Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Making Do in Hard Times

Six months after beginning a program of keeping track of every penny that passes through my fingers based on the tenants in Your Money or Your Life I am happy to say that I’m still with the program. Each night I log in my ledger my expenditures and credit my deposits. It not only reflects what is in the bank, but what checks have been written and what is in my purse. Each month’s receipts are marked and filed in a file box. Should the IRS question our expenditures on my disabled daughter I have the proof of them close at hand. If something needs to be returned for once I know where the receipt is.

My husband is impressed. Several years ago he began the year by writing down everything he spent, but soon gave it up as too tedious. He is much more organized than I so to impress him is really something. I have modified the book’s suggested record keeping to make it simple for me, for if a thing becomes too tedious I will give it up as well. For the most part expenditures are divided into food and non-food with another category for family expenditures such as my mother’s security system and my grandson’s music lessons.

I believe that my efforts have infected the children a bit. All of them are doing better at watching their pennies and not wasting anything. We all are growing gardens and shopping smart. I’ve even managed to put a little aside toward my daughter’s 40th birthday two years hence. I hope to have enough to take us to Las Vegas or Disneyland (her pick) and maybe even enough to take my father’s ashes to Pearl Harbor. My fantasy is for all of us to go which probably won’t happen, but it is fun to dream, even in the midst of a recession. Today I have to decide if I want to spend money on a new toaster or continue turning the bread around to get both sides toasted in the one we've got…


Kim Thompson said...

Good post!

Hey, if you want to get to Oahu in the future, I know the ins and outs very well and I can help get there without breaking the bank!

Stephanie Frieze said...

That would be awesome, Kim! Thanks.

Kim Thompson said...

Of course! We know how to do HI without spending a small fortune. Also, for Pearl Harbor, they have lots of rules, particularly around kids (e.g. no strollers, no kids under a certain age, no NOISE, the rules are strict). It's very unusual, but if the whole family goes you will need to be aware; we learned the hard way. This site is very sacred and designed very prayerful and sacred.

Also, I wonder what's going on with Joe and Vicky Dominguez (our authors of the book you reference and you know my history meeting them). I've done the exercise you've mentioned and it's tough. I admire your pluck. Good for you! My mom did the same thing, and she actually saved her log for me in a scrap book. Consider doing the same for your kiddos and grandbabies. For me, it was an amazing read.

Stephanie Frieze said...

I believe that Joe Dominguez passed away a few years ago. She has released an updated version of the book for the current recession. Being a cheapie, I bought an old copy at Half Price!

Actually, we want to go to Kaneohe which is where my father and uncle were on Dec. 7, 1941. They were hit before Pearl was. When my father died I contacted the Marine commander of the base and he said no problem. Whenever we wanted to bring my father's ashes, they would accomodate us. We just have to get the $ together to get there!