Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Out from the Shadows: Part Two or "My Affair with Ulysses"

So the secret is out on my brother. He's a cheapskate. Don't worry Clay, you're miserly ways are going to be my guiding star.

You see, me and The Mister of the House have decided to try a little experiment. After reading an article about a family that decided to spend no money for a month (or at least try), then coming across the blog of a coupon queen who kept a strict budget even as a free-wheelin' college student, along with the constant example of my penny-pinching (or at least penny-whining) brother, I've decided to spare myself and family with the constant swipe of the plastic. Credit and debit included.

Hello basic math skills, let's get some practice counting change, adding bills, because we're going green for all of these purchases. CASH ONLY PLEASE:

  • Groceries
  • Gasoline
  • Entertainment

This is my new boyfriend. I go for the ornery distinguished older men...with power. Former President Ulysses S. Grant, will you please make sure I don't live off Top Ramen and get bloated?

Every Monday, I'm withdrawing this bad boy from the bank and hoping he'll make it to Saturday. For all my: groceries, gas, and entertainment.

Oh Andrew, Ulysses was a bore! I had to exchange him for a little fun. Will you promise to stay with me until the end of the week? I'm tickling his chin. He's sort of smiling back, I think he likes it.

This is me on Tuesday after my hour-long primping routine in the morning. I'm already down five bucks after feeding me and the offspring with a five-dollar footlong. Thank you Subway.

Now it's Wednesday, and after being out of milk and bananas (the offspring's staple) I ran to the store. Only 30 bucks left and the local artisan gift market this weekend! Ahhhh!

So I'm still writing checks for my bills, but throughout the coming weeks we'll be analyzing to see if they are really essential, and they might be given the boot. Bills allowed:
  • Heat and Utilities
  • Power
  • Student Loan (still!)
  • Insurance
  • Cable and Internet (cable?)
  • Telephone
  • Cell Phone (do we need both a landline and a cell phone?)
  • Netflix (Where else can we get Monarch of the Glen and those crazy documentaries we love?)
  • Mortgage
Since The Mister of the House works overtime and is out and about being a worker guy, we've thrown him a twenty to cover his lunches and expensive beverage choices (maybe time to switch to water buddy, I mean sweetie-pie).

As a safety net, we'll allow ONE REFUEL of ONE CAR per month, and a possible $100 splurge for Christmas gaps (we've mostly got it done though).

Am I already cheating? I'm scared. Does anyone want to be one of Clay's 'skates with me?


Tami said...

What a great idea! Let us know how the rest of the week goes and if you make it!

Anonymous said...

Good luck! Maybe I'll try it if it works for you.


Monica said...

50 bucks a week! Thank goodness gas prices dropped. Good luck, Ambos.

paula said...

You are so funny! I just love your blog. Now to the serious matter at hand...$50/week for food and gas and you have to feed how many people on that? I am all about penny pinching myself and I am truly impressed if you can do this. Nice your husband gets $20 a week for poor husband gets sack lunch from home everyday. I tell him when he quits smoking he can eat out for lunch...You want to talk about some serious money going out-I think those suckers are like $4.75 for a pack. Damn smokers.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Paula, Good job with the sack lunches. I try to do that with The Mister, but it's not happenin'. I hope Jay D is not smoking a pack a day, those suckers are expensive.

Ultimately, I'm hoping that my other half kicks his diet coke habit. Annoying! (sorry if you're a follower)

paula said...

Don't worry-not a soda follower at all-especially diet soda-aspartame is some seriously wicked crap!

And he does smoke a pack a day!

Tami said...

How is the $50/week going? I tried spending that just on groceries awhile back...just that was dang hard!