Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's Official. I am Cheap

Before I met Jay, I was pretty much a spend thrift. If I wanted it, I bought it. If I wanted to give it to someone, I bought it. I really didn't think much about the future (shame on me, I know) and didn't save. If I paid my bills and had money left over, I spent it. Looking back at it, I am so ashamed at my ignorance. Luckily, Jay was very good with money and showed me the error in my ways. Unfortunately, it was too late to create a good savings account, but I became so much better about saving and watching where I was spending my money. Once I became a stay at home mom, an even larger overhaul of my spending habits took place and we have made lots of sacrifices. I still have issues and Jay can get very frustrated with me. Mainly because I tend to want to go out to eat a lot. I mean, I am home and cooking and cleaning for every meal so if a girl wants to take the easy route......Okay, so I am making excuses, but I have gotten better. Still have a long way to go to make Jay happy, but baby steps....
Because of my overhaul of my spending habits, I have noticed that I have become very "cheap". I have found myself going to Target, Walmart, or even the Dollar General and balking at prices and that's about as inexpensive as you can get (minus yard sales, and such). Today, I found myself moaning and groaning at toy companies and realized I have reached a new level of cheap. The boys received gift cards and cash as Christmas/Birthday gifts and were able to spend it before our trip last week. Will chose to buy the VTech Innotab. Troy wanted one for himself as they spent much time fighting over it, but every store was sold out. Mom found a Leap Pad at Walmart and figured it would be perfect. So here's what is happening. The VTech was $80 and the Leap Pad, $100. Although each has games/apps you can download, it's minimal sooooooooo you have to buy an App Card or pay to download games, buy cartridges and such to give them more options. Let's see, with the $20 App card for the Leap Pad, I was able to get Troy 3 things--2 stories and a really boring music game (that he isn't really into). The other games for it are $24.99. Each. Really?? Will had one more gift card to use today and it didn't even cover the a game for the Innotab because those too were $24.99. Each. Really? So we pay a fortune for the games, then the batteries have already been changed. Twice. In one week. And yes, they were the special batteries for electronics--lasted 2 days. So now you have the cost of batteries (and even if you use rechargeables--still expensive as all can be to have 4 sets so one set is always charged up....), you have to buy games or apps tacked on to an already expensive toy. Personally, I am ready to throw the toys out the window because we are going to go broke with just these 2 toys and we have 100 others that need batteries. However, then I would cringe at the amount of money we already wasted. They may go missing next time the batteries die though (which will be today, I am sure) and someone else can pay for those things. I was cursing the electronics companies (and understanding why people buy their young children IPads or Ipod Touches since you can at least get FREE apps that are actually FUN!) all morning. So I am admitting it, I am cheap. I think from here on out I am buying crayons (store brand ones), paper, maybe a coloring book and that's it. They can draw or go outside and run around. So what did Will get with his $20? Two Scooby Doo movies and a fun CD AND had money left over. I started to wonder if it was the same feeling Mom and Dad got with that Atari we had as kids. Whoa!!! Did I just date myself or what?
But anyway, I have decided that I cannot afford to be a parent--between the cost of technology, favor bags for parties, treats for classes, and the amount of food my children eat, I am either going to have to work nights or they are going to get jobs at a very early age. Is 8 too young? Kidding--don't sick Child Labor people on me

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