Friday, March 30, 2012

Here I am sipping a latté on payday Friday.....

I won this bit of lusciousness by rolling up the rim!  115 calories of unadulterated goodness! I have never had a latté before and it is wonderful. Plus, it gives me one serving of dairy...that oughta be good!  I chose the caramel flavour, and I really think this is going to be my treat at Tim's from now on in.

Today was banking day. We now do our banking at a credit union quite a distance away, and only today did I realize that there is an ATM in the shopping mall down the street that will accept deposits!  Credit Unions are a new beast for me, but I was attracted by their 'better than the bank' interest rates. We are in the process of switching over, so I have been developing a new pattern of behavior on paydays!  I keep a separate accounts for food, yearly expenses and savings.  I like watching the numbers grow, but I like taking the money out for a fabulous vacation now and again equally as well!

Life doesn't really get  more expensive, it just seems like it does because the numbers are higher. The way I see it, we seem to have a lot more now and pay a lot less for it than we ever did. The problem is that we want more. A good wool skirt doesn't cost  a week's wages. A loaf of bread is not the price of an hour's work.  It all goes back to the magic of how long do you have to work to provide the necessities of life?

Everything is relative.  The problem is that there are far too many choices out there now. We aren't content to buy a "good one" (whatever that may be) at Eaton's and use it for years....passing down, for instance, skirt from one sister to the next.  We have huge closets that fill up overnight with disposable clothing, because we can't trust one garment to hold up to the wear we give it.  I am really trying to simplify, not because I want to go back to the "good old days" (that really weren't any better than today- trust me) but because it was just so much easier then!  Fewer things to keep track of and to be responsible for!  Imagine. Having one purse for winter, and one for summer? Sharing a suitcase with your sisters for a summer at the cottage, and taking all of your clothes? So much easier, for all concerned.

I remember being well dressed as  a child, and it was because my mother was a good seamstress, handy as well with knitting needles and crochet hooks.  But a sweater or two, a couple of skirts and blouses, a Sunday dress and a  pair of shoes whenever my feet grew (well that is another story...I got a lot of shoes! LOL) a winter coat and boots, and that was pretty much it....ah yes. Then there were these plastic "overshoes" that you wore in the spring and summer rains. Lovely little things that you had to jam your shoes into and then slip your foot into this miracle material of the fifties!  Mine actually were clear, with little flecks of glitter in the plastic...they were really stylin' I'm tellin' ya! AND you could also buy the matching plastic raincoat!  These items were usually at home when you needed them but  I can still remember the crunchy crackly plastic walk to school on rainy days!  All of the parents did the same thing. They bought one set for you to "grow into",  so this get up usually lasted from about the second grade on to the sixth! LOL

As for our little family? We really don't have more money than we ever did. We live pretty much the same, pay the same utility bills, buy the same kind of groceries, go the same places and wear the same clothes.  I take that back. We do go to better places, but only once a year! We now have vacations. The only difference really, is that all the numbers have gone up since we were first married so long ago. Our phone bill then, was under five dollars a month...for a basic rotary phone! A coloured one? NO!  How could you justify that fifty cent  extravagance?

All in all, I think my math skills over the years have had to improve to embrace three digit utility bills.  I have heard people say that it is getting pretty impossible for the young people to buy a house after they marry. Well, it took us ten years to gather our down payment for our first house, and we were thrilled. We really thought that we would never be able to buy our own place. We didn't expect it. But, we did start saving, and putting as much as we could away.  After ten years, we had enough for our very own home. Well, the years pass, and people's expectations change. What we considered a dream goal that was possibly in the far distant future, has now become an entitlement that is expected to materialize with not too much initial input from the purchaser. I am not criticizing, just observing.  I sincerely think it is all an exercise in futility anyway! What the young never realize is, that in the long run? You die and leave it anyway!  Go on a vacation instead - those memories will last a lot longer!

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