Tuesday, April 24, 2007

At Least We Wouldn't Need the Money...


Rich: "What's this?"
Me: "What's what?"
Rich: "This charge for $3.78 at Redner's?"
Me: "How the fuck should I know?"
Rich: "Well... what did you get at Redner's quick shop?"
Me: "Seeing as how I haven't stepped foot in a Redner's in months, that would be your charge. I would guess a candy bar and a drink, if I'm not mistaken."
Rich: "Oh..."
Yes, it's that time. Once a month, Rich gets it in his head that I must be dining in exclusive restaurants, drinking in pretentious bars, and buying only the top-top in housewares and groceries for our home, which results in our being "poor." Never mind that we aren't "poor," at least, not in the sense that we need the Christians Children’s Fund to start a commercial for us begging for 80 cents of every dollar, but we certainly don't have money to blow our noses with and burn in the fireplace. We make do. We squeak by.

Rich: "Well, what's this?"
Please note that Rich is in the dining room on the computer staring at our monthly statement. I am ten feet away, facing the opposite direction, staring at the television as if it holds the secrets to a successful life and riches beyond my wildest imaginings.

Me: "What's what?"
Rich: "Never mind."
Silence. I un-mute the television just in time to hear Ross yell, "We were on a break!" I like Friends in reruns, though I could never get into it when it was a regular part of many Americans nighttime television habits.

Rich: "We have got to stop spending money."
Me: "Would you rather I stop paying my car insurance? Or stop putting gas in the car? It's going to be hard to earn a paycheck without the gas in the car, though. Oo! We could stop eating? How about life insurance? We all know it's a scam anyways..."
Rich: "You know what I mean."
I don't, but I let it pass. I spend tons less now than I did in my younger years. I no longer have pizza three nights a week. I don't go out to the clubs every night. We barely eat out at all (i.e., only when we have a gift card) and never see a movie in the theater (see same clause as eating out). And I don't even truly miss these things! I like spending time at home, relaxing, not having to get dolled-up and paraded in the meat market. I like being my own chef and having a refill whenever I damn well please and not when the waiter decides to finally come back and check on us after two hours have passed!

But I dive in to my once-per-month speech.

Me: "We're almost caught up. My cars paid off now. We both just got raises. Getting oil this month hurt us, but we now won't have to get oil to October at the earliest again. We caught up on everything now but ______, and even that we're only barely behind, and next month, like I've been saying for months, we'll be caught up."
Rich: "We should sell this house."
Me: "And live where?"
Rich: "We'll get an apartment."
Me: "You know that's a silly idea."
Rich: "Well, what do you suggest?"
Me: "Get off the computer, stop worrying about the Monthly Statement, and listen to me. We'll be caught up next month. We will then have positive income. We will be able to save based on the budget I showed you in November. We won't lose the house, the cars, or our dignity and respect."
Rich: "Easy for you to say..."
Me: "It's only easy for me because I'm the one being accused of spending too much at places I don't go to."
Rich: "How much do you spend on--"
Me: "I'm done here."
I briefly tried pointing out the plus side--having poor credit means no one wants to steal your identity and ruin your life! I'm always hearing on the news about these poor saps who hand out SSNs, credit card numbers, and other info and end up getting screwed out of thousands of dollars (I'm also wondering where all these people are getting their thousands originally, but I digress...).

Me: "That won't be us on the 6 o'clock news."
Rich: "No, we'll be the homeless bums in the alley behind the cameraman begging for food."
Me: "What? Instead of making money by prostituting ourselves? Get some self-esteem, man!"
Rich: "So then we'll just die of some horrible venereal disease."
Me: "At least you won't need money anymore."
He agreed.

I love my pessimist...

8 comments:

Darkmind said...

Apartments are a losing investment. If you rent an apartment and live there for thirty years, when you move out how much of that rent money will you be getting back? Nada. However if you buy a house and pay it off over thirty years, when you move out you will get more back than you paid for it, including the interest. On top of that, rent on apartments increases over time, whereas mortgage payments remain the same (assuming it is fixed mortgage). However, if a charge of less than $4 is going to be what sends you under, you might want to steal your toilet paper from work until next month. That ought to cover it! BWA HA HA HA!!!

Just browsing blogs said...

Most apartments these days have a higher monthly rent than a motgage also.

Anonymous said...

You have a joint Checking account I take it?
Will never do that again......after my first marriage I learned my lesson. My current hubby and I split the bills right down the middle and have separate accounts. He can't complain what I spend it on and I cant complain either. As long as we both pay our share of the bills we will never argue about money, been this way for 5 years now and we both love it.

mom said...

hello jason, your grandmom hughes always said the more money you make the more you spend. and another thing she said was if you made a list of your needs and your wants your needs are so much less. she is right on both. i think when you look at what we need which is shelter, food and clothes and the shelter can be a good tent if need be. :) us hard core campers know we can make it with a only a tent. america is getting to soft and think we need so much more than we really do. whenever i get a little worried about bills i always ask God for dad and my needs to be met and you know not one time have we ever got left down. i am always amazed on something i prayed about gets answered and i get more than i asked for. i am very thankful for what i have and take care of what i do have and make sure i share whatever i do have. well, anyway, have fun calming rich down when he gets nervous. i don't know what to say to help him since i guess you don't believe in praying so i guess you are on your own in that. i didn't say that to be smart it just came out but if the shoe fits. :) i also think on what nanny always said about her growing up in the depression years. now they had hardships! her and pop-pop always made it work on a little. well, you have dad and i that pray for you and rich and have some strong family that made do with little and even thought they were rich with what they had and you will do ok in making things work. i feel very rich without that money! :) love and prayers

Kel said...

Well, I will buy you lunch and Rich will never know and then you could relish in the idea that you had delicious food that didn't break the budget! HA! Besides, I owe you from last time. I actually thought maybe Rich found out and now hates me as much as my in-laws do! (That's near impossible, but I could get paranoid at times.)

Hope to see you soon!

Jason Hughes said...

LOL! Yeah, sorry I never got back to you--works been crazy busy!! I think I'll have time for lunch on Wednesday, though, if that works for you... Lemme know, k?

And Rich knows we did lunch--he only gets jealous of men I do lunch with (Sorry!)...

mom said...

hello jason, your grandmom hughes always said the more money you make the more you spend. and another thing she said was if you made a list of your needs and your wants your needs are so much less. she is right on both. i think when you look at what we need which is shelter, food and clothes and the shelter can be a good tent if need be. :) us hard core campers know we can make it with a only a tent. america is getting to soft and think we need so much more than we really do. whenever i get a little worried about bills i always ask God for dad and my needs to be met and you know not one time have we ever got left down. i am always amazed on something i prayed about gets answered and i get more than i asked for. i am very thankful for what i have and take care of what i do have and make sure i share whatever i do have. well, anyway, have fun calming rich down when he gets nervous. i don't know what to say to help him since i guess you don't believe in praying so i guess you are on your own in that. i didn't say that to be smart it just came out but if the shoe fits. :) i also think on what nanny always said about her growing up in the depression years. now they had hardships! her and pop-pop always made it work on a little. well, you have dad and i that pray for you and rich and have some strong family that made do with little and even thought they were rich with what they had and you will do ok in making things work. i feel very rich without that money! :) love and prayers

Just browsing blogs said...

Most apartments these days have a higher monthly rent than a motgage also.