Monday, August 20, 2007


I don't like depriving myself. No one does. When I'd like to buy something and it falls somewhere between "too expensive" and "it won't really kill me to buy it," I will work out a way to purchase it without completely blowing my budget.

Here's something I actually learned from my Mom. I'll call it "piggybanking." My Mom used to squirrel away a buck here, a buck there in three or four designated hiding places around the house. We had a ceramic rooster that was always stuffed with ones and quarters and a drawer with a little compartment in the back that always had a couple of dollars in it. Whenever my parents wanted to take us kids out for Carvel or I needed trip money for school or some other little expense, it came out of those "banks."

Today, I am always squirreling away a little cash here and there. I used to do that when I was married and over the course of five years, I had several hundred dollars in little nooks and crannies all over the place. It was not money that we missed and if I hadn't piggybanked it, we would have probably absorbed it into the Money Sponge that was our checking account.

On a larger scale, I take a few side jobs that don't pay my rent or any of my other expenses. These are jobs that I absolutely do not need to do. Some of them are not related to my main profession, i.e. the other day, someone paid me to do some fancy embroidery on some hand towels...stupid things like that. At a very tough point in my marriage where money for extras was very tight, I started buying $5 pocketbooks at Walmart and embellishing them with trim and pretty fabric and reselling them on Ebay for $85. I piggybanked that money too. That is the money I spend on fun stuff, the stuff that falls between "too much" and "not gonna kill me."

Everyone should do a little piggybanking. It's important to be able to treat yourself every now and then, guilt-free.

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