Some days it makes you happy to spend money. Most of the time these days we are worrying about money doling it out one teaspoon at a time. We spend those teaspoons togehter. It is hard to be confident about spending money when you are building a house from the ashes of another.
I suppose it is always hard to spend money. You either have enough to spend and don’t buy because that is how you got enough or you have too little to spend and that sometimes is how you got too little.
There is a thing called breakout spending that results from what economists call “pent up demand.” As individuals we may be on a careful plan to save money but after a while it gets to us and we “break our” of our plan and buy something. The problem with breakout spending is that the spending is usually more than if the demand had not been pent up by our attempt to be frugal.
As an economy, breakout spending has been on an up and down roller coaster the past few years. As the economy plummeted in 2010 people began to be very careful with their spending. Up and down we have gone with save and spend for the past years.
That is sort of what it feels like to us. We spend a huge amount of money for something and then we cannot spend. They we spend another huge amount and on it goes. We paid $11,000 for wood for our house. The wood goes on the floor and on the ceiling. Somehow after spending $11,000 on wood it seemed flamboyant to buy groceries.
This week we have spent $10,000 on a roof. We also spent $400 on chairs. And we bought a stove and a dishwasher. We are very happy about the chairs. I found them on ebay yesterday. We looked at them carefully. I even made a powerpoint and polyvore set to see how they would look with what we do have. They looked great. We have a table but we did not have chairs. We have two silly chairs that were cheap and don’t fit together and we have an easy chair but no chairs to sit on to eat. If we have more than one visitor, who has claimed the easy chair, we are on the floor or in our chairs that fall apart.
Now we have chairs like what we had that burned. We had crazy junk store chairs for the first 30 years of our marriage. When my mom died she left us gorgeous chairs. We had chairs that you did not get dumped out of half way through dinner. We loved those chairs. They were the ultimate luxury for us. Then they burned.
Yesterday I found some used chairs on ebay that were almost the same. They are a different company but comparable. We discussed it. We reviewed the power points. We reviewed our budget. We considered what fabric we would like for me to reupholster them in (adding to my ever growing list of tasks). We reviewed our furniture inventory. We discussed what we had to spend on the walls of the house. We decided to make an offer. This morning the offer was accepted and we have chairs. I have smiled to myself all day.
It is one of those little things that we enjoy because it is helping us reclaim our life rather than clinging to the life-in-the-wings as we wander our way through the 19 months and countless “temporary living situations” as the Insurance company euphemistically calls them.
We are going home and we have chairs to take with us.
This evening I realized that the big rebate sale at Lowes was going off. I called my spouse and said,”we have to go.’ He came home and we ate a quick dinner and off we went.
It took two hours, about 30 minutes of it waiting while things got sorted out but we came home with receipts for a stove and a dishwasher. By commingling coupons, rebates and good looks, we ended up saving almost half of of retail.
We are going home and we have a stove and a dishwasher.
We have everything we need to invite others to break bread with us. Our breakout spending was carefully considered. It feels good to have 4 chairs, a dishwasher and a stove. We will be home soon.