Friday, October 21, 2016

An Unexpected Day Off

I'm living the dream right now. I am taking care of one child and that child has a mom who gets every third Friday off. And this is a mom who likes to spend her days off with her child. Which means [drum roll, please] I have today off!

A long weekend in the middle of no where, with a few little tasks tossed into the day to make it a useful one feels pretty good this morning.

I can take this day and utilize it like a "Sunday" so that when Sunday officially rolls around, I can have a day with nothing else on my agenda. Ahhh. An agenda-less day sounds pretty fine.

Today's errands consists of a hair cut, compliments of one over generous sister, "Thank you very much!" Followed by a dentist appointment, which should be almost all covered by insurance, which is a great relief to me. And lastly, an oil change, where I found a $30.00 off coupon in the mailbox the very same day I went to their website to print off an ongoing "special" price reduction. I am greatly relieved the last oil change I had consisted of a "full meal deal" of everything the car needed so this little pit stop should be quick, easy and painless (I wish the same can be said of my dentist appointment).

During my Time of Great Spending, I did some things right. When something was broken, I fixed it. When the oil change guys told me I should take care of my transmission and cooling system fluids the last time I was there, I listened. I spent while the spending was painless. And it was good.

I have kept track of almost every cent I have spent since July, 2010. I could tell you how much money has been spent on take-out food (I don't really want to know, do you?), house maintenance, groceries, holidays, alcohol ... You name it, I can find it. Including my income from various sources all along the way. Yes, I have frittered away a great deal of money. My weakness is in take-out and convenience food. I don't smoke, drink, socialize (much) so I figure take-out food is a vice I can live with.

I have kept things fairly well kept up and maintained so I hope this this all counts for something during this Time of Restrained Spending.

It has made me very aware of the little things I simply paid without thinking while the spending was good. This past month, I've had to replace a broken kitchen window (the "panes" of living by a cat walk never cease to amaze me); pay an endodontist's fees for (what I feel was) an entirely wasted appointment; and replace the weather stripping on our back door (cats are an incredible waste of money some days).

If this had happened two months ago, I wouldn't have blinked an eye. I would have simply paid my dues, tallied it up as unavoidable expenses and went to McDonald's as a consolation prize because I could hear the lyrics "You deserve a break today ... at McDonald's" run through my mind. Again.

This Time of Restrained Spending comes with more benefits than drawbacks. Because of my reduced daycare load, I have ended up with a few early days off (one of which saved me a $75.00 service fee, for the window and door company to deliver and install the weather stripping on the back door) and one entire day off (today), so I can fit in a hair cut, an oil change and a dentist appointment within one work day instead of three evenings after 6:00.

I should have time left over to list more items up on my favorite auction site (this has become rather addictive and I'm cleaning out closets at the same time) and just go with the flow of the day.

It's going to be a beautiful day. I hope. The hour or so spent in a dentist's chair is debatable.

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