There is only one positive to our current economic crisis: My cheapness is now considered responsibly chic! Call me Recessionista Kathryn.
My cheapness does have a few drawbacks. Matt and I spoke about possibly going to the Camden Aquarium (recently watching Plant Earth's "Deep Sea" episode inspired me to connect with my inner fish) but after I looked at the price ($30 per person) I resigned myself to another lazy Sunday. But then - conversely (and I'll use a "fish" theme here) - we'd throw down that much for sushi at our favorite struggling Asian joint (Jasmine House in Trappe, PA - they know our order when we walk through the door and last time we scored free sake and dessert from our regular patronship!). I'm not a girl without hypocrisy, what can I say?
And I sometimes have absolutely no dignity about my "frugality". When at my parent's home I often rummage through their pantry when my mother is out-of-sight, stashing jars of Thai simmering sauces and cans of corn. My mother always spots me (someone my size isn't the most stealthly) and would admonish my behavior as she grabbed my purse and seized the hot goods. I'd protest and say, "Mom! We are PO'!" (So poor, in fact, I couldn't apparently afford the remaining "-or" in "poor.") Needless to say, she ignored my protests.
Most recently she called Matt and me "DINKS". I think she may of gotten this from my sister, who thinks she's the foremost authority on everything. (Hi Kristen!) So I asked my mother what the heck is a DINK and she said, "You are not poor, Kathryn; quit it! A DINK stands for Dual-Income, No Kids." Well, excuse Me for not popping out money-grubbin' babies in my early twenties! Because of this, I am chastened and not allowed to steal canned goods from you?!
In reality, Matt and I are not poor, no matter how much I belabor the point to my mom. We both still safely have our jobs (fingers crossed), are paying off our mortgage early, and socking away a healthy sum to our (now pathetically-dwindled) 401(k)s. But that doesn't make me any less worrisome about what could be. My mind often dwells on healthcare - if I had to buy my own healthcare, well, I couldn't. No one would cover me because of my Crohn's, and that makes me positively sick (well, sicker). I won't get on my soapbox but I will say this: It's disgusting that healthcare in this country is a privilege and not a right. Amen.
So I've been thinking a lot about our consumer culture. A friend once saw our home and said it was a great "starter house". Whaaa??? When did a four bedroom, two and a half bath house become a starter house? (No, it's not terribly big - we have one eating space and one family room - no formal dining room and no "den" - and why would we want to decorate, heat, and cool all those extras?) So, I think that comment totally encompasses our consumer culture.
Thinking about it even more, I started jotting down what Matt and I do to save some bucks, and started thinking what we could do to further our thrifty habit. (I dream of the day we no longer have a mortgage - whenever that is!) Tomorrow I'll share some random (and obvious) things we do, and please let me know of anything I may have missed. Share your ideas with two very eager cheapskates!
Now I must go, as I think there is a stinkbug crawling on me.