Friday, May 10, 2013

The Frugal Mate

"I have a question to ask you."  It was that serious preface to a question that caught his attention.  Only two or three weeks after we had met, he was curious about why my tone had become serious.  "Okay, what's the question?"

"How do you feel about coupons?"  I asked, and a smile enveloped his face.  "I love them, why?"  And with that, two frugal hearts moved just a bit closer down the path of a life together.

Most people thought my coupon ways were over the top, a bit silly, not needed.  To my delight he liked coupons, and welcomed them.  In fact the female in his life prior to me had been a "shopper", actually a shopper squared......she earned very little but spent way beyond her needs.  He was happy to find another frugal minded person.

And as the relationship evolved into marriage, those frugal habits remained.  He jokes that his family once thought he was frugal, and then I entered the picture stealing the title.  I argue that we are both very frugal, just in different ways about different things.  For example, I am content with generic brands in the kitchen, he is not.  But my goodness, don't try and boil water without a lid if he is around -- you're wasting energy!

So if you are frugally minded and seeking a life partner, I encourage you to ask the coupon question early on.  If the person shuns coupons, thinks they are silly, or does not see the point, its a caution flag in my book.  However, if you have a conversation along these lings, "hmmm, I used a coupon but it didn't really save that much.  It seemed designed just to get us in the door.  I'd have spent less going to the other place, rather than the one with the coupon".  That is not anti-coupon, that is wise.  And the sign s/he is a keeper.

Earlier this week we celebrated my frugal mates birthday.  Coupon in hand we had a "date night" at the Nitty Gritty  -- Madison's birthday bar.  Buy one get one free burgers, and free beer for the birthday boy.  I had water. Over dinner we discussed the big steps he is taking with his business, hiring more staff to serve growing demand from clients.  The steps are big, risk is involved to a small degree, and it is all possible because we are frugal.  Even when frugal makes life a bit hard we keep at it; for the past month we have used little to no child care, taking the kids/home while the other works.  We shaved an expense large than our mortgage from the monthly budget, and relieved a huge amount of stress for me (my work hour flexibility increased).

What's your coupon story?

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