Friday, October 13, 2017
We had an appointment, no waiting like we normally do at the classic barber shop we've used in the past. My son got a cut while I sipped my free cup of herbal tea. Then my daughter hopped in the chair for an extensive brushing session -- oh the tangles! She only needed a bang trim in the end. Then we were off to pay. I wasn't charged for the bang trim, and even with a generous tip, the bill was $30. That was $20 below my budgeted amount, planned earlier in the month when I thought we'd go to the regular barber shop, where both kid cuts and a tip comes to $50.
It all seemed to come together, but a few days later it was clear my son's cut just wasn't quite right. Too long on top, not enough cut around the ears. My hyper-Type personality thought about dashing them off to the regular barber before picture day. The only chance would be this past Wednesday. But my son, keeping with our frugal ways said "nah, it will cost more money and I'd rather just play after doing my homework." Wise beyond his years!
A passage from a long-ago read parenting book immediately came to mind, "perfect is not fun". And I'd add, perfect is expensive. We let the hair go as is. We didn't pay more for another cut. We didn't rush about after school and then cram in the nightly homework. Instead we got our work done and went into the back yard where I tossed a ball with my son while my daughter made musical instruments with containers, water and a stick.
Today was picture day. Was his hair perfect? Probably not. Does it matter? Not at all. We had fun, and we came in under budget. When walking the frugal path remind yourself of my new mantra, perfect isn't fun, and it's expensive.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
October also marks the arrival for Q4, otherwise known as the Fourth Quarter of the year. Our family has set some aggressive savings goal for this quarter. To meet them we'll need to work some more (we both own businesses, so that is easier to generate than if we were employees), sell some unneeded items, and cut expenses. Here are a few ways we'll be cutting expenses in the area of Halloween:
- Creative Costumes -- we have close to two dozen costume props from various holidays, gifts and toys. From those the kids had the idea to create an outfit. Our son is considering going as the #1 Seattle Seahawks fan using all the clothing and fan gear he has. There will be no purchases this year;
- Halloween is for Kids -- there will be no "family costume" for this frugal family. We are "older" parents compared to our peers at the school. We are doing this 80s style. The kids dress up, the parents do not. I shutter at the cost that goes into family costumes -- and time to create is a cost just the same as cash; and
- Bowl of Trinkets -- in the 7 years we've lived in our house we have had 1 or 2 trick-or-treaters. Kids, with the exception of ours, do no live on our street. We do not get traffic for the holiday, so I refuse to buy a bunch of candy or things to hand out. I do want to have some on hand, just in case. Over the year I've saved the tattoos, pencils, book marks, and unopened candy from all those birthday party treat bags and school give-aways.
Those are three frugal approaches to Halloween in our home. What are your ideas? Please share and inspire, and thanks for reading.