Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Waste Money ... Who Me?

     Last night I saw B in front of her computer. I went over, and as I approached she quickly clicked off the page, and her email account flashed onto the screen.

     "Whatcha' lookin' at?" I queried innocently. I thought maybe she was searching on Homeaway, because we're starting to plan our summer vacation.

     She looked at me. Her face flushed a little. Then she sighed. "Well, actually, I was shopping."

     She clicked back onto the first page. I saw a pair of earrings, kind of spangly, probably made out of gold. I didn't really look very closely, because . . . well, because I don't know a thing about earrings.

     Then I did a double-take. The earrings cost $174.99. No wonder B was looking a a little guilty!

Waste of money?
     But I don't care. B has a job. She has her own money. She can spend it any way she wants. It's no business on mine if she wants to blow close to $200 for little shiny things to hang from her ears . . . that no one will even see because they'll be hidden by the hair that she's been growing out lately.

     Recently, B came home from work at the library and was amused to tell me about a woman who'd been asking for some tax forms. The woman confided in B that she filed her taxes separately because her husband gambled, and she didn't want any part of his finances.

     My sister also keeps her finances separate from her husband. This is her second marriage (and his third), and they got married late in life, so they'd been used to doing things their own way and they thought they'd keep it that way -- besides my brother-in-law fancies himself a day-trader in the stock market, so he has complicated taxes with a lot of short-term gains and losses. And my sister doesn't want any part of it.

     My brother-in-law sometimes brags about the money he's made. But my sister told me that he actually loses about $5,000 a year. "I don't let it bother me," she says. "After all, for him this is entertainment, and it costs less than owning a boat, or taking a vacation."

     So anyway, like I said, what business is it of mine if B wants to squander her money on jewelry. Or shoes. Or little knickknacks for the house.

     I guess, being a  (ahem) fiscally responsible person myself, I don't understand why people want to throw away their hard-earned money on useless stuff. I spend my money on more substantial goods and services, ones that are socially responsible and contribute to the greater good of mankind. For example: golf.

     No, wait! Seriously. By playing golf I help employ a dozen or so American workers -- mostly senior citizens -- who help run the course. The golf course provides much-needed green space in my overcrowded suburb. And it also provides an inviting environment for wildlife, such as deer, raccoons, skunks, snakes, ticks, mosquitoes. And geese. The geese provide lots of fertilizer.

Good investment?
     I play on the public courses and pay about $40 a round. B has never once accused me of wasting money on golf. And why would she? I'm actually saving money. After all, I could join a fancy country club. It might cost me $10,000 a year. At that rate it would cost me $300 or $400 a round. So by going to the public course, I save $250 to $350 every day. The more I play, the more I save!

     I've been eyeing a new driver down at the golf shop. It costs $399.00. Does that seem expensive? Maybe. But on a cost-per-pound basis, it's a much better deal than the earrings.

     This is just one example. There's my new car . . . I could have gotten a Mercedes like my friend Joe, so I saved a lot of money in buying a Honda instead. My gym membership . . . okay, I don't use it that much, but I save $15 a month because I'm a senior citizen. At the rate I'm going, we'll have saved up enough money to pay for vacation in no time.

     Anyway, after our little encounter at the computer, I went into the kitchen and got myself a snack. A few minutes later I saw B was still at the computer. I wandered over, and saw . . .  she's still looking at earrings. Only these earrings cost $224.99!

     However, being the suave, debonaire, cool-as-a-cucumber guy that I am, I didn't even react. I just nodded thoughtfully. "Those are nice," I mused. "But, I think I like the other ones better."

     She looked up. "Yeah, I agree," she said. "Besides, I'd be saving $50. That'll help pay for our vacation." 


Olga Hebert said...

Rationalization is a beautiful thing, isn't it?

Stephen Hayes said...

And to think I was sure you'd tell her to buy both pairs.

DJan said...

Wow, at this rate you two will be millionaires in no time! Made me smile. :-)

Pam said...

You're a wise man. My hubby carefully picks his battles when it comes to questioning my expenditures, too. I try to "save" just like B does...

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Your discussions are way different than ours. I have to tell hubby to stop buying expensive earing. I worry the pension funds will be gone before we are. I prefer less of jewellery or shoes and more on travel while I can still see. Lately we've done more than one or two trips.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me started on golf courses. I see that CA is cracking down on them. Good for CA. As for keeping people employed, i agree, I've red too many books on money to think that spending it is a bad thing. I believe it was Napoleon Hill who said, every dollar I spend comes back to me multiplied.

I dont gamble, however, never have, never will. I don't drink, don't smoke, down waste money on jewelry, etc. ai do spend a lot on my pets and help keep many people employed.

Anonymous said...

I love jewelry and those earrings are darling.

David and I keep our accounts separate.

Anonymous said...

I read a short book of fiction a few months ago in which one of the characters made the point that, if she could afford to pay someone to help care for the kids and the house, it was her duty to do so. On contemplation, I had to agree.

If each of us does everything for ourselves, the people a little lower on the socio-economic scale will be deprived of the opportunity to earn a living for themselves.

I know your posting is on the light side, but money is a serious issue. This is Hunky Husband's and my 2nd marriage - to one another. We now keep our finances separate and I can tell you it cuts down on the tension between us, considerably.

In the olden days when he was employed and I took care of everything at home (and I do mean that he did not lift one finger!) his money was HIS. The biggest argument we ever had was over my wanting to spend $8/month to learn to fly. Never mind that he smoked and drank (in those days) to the tune of thousands of dollars per year. Never mind that I had no "allowance" for personal expenses of any kind. Now...he has his income and I have mine. If he wants to blow $2,000 on a golf club, I really don't give a rat's patootie. If I want to blow $2,000 on a pair of earrings, no one cares. It is so much better this way.
Cop Car

maddyathome said...

In terms of value, the ear-rings are a much better investment since they will appreciate, so you should probably tell her to get more expensive ones, or both pairs. Whereas your driver will end up relegated to the back of the garage and won't fetch much in a garage sale.
In terms of satisfaction you are probably about equal!
As for alcohol and cigarettes, there are only ever negative returns.