously, no amount of jumping, or squatting, or lunging helped. Obviously they were mismarked which is probably why they were only $2. There was probably some sort of secret code in the Ebay listing that I somehow missed. But since I really don’t see myself needing a size 6 or 4 or whatever they really are anytime in the near future, they might be on the market again real soon. Consider this your warning if you are buying size 10 Ankle Long and Lean Gap jeans on Ebay. Although I feel sorry for the poor sole who will do the next round of jumping, squatting, and lunging in these jeans, it’s inevitable. I just can’t bear to be the last person deceived by this Ebay size 10 scam.

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